Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy
performed by Jeffrey A. Lutz, CMTPT
Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy is a comprehensive therapy specifically for muscle pain and dysfunction.
Trigger points are areas within a muscle which refer pain to other parts of the body. This is called referred pain.
"We believe a good therapist can
help their patients when they hurt,
but a great therapist empowers
people to help themselves."
Referred pain is nothing new. The most common referred pain is from the heart. When a person is having a heart attack they will feel pain in the chest and down the left arm. Since the heart is located in the thoracic cavity it is difficult to understand how pain may be felt in the left arm. It is because of the interaction the heart has with the central nervous system.
When pain is coming from the heart, or any other organ, it is called visceral pain. When pain comes from the skeletal muscle it is called myofascial or musculoskeletal pain. Just as the heart has a very specific pain pattern when something is wrong, so does skeletal muscle. It is the recognition of this pain and its symptoms that point to the muscle(s) causing the condition.
When it comes to muscle pain it is important to realize that pain is referred from its source to another area (where you feel it) about 85% of the time. This is why simply treating the area that hurts only provides temporary relief.
Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists follow a protocol for treating myofascial pain. The protocol works to restore the range of motion of the muscles and joints, thus reducing pain and restoring function. Another aspect of trigger point therapy is patient/client education and participation in the healing process. Our goal is always to release people from care with the understanding of how to easily manage their condition. We believe a good therapist can help their patients when they hurt, but a great therapist empowers people to help themselves.
Jeff Lutz is a Board Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist. He has been in practice since 2001 and has attended over 200 hours of continuing education. Jeff also served on the board of the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists (NAMTPT) for 5 years, serving as the public relations officer and vice president and is the current Editorial Advisor for www.LearnSprayAndStretch.org, a website run by a multidisciplinary group of health care practitioners who aim to educate the healthcare community on myofascial pain and trigger points.
To book an appointment with Jeff, please call 724-853-2353.
To contact Jeff by email, click here.
Find A Qualified Therapist
Don't just find a therapist - find a qualified one. It is of great importance to find a practitioner who knows about Myofascial Pain as well as what other conditions can cause a similar set of symptoms. The credential 'CMTPT' stands for Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist and is the credential used in this office.
A therapist with this credential knows muscular pain patterns very well. They are, however, not the only ones. The next closest thing to a CMTPT is a Neuro Muscular Therapist (NMT) trained by Judith Walker DeLany.
There are, without a doubt, other qualified practitioners out there, but these are the ones we are confident to refer simply because we know what they do and their quality of education. It is in the opinion of this practice that if you can find a therapist with either of these credentials, they will be able to handle the majority of muscle pain cases.
If you are looking for a CMTPT, and are not in the Greensburg/Laurel Mountain area, please visit the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists (NAMTPT) to find a therapist near you.
If there is not a therapist in your area, then please try the Neuro Muscular Therapists' web site.
Other practitioners who may be able to help are massage therapists and physical therapists. The big difference here is the training aspect. Myofascial pain due to trigger points are not covered heavily in massage or physical therapy schools, but some practitioners have taken it upon themselves to add this very valuable tool to their practice. If you are looking to utilize the services of one of these professionals it would be helpful to first interview the therapist. From what we have seen, the majority of the physical therapists who utilize this type of approach are in private practice and not with the large PT practices. Of course the best way to know is by getting a referral from a friend/family member or a physician who is very familiar with muscle pain treatments.
Chiropractors can be very useful in treating pain, but not necessarily myofascial pain due to trigger points unless they are addressing the trigger points along with adjusting the spine. There are some chiropractors who do an incredible job on myofascial pain, but there are those who believe the spine is the root of the muscle problem. This has been dispelled in research. A trigger point is a neuromuscular condition, not a spinal condition. Chiropractors are great at treating joint conditions, which need manipulation to return to working order. At this practice we caution patients of chiropractic doctors who treat pain for unreasonable amounts of time or ones who want signed contracts for 'wellness plans'.
Since every case is different, it is difficult to say what is an “unreasonable amount of time”. If a person is not better in 4-6 months (which is being very generous with time) there is usually something else wrong and the patient should be referred to another health care practitioner for evaluation. Insurance companies (personal injury such as auto, work comp, etc...) only allow 6 months of treatment before they begin a process called “peer review” and begin to question the practice of the provider.
Last, but not least, are physicians. Unfortunately it is difficult to find a doctor who is familiar enough with muscle pain to trust with your case. Doctors are great at many things, but seem to fall by the wayside when it comes to Myofascial Pain Syndrome. The majority of mainstream medical doctors will write a prescription for pain medication, which is fine to get through a day here and there, but is not fine for long term use. It is important to find the source of pain and eliminate it. Using pain medication for long term use is sort of like smashing the fire detector instead of putting out the fire.
The cost of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy is generally an out-of-pocket expense. Many practitioners who practice with these types of pain patients, physicians included, do not participate in insurance plans due to the lack of reimbursement provided by the insurance companies. Keep in mind that a notable therapist will have your condition well managed in no more than 6-8 visits for the average case, and many times even sooner. Most therapists charge in the range of $60-$90 per 1 hour session and some more/less depending on geographical location and demographics.
Also, to help with uncovered medical costs, this practice along with many others accept payment from employer contribution accounts, such as HRA's, HSA's, and FSA's as well as all major credit cards. We also treat those who have been injured in car accidents and on the job, which insurance covers at 100%. Be sure to visit the fee schedule and value programs pages for this practice if you are in the Greensburg/Laurel Mountain/Pittsburgh (Western PA) area.
by Erica Carole
Massage is sought out for many reasons as the therapeutic effects are wide ranging. The majority of people who visit this practice seek massage as a treatment for transient aches and pains as well as to serve as a maintenance program to keep their pain from returning. For many years massage has been utilized as a form of therapeutic bodywork and requires the skill of touch to be performed effectively.
The Pain Treatment & Wellness Center is proud to have massage therapist Erica Carole. Erica has been practicing massage for 3 years. She also engages herself in an avid workout routine and is a proponent for fitness. Erica specializes in athletic/sports massage and is also certified in pregnancy massage.
Pregnancy Massage is offered by Erica Carole, CMT. Erica is CERTIFIED to perform pregnancy massage.
After a woman passes the 1st trimester of pregnancy, she may then safely seek massage services. Pregnancy massage is to help with the many changes that take place to the physical body to help it cope with additional weight, different balance, etc... Please call or email Erica for more details.
Call 724-853-2353 to schedule an appointment with Erica today!
Rates$60.00 1 Hour
$35.00 1/2 Hour