Trigger Point Therapy
As our understanding of the human body grows more detailed, so do our treatments. At VT Perio, we offer unique, evidence-based treatments designed to improve your periodontal and bodily health.
As industry-leading periodontists, we believe that continuous education and cutting-edge treatments are the best way to provide supreme care. For these reasons and more, we specialize in an alternative treatment concept known as trigger point therapy. Trigger point therapy can help alleviate some of the painful symptoms associated with temporomandibular joint disorders.
Pain Caused by Trigger Points
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is one of the most complex joints in the body. This series of muscles, ligaments, discs, and bones allows us to move our jaw forward, backward, and side-to-side. Simply put, the TMJ is responsible for our ability to chew, speak, smile, and laugh.
Because the TMJ is so complex, problems can arise easily and often. Any problem that prevents you from using your TMJ properly is known as a TMJ disorder or TMD. The painful symptoms associated with TMD can also originate in other areas, such as the muscles in the head and neck.
This pain is often the result of a trigger point, which is a group of muscle fibers that are in a constant state of contraction. Usually the result of trauma or tension, a trigger point often feels like a firm knot in the muscles. An active trigger point is painful to the touch, while a latent one can restrict your range of motion and cause stiffness.
Treating Pain Caused by Trigger Points
Trigger point therapy is also known as myofascial trigger point therapy, which refers to myofascial pain syndrome. This syndrome is characterized by the relationship between a specific trigger point and the associated pain region (in this case the jaw). There are several ways to address the pain related to a specific trigger point.
The goal of trigger point therapy is to prevent muscle imbalances and compression of the nerves. Successful treatment also alleviates painful symptoms and restores nutrient flow to the knotted area. In-office trigger point therapy may include:
Trigger Point Therapy at Home
Unfortunately, trigger point therapy is an ongoing process, because the results are impermanent. However, we can recommend some at-home treatments to alleviate your symptoms between appointments. The most effective method involves a self-massage followed by a sustained stretch of the affected muscle.
A moist heat pack can also alleviate pain. The moisture causes the heat to penetrate deep within the muscle for more effective results. There are also several appliances available that can make it much easier to massage yourself.
Schedule an Appointment
If your pain is the result of active trigger points, you may benefit from trigger point therapy. To learn more about this treatment method call (802) 447-3199, and schedule your appointment today!
Kateryna Latypova, DMD