Q. Do I need to see my doctor before I start treatment?
A. A physician's referral is not required, however one is suggested to rule out other pathology that may be causing your condition. In some cases, a therapist may require a physician referral to be sure that there is not a serious underlying medical condition that needs to be addressed.
Q. How many sessions will it take to resolve my condition?
A. Since every condition is different, the frequency and duration of treatment may vary. The length of time you have been in pain, the severity of your pain and the number of body parts that are in pain and your overall physical health affect how long treatment lasts. In the majority of cases, a person will achieve a noticeable reduction within 2-3 visits. Often the first visit gives significant relief. Being an active participant in your treatment will help you to recover more quickly.
Q. How can I help my treatment be more effective?
A. Your therapist will identify certain activities in your life that exacerbate your pain condition. We call these "perpetuating factors". These areas must be addressed to achieve lasting pain relief. These factors include posture, ergonomics, sleep and nutrition, among others. As part of your treatment program, your therapist will help you develop solutions to these perpetuating factors.
Q. Is Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy painful?
A. Trigger points are rather sensitive by definition. During the treatment of myofascial pain, pressure is applied to trigger points. You are always in control of how much pressure you can tolerate. Patients usually describe it as "good pain". In most cases, a pain scale of 0-10 is used (0= no pain, 10= intolerable pain. ) We recommend pressure in a 5-7 pain range. You should let your therapist know if they are applying more pressure than you can handle. Communication with the therapist is very important because the proper amount of pressure is different for everyone and may be different in different areas of your body. Most people will also find it true that after a few treatments, the same amount of pressure will not hurt as much, this indicates that the treatment is working.
Q. Is trigger point therapy performed with a full body massage?
A. Not usually. Even though some certified trigger point therapists are also certified massage therapists, they usually differentiate between a trigger point therapy session and a massage session. Some massage therapists will work on a trigger point when they find one, but usually do not provide their patients with our comprehensive treatment protocol.
Q. Do I have to disrobe for a trigger point therapy appointment?
A. Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists need easy access to the areas needing treatment. Depending on what area is being treated you can choose to disrobe, wear undergarments or a swim suit. You may also choose to wear loose fitting clothing and adjust your clothing so that your skin is accessible for treatment. A typical trigger point therapy session will have your body in a variety of different treatment and stretch positions and may have you standing and walking so that the therapist can assess your posture and gait.
Q. Is there anything I can do to treat my own pain?
A. Yes. Your trigger point therapist can teach you self-treatment techniques. You can use your hands or your therapist may recommend treatment tools to assist you. Your therapist can guide you to appropriate educational materials.