Acupuncture Point for Toothache: Trigger Points
Trigger points are small groups of muscles or tendons that become tight when they are overworked. They may cause pain, tenderness, stiffness, or other symptoms. These trigger points are often found along the sides of your body and can affect many areas of your body including your neck, shoulders, back and legs. Trigger points can also occur in the hands and feet. Trigger points can also be caused by injuries such as car accidents, falls from high places, or repetitive stress.
The most common trigger points are located in the muscles of your upper arms and shoulder girdle. These trigger points include the biceps brachii (branch), latissimus dorsi (thigh muscle) and trapezius (shoulder muscle). Other trigger points may be found in your lower back, neck, hamstrings, calves and glutes.
Treatment for Trigger Points:
There are several types of exercises that can be done to reduce trigger points. One way to do so is through massage. Massage therapy can help decrease tension in these trigger points and improve circulation throughout your body. Another method involves using electrical stimulation devices called electrotherapy machines (ETM’s). ETM’s use alternating current (AC) to stimulate specific parts of the body, which then causes relief from pain and inflammation associated with trigger points.
AC stimulation works by “interrupting” the nerve signals that are sent to the brain from the affected area. This is done by sending a small electrical charge to the skin via two pads, one positive and one negative, which are connected to the ETM by wires.
While some individuals may experience pain relief within days of beginning treatment, it may take up to four weeks before you see significant results. However, many people experience pain relief much sooner. Although ETM’s are generally safe to use in most individuals, they are not recommended for everyone. If you have a cardiac pacemaker or any other electrical implant, you should not use an ETM. You should also consult your physician before using an ETM if you have a heart condition, suffer from epilepsy or have recently had a stroke.
The following are some electrical stimulation devices that may prove beneficial in relieving trigger points.
The Tens Unit is one of the most common types of ETM’s available. The Tens Unit, so named for its ability to send tensed muscles into relaxation mode, is generally considered to be the “original” ETM. It is a relatively small device that delivers a gentle tickling sensation when placed against the skin. It can be used to stimulate almost any part of the body, but is most commonly used on the feet, hands and back. The Tens Unit is generally safe to use on anyone who is at least seven years of age or older.
The EMS Unit is another type of ETM that delivers a more intense stimulation than the standard Tens Unit. The EMS Unit sends a low-level electrical current to the muscles using a pad and electrode connected by wires to the machine. This unit can be used to treat a wider range of conditions than the Tens Unit and may be more beneficial in certain circumstances. The EMS Unit can be used on people of any age.
In recent years, ETM’s have undergone numerous technological advances. One such advancement is the Digital ETM, which offers numerous pre-programmed treatment modes and allows the user to set the desired treatment level. The Digital ETM may be set for continuous or pulse stimulation and can be used to treat overused muscles, acute pain, inflammation and more.
Another advanced model is the TENS Unit with Local Anesthetic. This model works the same way as a standard TENS Unit but is designed to numb the treatment area before sending electrical impulses to the body. This feature may be especially beneficial if you tend to feel pain when using an ETM.
When using an electrical stimulation device, you may feel a tingling or vibrating sensation. Although these devices are generally safe for most people to use, you may experience dizziness and nausea during treatment. If this happens, discontinue using the ETM immediately and consult your doctor.
Sources & references used in this article:
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