What is a trigger point? A majority of people have them but don’t even know what they are. A trigger point is a knot that develops in a muscle when it is injured or overworked. They are known to cause headaches, lower back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, neck and jaw pain, and tennis elbow. Myofascial trigger point therapy is used to relieve muscular pain and dysfunction through applied pressure to trigger points of referred pain and through stretching exercises. These muscles and tissues are highly sensitive to pain when compressed and can send pain to other specific parts of the body. Massage therapy along with trigger point therapy can relieve muscular aches and pains that correlate to these areas. It also supports improvements of muscles and will restore motion to joints. Compression of a trigger point may evoke tenderness, pain, or a twitch response. The twitch response is not the same as a muscle spasm however; a muscle spasm refers to the entire muscle contracting. A twitch response refers to the entire muscle but only involves a small twitch without contraction. Pain patterns are identified and the involved muscles get treated with this type of therapy through muscle range of motion testing, postural evaluation, and active stretching. The goal of myofascial trigger point therapy is to reduce pain and determine any perpetuating factors that may keep you in pain. Trigger points increase numbness, sharp pain, muscle shortening and tension. Active trigger points divert the pain to other parts of the body through application of pressure, whereas latent trigger points display pain on compression or pressure application. The pain caused by trigger points is an extreme cause of disability and loss of time in the workplace. By getting massages regularly with trigger point therapy, it can help improve your natural ability to maintain an active lifestyle. So the next time you feel a knot in your back, give massage therapy a try.