Karen Gallagher OTR/L, CHT, CMTPT
Occupational therapist, Certified Hand Therapist, Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist
I believe trigger point deactivation tools and the knowledge to use them correctly should be found in every home and gym. They should be incorporated with cardiovascular exercise, stretching, strengthening and good nutrition to maintain an active pain free life style at any age.
As an Occupational Therapist/Certified Hand Therapist I have been working directly with Hand and Upper Extremity Surgeons in outpatient orthopedic settings for the last 25 years. I specialize in hand and upper quadrant injuries including tendon and nerve repairs; wrist, finger, and elbow fractures; and pain problems including Tennis Elbow, Golfers Elbow, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, De Quervain's Tenosynovitis, and Thumb CMC Joint Arthritis. 75% of my patients suffer from pain related to overuse injury or from a more severe trauma-related injury. For the more difficult cases, I found that the traditional therapy methods were not effective enough, so I began studying and working with a Trigger Point Methodology 17 years ago. As my skills improved, the numerous doctors with whom I worked began noticing! My patients were getting better. Plain and simple It works! A common comment from patients receiving the treatment was “this makes so much sense, why is this the first time I have heard of this form of treatment." Due to my great success and strong belief in using this methodology, I became certified in Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy (Myopainseminars.com), which expanded my expertise to the entire body.
I became even more passionate about trigger point therapy after I lived through chronic pain problems of my own. Because of poor work ergonomics, overuse related to weekend warrior activities, and carpooling 20 hours per week, I suffered severe pains in both arms, which were similar to the problems in my patients. The pain was so debilitating that I became very depressed, not only because of the pain, but also because of the doubts with my skills. How can I help others with their pain when I could not even help myself? So I focused on learning everything that I could about trigger points, and happily my arms have been pain free for 10 years. Since then I have used trigger point methodology to relieve my sciatica and back pain, headaches, and plantar fasciitis. I no longer have fear, anxiety, or depression when I have an ache or pain, as I have confidence in knowing how to fix it! Trigger point treatment enabled me to complete my first sprint triathlon at age 54.
I also specialize in analyzing ergonomics and educating patients on what they might be doing which could be contributing to or aggravating the pain. I believe that this is a big key to getting better, since you cannot fully get rid of the trigger points causing the pain unless you can also identify and change the poor movement patterns.
I emphasize education, using materials that allow you to extrapolate the concepts so that you can treat your own symptoms as they arise. My goal is to empower you to manage your aches and more serious pain issues.
I believe that trigger point therapy should be practiced in every home and gym. It should be a fundamental part of a complete program, which should consist of cardiovascular exercise, stretching , strengthening, nutrition and trigger points! Trigger point therapy does not replace Physical Therapy, Chiropractic treatments, or Physical Trainer services. It only supplements and enhances them.
Professional member of National Association of Myofascial Trigger Therapists