Australian Health Professionals
Myofascial trigger points, also known as trigger points, are muscle knots. They are sensitive spots in the skeletal muscle that can cause deep pain. A trigger point is a hypersensitive palpable nodule that develops in the taut bands of muscle, referred to as the fascia. When pressure is applied to these areas, there will be pain in an alternate part of the body. This is known as referred pain.
Referred pain is pain perceived at a location other than the site of the painful trigger point. It is the result of a network of interconnecting sensory nerves and connective tissue. In the majority of cases, referred pains will occur outwards from the centre of the body. For example, the lower back can refer pain to the legs, or the hip can trigger knee pain. The most common causes of this are muscular pain radiating from the spinal cord, joints, tumours, or associated manipulations. This autonomic phenomenon is due to the multiple sensitive nociceptors located in the region of each trigger point.
Specific causes of trigger points can include, but are not limited to, overuse, trauma, repetitive straining, or alignment imbalances. An acute muscle injury can also lead to the development of trigger points. Post-injury or overuse, sensitive areas of tight muscle fibers can begin to form in the muscles. These sensitive areas are referred to as active trigger points.
Active trigger points are characterised through extreme tenderness located within the skeletal muscle and can result in significant muscle pain. Physical therapists will often use intramuscular stimulation or trigger point dry needling technique to release or lengthen muscles that may be causing chronic muscular pain.
In the majority of cases, physiotherapy treatment can be effective for a range of conditions when treated by a skilled and experienced physiotherapy professional. Most people may seek advice from a physio for rehabilitation or to alleviate pain from an injury that may have occurred during the gym, sport or at work, however you do not need to have any injury to visit a physiotherapist.
Physiotherapy can be used as a preventative measure against injury, as well as to build strength and fitness. There are different types of physiotherapy such as sports physio, musculoskeletal physio, neurological physio, and cardiovascular physio. Under these physiotherapy types, physiotherapists can provide treatment for a broad range of conditions including chronic pain, sports injuries, arthritis, aches, and sprains.
Unsure if the pain you’re experiencing warrants a physiotherapy appointment? Or maybe you participate in a sport and are looking to strengthen your muscles and improve endurance. Regardless of your circumstance, physiotherapy sessions offer a holistic approach to assist your recovery and rehabilitation process.
Below are some of the top reasons that can indicate when you should see a physiotherapist:
The cost of physiotherapy can vary from clinic to clinic, depending on a variety of factors. Medicare rebates, or private health insurance are accepted across many practices to reduce out-of-pocket expense for physio treatment.
Under the Medicare Benefits Schedule, Medicare benefits are available for up to five allied health appointments per calendar year for each eligible patient, of which physiotherapy is included. To receive Medicare rebates for a physiotherapy session, you must be classified as having a chronic musculoskeletal condition and obtain a referral from your GP.
It should be noted, however that Medicare does not typically cover the entire fee, and therefore you may incur any remaining costs. Private health funds accepted by a physio clinic are usually disclosed on the practice’s website; just like Medicare, Private health insurance does not cover the entire fee.
Physiotherapy plays a significant role in the treatment and rehabilitation of a wide range of common conditions and injuries. A physiotherapist can assist in the treatment of many things including back and knee pain, sports injuries, arthritis, aches, sprains, incontinence, neurological conditions, chronic disease management, and rehabilitation.
At AHP Connect, our qualified physiotherapists work in treating a number of physica problems, as well as health and medical conditions: