Trigger Point Therapy Protocol for Rehabilitation of a Shoulder Injury

I have part two of Bill Huhn’s guest blog post on trigger point therapy and rotator cuff exercises.

In part one, Bill Huhn explained:

Why Your Clients Should Stop Exercising and Get Trigger Points Therapy

In this blog post, Bill gives his recommendation when rehabilitating the shoulder.

Bill Huhn’s Recommended Trigger Point Protocol for Rehabilitating Shoulder Issues

– Check all related muscles for TrPs (this includes the rotator cuff muscles (SITS), scapular suspension muscles and all muscles that may be an underlying cause to the perpetuation or recurrence of the issue(s).

If TrPs are found – work to remove them. Self-treatment can be effective or see a knowledgeable Trigger Point bodyworker. During this stage, you should cease exercising and stretching the muscles that contain the TrPs. This doesn’t mean stop all movement (not healthy for the muscle tissue), but severely limit the strain you place to the involved muscle(s). SITS muscles are relatively small, considering the work they must carry out every day and consequently highly susceptible to re-affliction if they are exercised or stretched while TrPs are present.

Keep those involved muscles warm! If you apply ice to the muscles with TrPs, the treatments will fail. The cold will cause muscular contraction and further “entrench” the TrPs, thereby causing perpetuation of the issue.

– Muscle is an organ and like any other organ in the body, when damaged, it needs time to heal. Once the TrPs are removed, you must wait at least 2 weeks prior to starting an exercise routine. (Caution – the shoulder issue may feel better, but there still may be TrPs present.) This is crucial to allow the afflicted muscle to heal and return to normal function. Once the muscle has healed I highly recommend finding a good trainer (preferably one who really knows shoulders) for the next part of your rehab. You must start very gently (shoulder issues are difficult to resolve because shoulders are easily re-injured) and slowly build-up the exercise routine. The muscles can now build mass and strengthen the shoulder area.

Note: The same protocol is used for TrPs throughout the body, however some muscles will actually benefit from very mild (preferably passive) stretching during the TrP treatment phase of the rehab.

Recall, no stretching for shoulder TrP issues.

William Huhn of

Trigger Point Bodyworker
NCBTMB Approved Provider

Thank you for reading.

If you are a fitness professional and looking for information on Bill Huhn’s trigger point courses, click here.

Until then, take care.

Rick Kaselj, MS