Myofascial release, or trigger point therapy, is a popular treatment for healing muscle pain for everyone from desk jockeys to professional athletes.
However, while trigger points can and do affect just about everyone, not everyone knows about an effective treatment option — shockwave therapy.
According to double blind, randomized, controlled studies, shockwave therapy for myofascial release is proven 80% effective.
Decrease Pain, Improve Function
Chris Broadhurst of the Toronto Athletic Club and Life Time Sport Medicine Clinic has certainly seen the effect.
“Tissue does not lie!” he stated in a recent presentation given at a Shockwave Canada event. He noted that shockwave therapy for myofascial pain can decrease pain while improving function.
Toronto Athletic Club uses the MASTERPULS® Ultra series for its trigger point therapies, rehabilitation, prevention, and more. The only time Broadhurst does not use shockwave therapy is in acute injuries.
“You are trying to improve blood flow and obviously with an acute injury you already have that blood flow with the inflammatory process,” Broadhurst says. “Otherwise we use it with non-acute and in a preventative measure, like with athletes preparing for marathon runs and things like that. It works very well.”
The major benefits of shockwave therapy Broadhurst sees are decreased pain and increased blood flow.
Broadhurst isn’t the only one who has seen the effects of shockwave therapy on myofascial trigger points.
In a study from the Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine, “Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy in Myofascial Pain Syndrome of Upper Trapezius,” the visual analogue scale (VAS) of patients with upper trapezius pain significantly decreased with shockwave therapy.
In a more recent study on the efficacy of ESWT and dry needling in myofascial trigger points, ESWT was found to be as effective as dry needling for “relieving pain, improving function, and reducing shear modulus for patients with myofascial trigger points after a series of three treatments.”
Trigger Point Quick Facts
What are trigger points?
Trigger points — also known as myofascial pain — are extremely small, hard knots found in the muscle, often accompanied by hardening of the fascia.
They can be extremely painful and hard to locate as they can cause referred pain throughout the body (for instance, a trigger point in the upper trapezius might cause a headache, or a trigger point in the shin could cause pain the big toe).
What is myofascial release?
Myofascial release is the process of treating the trigger points, often through massage or physical therapy. It focuses on reducing pain by easing the tension and tightness in the trigger points.
How does shockwave therapy facilitate myofascial release and treat trigger points?
Via therapeutic pressure and gliding, shockwave therapy gives a gradual release of trigger points and adhesions in the affected muscles and fascia. This can provide enormous pain relief.
In cases where massage treatment has not been effective, or the patient cannot tolerate massage, shockwave therapy has proven extremely helpful.
As a benefit to trigger point therapists, shockwave therapy is also ergonomically friendly (depending on your machine), so you can treat more patients in less time.
The Shockwave Canada Difference
Shockwave Canada is the exclusive distributor and retailer of the MP50, MP100 and the MP200 of Storz Medical technology in Canada.
“With the Storz company, they’re pioneers in the world of shockwave, both for radial and focused,” Broadhurst says.
“They have the most research out there. Excellent clinical solutions and information available to their clients.”
Discover how our shockwave therapy machines can add another myofascial release technique to your clinic today. Call 1 (888) 741-SHOC(7462) or visit www.shockwavecanada.com.
Are you a patient looking for trigger point relief? We can connect you with a shockwave therapy practitioner. Call 1 (888) 741-SHOC(7462) or visit www.shockwavecanada.com.