What are Trigger Points?

Trigger points are a small portion of muscle spasming in a miniature Charlie horse. They can cause localized pain and tenderness, as well as referred pain to other areas of the body.

Trigger points often form in clusters, shortening the muscle(s) and restricting movement first in one area, then the rest of the body. They often occur through lack of movement, poor posture, trauma, muscle splinting above a bow or joint injury, repetitive strain, overuse of muscles and restricted range of movement.

Active” trigger points refer pain constantly, “latent” or inactive trigger points can be triggered by seemingly harmless movements or posture and become ‘active’.

Humans describe the pain that trigger points produce as numbing, tingling, sharp, burning, deep or dull. I think it’s fair to say that horses likely endure a similar experience.

Attempts to strengthen the affected muscle(s) or stretch the trigger point out will be limited and will often result in increased pain until the trigger points, and surrounding fascia, are released.

Massage can release the active (primary) trigger points and the fascial restrictions and adhesions. If they are not released, the trigger point in the muscle will return.

Massage with Myofascial Release is a whole body, hands-on approach to balancing tensions in the musculoskeletal system.

Benefits of massage with myofascial release include improved muscle function, improved joint alignment, improved self-awareness, mobilized fascia, an increase in stride length and range of motion and enhanced relaxation and improved overall performance and recovery.

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