Trigger Point Therapy - How to Choose a Therapist
You know you need trigger point therapy - but how do you find the therapist who's right for you?
Trigger points are taut bands that form within muscles and cause the muscles to become shorter, weaker, and less efficient.
Essentially trigger points are what your grandmother referred to as “knots” within the muscles.
Trigger points develop for a number of reasons including overuse or trauma from injuries.
When left untreated they may cause you to overcompensate and put additional strain on other healthy muscles which can lead to more severe musculoskeletal disorders.
According to some medical experts such as Dr Bob Gerwin (John Hopkins Hospital School of Pain Medicine) trigger points may be associated with up to 95% of musculoskeletal pain disorders.
Treating trigger points through a combination of applied pressure (manual therapy) and specific stretching and strengthening exercises is often a straightforward process and can be extremely effective for providing pain relief and helping to accelerate recovery.
Trigger point therapy is practiced by many manual therapists. In elite sports and athletics trigger point therapy has become a standard part of treatment routines.
Many of these treatment routines are autonomously reproducible meaning that the same treatment protocols will work on most clients with the same injury, irrespective of age or gender.
This makes trigger point therapy simple to learn for trained manual therapists from all professions, as well as often being easily adapted for self-help.
So where do you go for trigger point therapy?
As stated above, trigger point therapy is practiced by tens of thousands of manual therapists. Whilst there are some specialist Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists, there aren’t too many, and you probably don’t need to find one.
What you do need is a qualified manual therapist who practices trigger point therapy. These include massage therapists, physical therapists, chiropractors, athletic trainers .... in fact therapists from just about every discipline. And chances are that there’s one near you!
Most of these therapists will have studied trigger point therapy either as part of their main qualification, or by taking additional courses to supplement their main degree or professional qualification.
What are NAT certified therapists?
NAT is the most common form of trigger point certification in the United States, United Kingdom, and is increasingly popular with manual therapists in more than 20 countries.
NAT certified therapists include all types of manual therapists who have chosen to practice trigger point therapy.
There are many levels and types of NAT certification that cover trigger point therapy techniques for most common musculoskeletal disorders.
When looking for a therapist to treat your condition, don’t be shy to ask exactly what type of certification a therapist has completed, and to ask about relevant experience.
Whilst most therapists who practice trigger point therapy may be proficient to treat most, or a wide range of musculoskeletal disorders, some will specialise (or have more experience) in treating specific conditions.
Always take the time to “interview” a therapist to find out more about their qualifications, and experience, to find the therapist who is right for you.
What about exercise professionals?
There are many qualified exercise professionals who may be able to help you with your trigger points. These professionals are not the same as manual therapists and will not typically be qualified to treat you with “hands-on” therapy.
However they may be certified to help you build strengthening and stretching programs specifically designed to address your trigger point issues. In some cases they may also be able to advise you generally on self-help techniques.
There are a growing number of exercise professionals who have certified in trigger point techniques, and who will often work closely with manual therapists to help provide comprehensive treatment to clients who are receiving trigger point therapy.
These increasingly include Yoga instructors, Pilates instructors, Fitness instructors, and Personal Trainers.
About NAT Courses
As a manual therapist or exercise professional, there is only one way to expand your business - education!
Learning more skills increases the services that you offer and provides more opportunity for specialization.
Every NAT course is designed to build on what you already know, to empower you to treat more clients and grow your practice, with a minimal investment in time and money.
About Niel Asher Education
Niel Asher Education is a leading provider of distance learning and continued education courses.
Established in the United Kingdom in 1999, we provide course and distance learning material for therapists and other healthcare professionals in over 40 countries.
Our courses are accredited by over 90 professional associations and national accreditation institutions including the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). Full details of all international course accreditations can be found on our website.
Printed course materials and other products offered on our websites are despatched worldwide from our 3 locations in the UK (London), USA (Pennsylvania) and Australia (Melbourne).
We are honored to have received the "Excellence in Education" Award from the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists.
Since 1999 Niel Asher Education has won numerous awards for education and in particular for education and services provided in the field of trigger point therapy.
Award Winning Instructors
Niel Asher Healthcare course instructors have won a host of prestigious awards including 2 lifetime achievement honorees - Stuart Hinds, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, AAMT, 2015, and Dr. Jonathan Kuttner, MD, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, NAMTPT, 2014.
If you are a qualified/licensed manual therapist or exercise/fitness professional you can expand your credentials with NAT certification.
In addition to national accreditation for continued education, each course that we offer includes "NAT Learning Credits". By taking and completing courses you can accumulate NAT credits to qualify for NAT certification.
There are currently 3 levels of NAT certification. Certifying NAT is a valuable way to show your clients that you take continued education seriously, and to promote your skills and qualifications.
Most of our courses are accredited for CE/CPD/CPE. A full list of CE accreditations can be found by clicking on the link below.
Niel Asher Technique
Since 1999 the Niel Asher Technique for treating trigger points has been adopted by over 100,000 therapists worldwide, and has been applied to the treatment of a number of common musculoskeletal injuries.
The Niel Asher Technique for treating frozen shoulder was first introduced and published in 1997 and has been widely adopted by therapists and exercise professionals working within elite sports and athletics.
Most of our courses are available as either "Printed" or 'Download" editions, wherever you live. Internet connection is required to access online and downloadable material.
When you purchase a download edition, you receive immediate lifetime access to all course material. Course texts can be downloaded and printed if required.
When you purchase a "Printed" edition, you will also receive free access to the download edition.
We ship Worldwide from locations in the USA, UK, and Australia. Most items are despatched within 24 hours and shipping is FREE for all orders over US$50.
Where to Start?
We offer a range of over 50 courses, presented by some of the worlds leading manual therapists. All courses are reviewed annually, and new courses are regularly added.
Our courses are modular, and designed to build on what you already know. For more information, please visit our "Where to Start?" page.
This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell.