Using Trigger Point Release Therapy for Pelvic Pain


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Trigger point release therapy, also known as myofascial trigger point release, is an alternative treatment for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS). “Myo” means muscle and “fascia” refers to the connective tissue that is in and around the muscle. Studies have found that trigger point release is beneficial for treating myofascial pain associated with CP/CPPS.

Trigger point release therapy is helpful for treating CP/CPPS symptoms that are associated with stress and tension of the pelvic floor muscles. Experts estimate that about half of all CP/CPPS cases are caused by pelvic floor tension and problems with pelvic floor muscles. Trigger point release therapy targets these problems.

How Does Trigger Point Release Therapy Work?

Trigger points are painful and tight areas of stressed or injured muscles. When you press on a trigger point, it can refer the pain to another spot on the body. That is called referred pain and is a feature of trigger points.

When a therapist or doctor presses on trigger points, it helps to stretch the pelvic floor muscles and “reset” them to their normal length.

A therapist or doctor may use their fingertips to press on the painful points, applying sustained pressure into the myofascial connective tissue. Doing this is helpful for men whose pelvic pain is caused by abnormal tension in the pelvic floor muscles. Some of the treatment can be done externally, but because some of the muscles must be reached through the rectum, the person performing the therapy will insert a lubricated and gloved finger into the rectum.

Trigger point release therapy is often combined with paradoxical relaxation therapy. This exercise method involves autonomic self-regulation to decrease pelvic floor muscle tension and teach the patient how to release his tension. Paradoxical relaxation involves a specific breathing technique to help relieve anxiety. Training sessions teach a patient to focus his attention on the effortless acceptance of tension in his body.

A study that was published in the Journal of Urology involved 138 men with CP/CPPS who had not responded to traditional treatment methods. The men were treated with trigger point release therapy once a week for four weeks and then biweekly for eight weeks. They also received paradoxical relaxation therapy for at least one month. The men completed daily practice sessions (each lasting one hour per day) for six months.

More than 50% of the men had a 25% or greater decrease in their pain or urinary scores, and 72% of the men reported moderate or marked improvement in their symptoms. Of the men who had at least 50% improvement, their pain decreased by 69%, and their urinary symptoms declined by 80%. The authors concluded that myofascial trigger point and release therapy, along with paradoxical relaxation therapy, is an effective way to manage CP/CPPS.

How to Get Trigger Point Release Therapy

If you are looking into trigger point release therapy, look for a qualified doctor or therapist that is experienced in this type of therapy. Because many pelvic tension causes stem from problems outside the prostate (such as diet, stress, psychological problems, or health problems somewhere else in the body) you will get the most benefit from determining the cause of your pelvic tension through “whole body” treatment programs such as the “NPAT” Treatment Program for Prostatitis.

There are a number of other alternative treatment programs for CP/CPPS that incorporate trigger point release therapy. One of the related alternative treatments for prostatitis is myofascial trigger point injection therapy. This more-invasive method treats the trigger points with an injected substance. The clinician may choose to use saline, corticosteroids, or even local anesthetics. The Renew XY Health Program for Men™ incorporates trigger point release as well as many other tools and exercises for treating pelvic pain and tension. The Wise-Anderson Protocol also focuses on doing stretches to release trigger points. Most men find relief from their CP/CPPS symptoms by engaging in multiple natural and alternative therapies for prostatitis.

Reference for Trigger Point Release Therapy:

Anderson RU et al. Integration of myofascial trigger point release and paradoxical relaxation training treatment of chronic pelvic pain syndrome in men. J Urol 2005; 174: 155-60