Over the past year I have learned a great deal about trigger points. I had an experience today that finally motivated me to sit down and share this resource and knowledge.
Trigger points are debated in the medical field because there is not a clear body of evidence regarding how they exactly work and refer pain. So anyone who is interested in this can do their own research and draw their own conclusions.
While being treated for my neck and shoulder issues over the past year, I had a physical therapist who utilized trigger point therapy, the MacKenzie Method, and other PT approaches. I started doing more reading on trigger points so I could begin to treat myself.
I purchased The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook and have found it both helpful and fascinating. For example, from time to time I get a terrible earache or pain in my jaw and I have always assumed I was coming down with something. But then nothing would happen. I now know that these are caused by trigger points. There was nothing wrong with me other that a trigger point had become irritated and was referring pain. There were other things that would bother me and I suspect now they are trigger points as well.
Today we went out for lunch. My shoulders were bothering me a little bit before we left, but nothing terrible. By the time we arrived at the restaurant and sat down, I felt awful. It was a full-blown situation. I could hardly stay seated in my chair. One of the trigger points that gives me problems is located under my arm. I felt it and it was sore. Since I had felt it last evening and it was not sore (hence the reason I had felt quite well all day yesterday), I knew that this was probably what was bothering me. I massaged it as I had learned and within literally fifteen seconds of stopping, 80% of my symptoms were gone. Even I was stunned. I’ve never had results like that before. By the time we left the restaurant, all my symptoms were basically gone.
Part of my reason for mentioning this resource is because I am sure this knowledge will help people who read this. But I am also writing this because I have my owns suspicions about something and I wanted to share it here. I’m not a doctor or a PT so anyone who is interested in this can do their own research. But I really wonder about something.
These flare ups in the shoulders and neck feel like somewhat like anxiety. They aren’t. I know what anxiety feels like and I know what panic attacks feel like since I have experienced them as a side effect to pain medication. But there is a panicky, anxious feeling that arises with them that could easily be mistaken for anxiety. Given that doctors are not inclined to explore the idea of trigger points or treat them, I wonder how many people walking around with trigger point problems are living with the idea that they have anxiety issues and may even be medicated for it. To be sure, anxiety problems are real and sometimes need medication. But it is striking to me how easy it would be for someone to think they were having an anxiety attack of some kind when it is actually something completely different.
I’ve learned a lot over the past year about how neck and shoulder problems can manifest themselves in ways you would never think. That is why it took us months to figure out what was wrong with me last year. Doctor visits, tests, a trip to the ER, more tests, testing our house for mold, etc. We did everything and in the end it was as simple as neck and shoulder problems. And the only reason I figured it out was because I found an out-of-the-way discussion board where people had the same set of weird symptoms and finally figured out they were related to the neck. My neck never bothered me throughout the whole ordeal but it was the primary culprit. So it makes me wonder how many people are walking around with trigger point problems that can be easily dealt with and instead waste time, money, and energy looking for something else or, even worse, treating a problem like anxiety that really doesn’t even exist.
I sincerely hope someone finds this information helpful.