Experts believe trigger points are a significant cause and complication of neck and back pain. These sore spots in your soft tissue generally happen around injury sites. When you have a lot of trigger points, your doctor may refer to your condition as myofascial pain syndrome. In trigger point therapy, a medical professional rubs and presses on these sensitive areas to relieve pain. Though experimental and involves a lot of trial and error, trigger point therapy work for many people.
Most of the credit for the discovery of trigger points goes to Dr. Janet Travell, the private doctor for former President John F. Kennedy in the 1960s. She was tasked with helping the president overcome chronic back pain, which started when he was in college and lasted throughout his life. Travell was not alone in this discovery, however. Dr. David Simons, whom she met during a lecture on the subject at the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine in 1960, helped her map out all the trigger points and their pain referral patterns. Together, they wrote the Trigger Point Manual in 1983.
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