Topic: Trigger Point Therapy
Below you will find an easy to read transcript of Dr. Chris Serafini’s interview on the razorcast™ monthly podcast. You can click to listen to the podcast or simply read the easy to follow transcripts below. Enjoy!
RC: Hello everyone, this is Liz Harvey coming to you from our razorcast™ studios in New York City where we are dedicated to bringing you top quality advice from many of the leading expert professionals across the United States.
In today’s episode we are speaking with Dr. Chris Serafini. Dr. Serafini is the founder of Valley Spinal Care Kierland in Scottsdale, Arizona. A Pennsylvania native, Dr. Chris Serafini is a graduate of Life University in Georgia, though you may best know him from his Channel 3 health news series, “12 Days to Fitness.” Dr. Serafini has also served as the Official Chiropractor of the Gateway Pro Golf Tour.
Dr. Serafini is widely considered to be one of the top chiropractors in the country and he is also a contributing member of our national network of industry professionals.
Today we are going to talk about a very important topic: Trigger Point Therapy
RC: Hi Dr. Serafini how are you today?
Dr. Chris Serafini: I’m great Liz how are you?
RC: I’m good thank you.
Question 1: How do you define a Trigger Point?
RC: So the first question is: How do you define a trigger point?
Dr. Chris Serafini: A trigger point is a specific area in the muscle where the fibers are overactive and cannot relax or release from their contracted state. Most of us, at some point in time, we refer to these as ‘knots’ but typically, that’s what a trigger point is. It’s a contraction, it’s a muscle spasm that just kind of (more or less) won’t let go.
Question 2: Can trigger point pain spread?
RC: Okay and can trigger point pain spread?
Dr. Chris Serafini: Yea, great question. It absolutely can. We call that the referred pain pattern. So a lot of times, you can have a trigger point in one area and when it’s actually worked on or if irritated, you can actually feel that pain in another area – also references a referenced pain pattern. A lot of time when you’re working the trapezius area, you might work in the lower part of the neck but a lot of times you’ll have a referred pain pattern up onto the skull area – which is kind of interesting but really that happens a lot.
Question 3: Are there any common activities or (lack of activity for that matter) that might cause trigger point pain?
RC: That is interesting. So are there any common activities or (lack of activity for that matter) that might cause trigger point pain?
Dr. Chris Serafini: Yeah, sometimes over-use will do it. You know, you keep using those muscles over and over and over and that will cause the disruption or the spasms and knots in there. Also there’s a condition that we reference in our office as “forward head posture.” I mean, today in society, we’re always holding our heads in front of us – whether that’s working at a computer, looking at smartphones or other devices. It’s like holding a bowling ball out in front of your body. You hold that bowling ball above your body a lot easier than if you’re holding it in front and as you hold that head which weighs anywhere from eight to fourteen pounds, you hold that in front of you and those upper back muscles are trying to pull that head back over top of the shoulders. Most of the time that is what everyone refers to as the knots or they hold all their stress in their shoulders and upper back but a lot of time, that is what’s happening. They don’t realize that they’re holding their head in a forward head posture causing that.
Question 4: What does trigger point therapy entail?
RC: Alright and what does trigger point therapy entail?
Dr. Chris Serafini: Trigger point therapy for us, we usually use a lot of massage. We also use an instrument called a precusser. We use that instrument which is just really a vibrational instrument. We do that on the trigger point. What we are trying to do is really break up that spasm. I use the analogy of like a woman when she first starts to comb her hair how she can’t really get the brush through it very well but as she starts to comb more and more and more she kind of breaks through and then it gets nice and soft and she can pass the comb through easily. It’s kind of what you’re trying to do with the muscle as well. We also use cold light lasers. Those are phenomenal instruments to try and help break up the muscle spasm as well. But all three of those are really what we use.
Question 5: How can trigger point therapy be effective and yet medication, physical therapy or surgery may fall short?
RC: Okay and lastly how can trigger point therapy be effective and yet medication, physical therapy and surgery may just fall short?
Dr. Chris Serafini: Great question. Obviously medication is really only helping the symptom. It’s not treating the cause or anything. Physical therapy is a great modality but it’s really used to strengthen muscle and the trigger point really doesn’t have anything to do with strengthening it. We want to try and really get that contraction to relax. Then surgery, I don’t even really know of anyone having surgery on a trigger point that would be like killing a mosquito with a shot gun so I really don’t think that’s necessary.
RC: Okay well thank you so much Dr. Serafini. We know you are extremely busy so I just want to thank you for your time and help today.
Dr. Chris Serafini: Absolutely, I’m glad we could help.
RC: Thanks and for our listeners across the country, if you are interested in speaking with Dr. Chris Serafini, you can either go online at www.TheScottsdaleChiropractor.com or call (480) 443-7678 to schedule an appointment.
On behalf of our entire team at razorcast™, we want to thank you for listening and we look forward to bringing you more top quality content from our country’s leading industry professionals.