Trigger point treatments come in many approaches and procedures. Some are effective...more are not.
What does it take to effectively treat trigger points and obtain lasting results?
Some doctors have a very cursory or perfunctory approach when it comes to trigger point treatment. Probably because they possess little real knowledge, or perhaps just an elementary awareness of them and how to effectively treat them.
They know that trigger points exist and know that they should treat them. They also know that they can get paid by the patient and insurance company for performing trigger point treatment but they lack real knowledge or don't care to spend the needed time to eliminate them. But, they perform some treatment on them in order to get paid or perhaps because they feel an obligation to do something.
You can probably go to twenty different offices and either get twenty different treatments, no treatments or inadequate treatments at best.
When results are not achieved in a few visits with their trigger point treatment the doctor or therapists, out of ignorance or frustration, just gives up and blames the pain on arthritis or some other ailment. Sadly, this is exactly what I have witnessed in over 33 yrs. of treating patients with all painful areas not just lower back pain.
I have witnessed and read many myofascial pain treatment approaches but have failed to see any lasting or effective results with most. Some of the treatments are: ultra-sound, massage, stretching, chiropractic adjustments, drug therapy, electric stimulation. acupuncture, tens units, exercise, pressure therapy, various myofascial release techniques to name a few.
Some get some relief. Some get short term relief. Some get no relief. Most fail to get lasting relief.
The only trigger point therapy I have found that
gets the best and most long-lasting results is a combination of
ischemic compression coupled with specific stretching, correction of
nutritional deficiency and elimination of food hypersensitivies.
On stubborn cases additional therapeutic measures may be needed. This usually consist of ultrasound to the area of the source of the pain.
Notice I said to the area of the source of pain and not the painful area. Most often the area of pain is distant from the source of the pain (trigger point).
If trigger point therapy is directed at the area of pain and not the source of the pain treatment will fail. This is why most chronic lower back pain sufferers continue to suffer throughout their lives. The cause of the pain was never eliminated... only the symptoms were treated.
In most cases the trigger points can be deactivated completely or taken to a latent stage. There are a few patients (less than 10%) that never fully get total elimination and for some reason fail to respond fully to this approach.
Women that seem to have a hormonal component are the most resistant to treatment. It seems that good results are achieved only to regress premenstrual.
Other patients that often do not respond fully are those with food hypersensitivities or allergies who fail to eliminate those foods they are reacting to whether from unwillingness, or an inability to identify all foods that they are reacting to.
With today’s diet it is a cumbersome and difficult task to completely identify and eliminate all foods that one may be reacting to because of their ubiquitous nature. However, with perseverance and professional help one can make great progress and achieve outstanding results.