It was discovered that if a needle is placed into and stimulates a trigger point, the muscle contracts suddenly and then relax immediately. This is called “Local Twitch Response” or LTR. When LTR occurs, the pain cycle is broken and healing begins. This local twitch response can vary in intensity. Some are so small that only the patient can feel them. Others are large enough that the whole muscle and joint move. Through treating thousands of patients, Dr. Lee has found that the degree of relaxation of the muscles depends on the number and the magnitude of LTRs elicited. If enough strong LTRs are elicited, the muscle knots disappear and the tight muscle band softens -patients experience loosening of muscle tension, relief from pain and recovery of range of motion almost immediately.
Two Major Breakthrough Findings on Treatment of Myofascial Pain
- LTR is essential for immediate pain relief (Hong, 1994).
- Upon LTR, the chemicals that cause muscle contraction and pain disappear at active trigger points (Shah et al. 2003).