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October 2022

Probl Vet Med. 1992 Mar; 4(1): 117-24.

Trigger point therapy.

Janssens LA.

Referral Small Animal Surgery Center, Antwerp, Belgium.

Trigger points (TP) are objectively demonstrable foci in muscles. They are painful on compression and trigger pain in a referred area. This area may be the only locus of complaint in humans. In dogs we cannot prove the existence of referred zones of pain. Therefore, we can only diagnose a TP-induced claudication if we cannot find bone, joint, or neurologic abnormalities, and we do find TP that disappear after treatment together with the original lameness. Several methods have been developed to demonstrate TP existence objectively. These are pressure algometry, pressure threshold measurements, magnetic resonance thermography, and histology. In humans, 71% of the TP described are acupuncture points. TP treatment consists of TP stimulation with non-invasive or invasive methods such as dry needling or injections. In the dog, ten TP are described in two categories of clinical patients. First, those with one or few TP reacting favorably on treatment (+/- 80% success in +/- 2-3 weeks). Second, those with many TPs reacting badly on treatment. Most probably the latter group are fibromyalgia patients.

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