Pelvic Pain Trigger Points what are they?
Pelvic pain trigger points something we have all heard about over and over. How we need to release these trigger points to fix the causes of our pain. But what are they? do they even exist? or as I believe utter nonsense with no scientific evidence to prove the theory at all.
In this post you will learn:
- Why I don’t believe trigger points exist.
- What are pelvic pain trigger points
- What is trigger point therapy
- What is the actual science behind trigger points
- Why trigger points are continuously pushed as the answer to solving chronic pain
- What are trigger points relationship to chronic pelvic pain, hard flaccid and erectile dysfunction
- Why you can not just release trigger points by touch
- Why physiotherapy constantly promotes trigger point therapy
What are Trigger Points?
Myofascial trigger point also known as trigger points are described as hyperirritable spots in the skeletal muscle. They are associated with palpable nodules in taunt bands of muscle fibres. They are a topic of ongoing controversy as there is limited data to inform scientific understanding of the phenomenon.
Taken from Wikipedia
Even on Wikipedia, it is explained that these trigger points have little scientific proof. So why when treating chronic pelvic pain, hard flaccid and other chronic pain conditions are we told to release these trigger points as though it is gospel truth?
The simple answer recurring revenue and sales for physiotherapists and ongoing treatments. It is not about curing the patient it is about creating income. Check out this blog by the sports therapist Adam Meakins who also is a big critic of trigger points and manual therapies.
As Adam Meakins (a very respected sports physio) explains in the linked to there is simply no evidence to prove this theory.
But still every pelvic pain therapist you visit will tell you-you need to release internal trigger points inside you by pressing on them to lengthen the muscle.
Let’s just be crystal clear you can not lengthen a muscle just by pressing on it. You can not release a muscle just by pressing on it. This simply does not happen. Or every time you sat down on your bottoms you would lengthen your glutes! See how ridiculous that sounds
The theory of muscle knots as a cause of pain has been around since the early 1980’s. The theory was first proposed by the eminent and influential US physician Dr Janet Travell, who was JKF’s pesonal physician no less. She teamed up with another Doctor called David Simons and together produced the famous trigger point books.
These books and the muscle knot theory was soon quickly adopted by many practitioners, despite no peer review, no research or evidence, just a theory by two clinicians that is now widely accepted as fact.
However, despite many claims over the decades and years of searching, the uncomfortable truth is there is NO robust or reliaboe evidence that has proven muscle knots exist or are a source of pain!
My Personal Experience with Manual Therapy and Trigger Points
Having suffered from hard flaccid, chronic pelvic pain, erectile dysfunction for nearly five solid years as well as sciatica pains, pudendal nerve pains, bad back, frozen shoulders, stiff tight neck, plantar fascia, carpal tunnel, wrist drop and a whole host of pains around my body. It’s safe to say I saw many physiotherapists and specialists on my route to fixing myself. I tried every therapy under the sun and spent a small fortune on each.
These included chiropractors, osteopaths, every type of massage from sports, deep tissue, myofascial release, Thai, shiatsu; trigger point therapy from external to the dreaded internal release undertaken by pelvic floor physiotherapists; acupuncture, dry needling, joint mobilisation, lymphatic release, acupressure, rolfing, tui na, muscle energy techniques, craniosacral therapy, graston technique, spinal manipulation & bone setting. I think that’s pretty much everything I tried and each one of these I did a lot.
Over a period of few years, I guess at least one or two appointments a week at one to two hundred pounds a time, I must have spent nearly £20, 000 on various different manual therapies. So please believe me when I say I have a lot of experience with all of these therapies.
Now I am not saying that they are a bad thing, I like a lot of them. I love a massage I am especially fond of Thai and shiatsu, I like acupuncture and find them very relaxing and pleasurable. But don’t be fooled they do nothing to actually fix issues in the body apart from a nice experience and placebo effect, akin to rubbing it better.
Why I know they did nothing in my body to actually fix any issues
After a few years of searching for miracle cures for all my issues, hoping someone else was going to be able to fix me with their magical hands and healing powers I came to the realisation that although I may get temporary relief for a few hours, a day or maybe even two. The symptoms always returned. This is when I started to look further into muscle pain and fixing my body. I started to train in a form of resistance stretching which is a method that involves strengthening and lengthening your muscles and connective tissue. This is not an easy process, this is a process that required me to train my body for hours a day, day after day, week after week. This was no quick fix and no magic. This was just hard bloody work!… For months upon months, I saw no improvement, my pain and symptoms actually increased.
But then all of a sudden my hips started to open and the craziest things started to happen to my body. My body started to pull back into place in certain areas as I stretched out the tight muscle tissue however this left other areas of my body completely out of sync and balance
My own Personal Experience with Fixing my Body and Mythical Trigger Point Areas
The cause of my sciatica and plantar fascia
My shins and knees had twisted up over the space of many years without me really realising. I used to get really bad shin splints as a teenager playing sports which I now know was the tissue in my shins tightening up. I used to always walk on the inner sides of my feet, which I now know was my ankles and feet arching.
Check this video out of what happened to my body as my hips started to open. What had happened was my knees and shins were still so twisted up as I hadn’t really worked on them yet. So as my hips opened my feet were at a 90-degree angle to my body!
Please, someone, tell me how manual therapy would have fixed these issues?
If there is anyone in the world who could of straighten out my ankles and feet for me in a few sessions of rubbing them and manually adjusting them with their hands please send them my way. Fixing these bad boys was one painfully long experience of stretching out all the muscles in the shin, around the ankles and top of feet. But I also had to fix my hips and stomach and well shoulders as well.
