Spray and Stretch Technique

Spray and Stretch Technique for Myofascial Pain

Many of you may recall the name of Janet Travell. She was President Kennedy’s personal physician. It was Dr. Travell that developed the spray and stretch technique used today for trigger point therapy. The term “trigger point” was coined in 1942 by Dr. Janet Travell to describe a clinical finding related to a discrete, irritable point in the skeletal muscle or fascia. Trigger Point Therapy is safe and effective in improving myofascial pain syndromes such headaches from referred muscle dysfunction, tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, TMJ, fibromyalgia and any muscle dysfunction that may be encountered through injury or overuse. Mainstream clinical research has shown that trigger points are often responsible for headaches, muscle weakness and pain, restricted range of motion, tearing, sweating, salivation, dizziness and blurred vision. We have found that using a combination of the spray and stretch technique with acupuncture and chiropractic techniques have been able to help many acute and chronic disorders that may be recalcitrant to conventional medicine.

What Causes Trigger Points?

Normal, healthy muscles do not have trigger points. After experiencing trauma, such as a fall, car accident, joint sprain or abnormal excessive exercise, the muscles can develop trigger points. Trigger points may also develop in muscles that are chronically overloaded by poor posture, especially while working, or repetitive muscle movements such as sitting at a computer all day. Structural discrepancies, like uneven legs and pelvic bones, may produce a chronic mechanical stress that activates trigger points. This is why Travell prescribed left heel lifts for all of Kennedy’s shoes

How does the Spray and Stretch Technique Work?

As described by Dr. Travell, when spraying the skin surface the sudden drop in skin temperature is thought to produce a temporary anesthesia allowing the muscle to be passively stretched to inactivate or break down trigger points in the muscles. The spray and stretch technique uses a vapocoolant as a counterirritant to myofascial pain due to muscle spasm and trigger points. Using the spray and stretch technique decreases the pain sensation and helps in relieving muscle spasm and referred pain. Thus the spray and stretch technique can help in alleviating acute pain and restricted range of motion due to muscle trigger points associated with myofascial pain syndromes.

this article on spray and stretch technique is informational and not to be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition

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