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Trigger Point Therapy by Christian Lemburg - CrossFit Journal

Trigger Point Therapy

By Christian Lemburg

In Medical/Injuries

September 01, 2005

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According to some statistics, skeletal muscle accounts for 40-50 percent of body weight, and about 85 percent of human pain complaints. In athletes, most chronic pain issues are of myofascial (muscle- or sinew-related) origin. This is not surprising, since athletes tend to use their muscles and sinews much harder than the average population.

What is surprising is that when athletes go to the doctor because of some annoying pain that won't go away, hardly ever are their muscles examined and screened for problems. Instead, the doctor usually looks at their tendons and joints, and, in the end, the problem is likely to be blamed on some type of "-itis" —tendinits, bursitis, arthritis, you name it. In this article, I want to draw your attention to a more likely cause of your pain—one that is directly related to your muscles. I am talking about trigger points.

Trigger points are small, localized muscle cramps with a variety of causes, most notably excessive loads, direct trauma, or repetitive or prolonged muscle contractions. The cramp does not normally affect the whole muscle but is usually confined to one or two small muscle fibers within the main body of the muscle. You can actually feel the cramp as a hard lump or knot in your muscle. Sometimes, especially in small muscles, the whole muscle will feel like a cable made from hard rubber.

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3 Comments on “Trigger Point Therapy”


Amy wrote …

I just want to testify to the validity of this information on trigger points. I went to the doctor with severe pain in my wrist and hand (where the thumb attaches) only to be told, after just explaining the pain, that I obviously had carpal tunnel syndrome. His advice...avoid activities that cause pain...maybe you'll need surgery. I went home and embarked on an information journey for a better diagnosis to my problem. I found trigger point therapy and found a book called "The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief" by Clair Davies, NCTMB. I bought this through This book explains the concept of trigger points and how to self treat. I found the points causing my wrist and hand pain (in the inside of my elbow at the top of my forarm) and the pain immediately disappeared. The pain returned a several times over the next few days and each time I worked on the trigger point to make the pain subside. After a few days, the pain was gone and it didn't return. I highly recommend this book to anyone with reoccuring pains that have no obvious explanation. When it works, make sure to tell your doctor how you did it :)


wrote …

Trigger point therapy is amazing. After a diagnosis of tennis elbow in April I was afraid I wouldn't be able to continue with Crossfit. However as a massage therapist I had used trigger point therapy and started working on my arm, that combined with some 'needling' in trigger point areas and I was pain free by mid June.


wrote …

I've just starting trigger point therapy this week. Had surgery in May 2010 to remove bone spurs, clean out bursitis and during the surgery they noticed partially torn rotator cuff which they repaired. After several months of therapy I developed frozen shoulder. I heard about Platete Rich Plasma Injection and decided to check it out. The PRP is when they take your blood to treat the injured tissue by separating the red and white cells and injecting the blood into the injured area. It speeds up the healing of the tissue. Many athletes are now using this process. During my consultation, the Dr. suggested that we start with the trigger point therapy followed up by the medical message which is extremely painful. If that does not work than we will be starting the PRP. Will report back to the journal with the results.

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