It took me a long long long time not just a few visits to a chiropractor.
All of this had a direct correlation to fixing my chronic pelvic pain and hard flaccid. It was the adductors going into the bottom of my pelvic floor that was causing the tension in the penis. But to fix the adductors I had to fix the feet, shins, knees, hamstrings and quads to!
In this video this was me discovering all the tightness in my body. This video was when all the sudden my hips started to open up. It had taken me about a year to do this lol, so my actual hip was starting to open but as it did that the rest of my leg was still fixed in its old position. My knees were totally twisted, my ankles too and my feet were arched.
I won’t describe this is how textbooks tell you things should happen, I will describe this in what happened to me and how this felt in my body. There was a line of hard tissue that went right from my feet all the way up to my groin. Around each joint this tissue had turned rock hard and attaching from joint to joint these steel cables had formed all the way down my legs. I could stretch my ankles and feel it pulling all the way to my groin and testicles.
There were no trigger points just rock hard tissue going through my body. It took me a whole year working every day on it to break this hard tissue around my joints down so someone please tell me how just an hour of someone else massaging me or releasing ‘trigger points’ would have fixed this. It would never happen. The only way I could fix these was sheer hard work!
Fixing my Hips
Onto fixing my hips. There are meant to be hip trigger points all around the side of the glutes. If you look at the photo to the side you can see this tight band of tissue right on the side of my hip, exactly where they say the trigger points are. Yes, this tissue was sore to touch and I would scream when someone pressed on it but it was not anything to do with a trigger point. What had happened is again all the tissue had gone rock hard around my hip bone. The muscle tissue had actually solidified around the bone at the outer hip joint. This had then pulled down the outer side of my leg forming a steel cable going down to my knee joint which inturn carried on down to my ankles and feet.
The whole legs connects all the way from the hip to the foot, not just a couple of tight spots but whole chains of muscles connected together. I could feel chains of tissue release from my toes up to my groin.
I had many therapists rub on and press my adductors, hamstrings, calves and more which did absolutely nothing apart from feeling nice. I rolled around on foam rollers for hours upon hours and again nothing. The only way I managed to fix these was good old fashioned hard work. Strengthening and lengthening the whole muscle chains from foot to hip.
So I had to spend ages and I mean ages strengthen and lengthening all the fascia and connective tissue around this area to slowly free it up. There were no trigger points in this area just a tight band of tissue that had turned to a steel cable going through the muscle and rock hard, bonding around the bone at the hip joint. I must have spent 6 months doing what I can only describe as pulling the flesh away from the bone. Again if someone can tell me how they could use their magical hands to release this tension in my hips in an hour they would be a magician. It honestly took me months and a ridiculous amount of work to release this tension. Not just by someone pressing on my flesh and rubbing it better.
Fixing my neck, throat jaw & head
Now if you look at the picture opposite you cannot question how tight the muscle tissue in my throat and neck was. Look at it, it was ridiculous and was absolutely nothing to do with trigger points. I don’t think I have ever seen someone with a neck and throat as tight as that and I have fixed it so trust me I know exactly what it was and what was causing it and nothing to do with trigger points in the neck.
The tissue had literally solidified around my whole skull not just my neck or throat, those tight lines you can see in the flesh of my neck went all the way around the top of my head and skull. I had these big hard rocks of scar tissue around my jaw, ears, temples. It was horrible and no amount of rubbing it better or cranial therapy would do anything to fix it. But getting rid of it did fix my TMJ, tinnitus and migraines.
This is what I had to do to fix my throat, head and jaw. This area seemed to react to the rest of my body straightening up. All of a sudden my throat just started to spasm uncontrollably. Then I found this rock hard lump around where my thyroid bone should be and it just kept pulsating constantly spasming. What it was was the tissue had again formed around the bone and solidified and it had to be painfully and slowly pulled apart over a matter of 8 months it took me to fix. This hardness of muscle tissue did not stop there it went all the way up into the base of my skull and around all the joints in my jaw constantly pulling free from the bone and softening up. This was ridiculously long and painful.
So if anyone tells you they can release trigger points in your neck I call bullshit. Cranial therapy all that stuff would not have done a thing to fix this and as you can see I had some bad issues.
I could go on around every single joint and muscle in my body. But I think that’s enough to display to you that I had problems and I had them everywhere these so-called trigger points are meant to exist. It took me months and months to fix these things not just a one-hour session of someone rubbing it better!
What are Trigger Points my Personal View
From what I experienced they were tight painful bands of muscle tissue that had gone really really hard in my flesh. The tissue had hardened around my bones and pulled tight in the muscle forming steel cables going joint to joint. This hard tissue had then gone puffy and inflamed and I think its the inflammation that caused the pain.
No amount of rolling around on a foam roller or releasing trigger points would have fixed this. The only way I managed to fix any of this was strengthening the muscles than using resistance stretching and eccentric training to stretch out the fascia and tight muscle tissue.
This was not a quick or easy process and no one else could do it for me. It was down to me and me alone. But put in the hard work, strengthen and lengthen your muscle tissue and you get rid of every bit of pain around your body.
Click here to learn how to Fix all these Chronic Pain Issues
Learn the method I used to completely get rid of all “trigger points lol’ and tight muscle tissue in my body fixing chronic pelvic pain, hard flaccid and many other problems