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Is Trigger Point Therapy Effective
for Fibromyalgia?

Is Trigger Point Therapy Effective for Fibromyalgia?

More people with fibromyalgia are utilizing what I call “hands on” trigger point therapy for relief because it addresses one of the primary symptoms related to muscle and myofascial pain. I use and recommend this type of treatment over injections for trigger points when possible.

To understand how trigger point therapy is used to treat fibromyalgia pain, you must first comprehend some basic terminology:

  • Myofascial Pain – This type of pain comes from within layers of muscle and its connective tissues. It is sometimes caused by injuries, overuse of the muscle, or repetitive movements that irritate the muscle. Many people with fibromyalgia experience this pain even though myofascial pain can affect anyone. 
  • Trigger Points – These are points within the body that transfer pain to other areas. You may have the sense that one spot on your body is tender, tight, or somehow the root of pain radiating into another part of your body. Think about experiencing shoulder pain that translates up the neck and turns into a headache. You often hear me talking about these trigger points.

For fibromyalgia sufferers, myofascial pain often creates trigger points that can radiate pain to other areas of the body. Since there are various causes for pain in fibromyalgia, we have to work at effectively addressing trigger points, as they are just ONE of those causes we have remedies for. 

This is why many fibromyalgia sufferers are now utilizing massage therapy, chiropractors, and physical therapists about trigger point therapy. Let’s take a closer look at how this therapy works and how effective it may be against fibromyalgia pain.

How Trigger Point Therapy Works

The goal is to treat the trigger point so that it can no longer radiate pain to other areas of the body or even cause tension in one spot. Like most types of massage or physical therapy, there are a variety of techniques that a well-trained trigger point therapist may use.

For instance, your therapist (and sometimes yourself) can apply gradual pressure to the trigger point, allowing the muscle to release tension. The muscle becomes softer, and the sense of tension decreases or resolves completely. Other techniques force the muscle into full-range motion or use the application of a cold spray and light stretching.

I prefer to use both of the thumbs as a more effective technique, as this can help to increase OR decrease pressure between thumbs as needed for tolerance. It is VERY important to trial and error with this technique as trigger points in the upper body and around the legs can be relentless when not treated effectively. 

Trigger Point Therapy and Fibromyalgia Pain

It is important to note that this therapy is not a cure for your fibromyalgia or even your myofascial pain itself.  It can take some time and trial and error, but the good news is that we have various tools in the myofascial world that can be experimented with. You can also visit the video section of the Fibro Fit People page, where I show tools for treating myofascial pain. 

I so often say that fibromyalgia is complex. However, this is one important area that when addressed properly can reduce pain. Many people with fibromyalgia have eased some of their radiating pain by receiving this form of therapy on a routine basis.

As always, It is important to make a distinction between trigger points and the tender areas of the fibro body.  The reason that I often refer to tender points as “tender areas” is because although they do not radiate pain like trigger points, these tender points encompass more than just a point.  A tender area can extend between 1-2 or even 3 inches around a specific tender area of the fibro body. 

 And, remember that treating myofascial pain and trigger points is just ONE part of treating fibromyalgia as a whole. 

Using Myotherapy for Relief

 I often refer to Myotherapy which is an effective hands on approach to treating trigger points. This can be utilized for people with fibromyalgia and for anyone without fibromyalgia as well. Remember that it is not always advertised as Myotherapy. The important thing to know is that this is a non invasive hands on therapy. 

Refer to our Natural Remedies article here for more information as you scroll down to the 'body therapies' section. 

Take Matters into Your Own Hands When Possible

Here in our myofascial release article,  I talk about some ways that you can utilize foam rolling,  and some suggestions that will help you. These are important whether you are working on yourself or working with a therapist. They also apply to other tools we use for myofascial release. 

Should You Try Trigger Point Therapy?

Some fibromyalgia patients do experience significant pain relief when receiving trigger point therapy on a routine basis. As long as you work with an experienced professional with the proper training to deliver this form of therapy, the risk of feeling even worse afterwards is low. This is just one more potential alternative treatment that you might add to your pain management plan.

Always be assertive with any attending therapist. I know what I like and need, so I have mine "trained" in a sense, but with trial and error, you can do the same. 
Remember that you are not alone here. Keep believing in YOUR greater magnificence. I get it, and I am on your side !! Lisa. 

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