This research has many serious clinical implications. These will be mentioned briefly below, and dealt with more completely in future research summaries.
Trigger point assessment and treatment should be considered for shoulder pain
It has been shown the latent trigger points can cause shoulder pain directly by becoming active, or indirectly by changing the shoulder function resulting in impingements, uneven joint pressure and so forth. They should be considered in cases of shoulder pain.
The prescription of exercises alone to correct pain syndromes should be seriously re-considered
Patients are often given exercises alone to remedy shoulder and other pain syndromes. Research has shown that trigger pointss are highly likely to be involved. This study showed they caused the nervous system to produce movements that were abnormal and detrimental. The MAPs are not under conscious control so patients cannot be instructed to perform exercises correctly. During exercise movements will likely continue to be abnormal and detrimental. This research indicates that trigger point therapy should be done concurrently to normalise neurological control.
Regular screening and treatment of trigger points Trigger point therapy should be considered.
Regular soft tissue therapy or a regular massage would arguably find and deminish latent trigger points, thus preventing them from becoming active (painful) and causing abnormal function.
Everone using a gym or exercising should be regularly screened for trigger points
Joint pains, injuries and impingement syndromes are too common among those who use a gym or exercise. This research suggests that latent trigger points causing abnormal joint function would make joints and tissues far more vulnerable to these. The risks would be magnified by the increased loads placed on these joints. As shown in the research the treatment of trigger points normalises muscular control.
Implications for sports performance
Whether one swings a golf club, a tennis racquet, or shoot basketballs you want the coordination of your muscles to be normal to produce the best results.
Keeping it practical
As shown in our previous research summary the treatment of trigger points can sometimes deactivate active MTPs making them pain free (latent). However, complete removal requires a course of therapy over a considerable length of time. The care these clinical implications suggest would involve a course of care to remove trigger points then regular maintenance screenings. If done by therapists alone this would be very expensive and time consuming, therefore be something only available to people such as elite sports persons. This is the reason the DrGraeme serious hand held massagers able to be used at home were developed. Under the guidance of a professional supplementary massage can be done at home, making this type of care affordable and practical.
For more detailed information and references please see the practitioner version of this article.
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THE EFFECTS OF LATENT MYOFASCIAL TRIGGER POINTS ON MUSCLE ACTIVATION PATTERNS DURING SCAPULAR PLANE ELEVATION, by K.R. Lucas PhD.
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