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Knots and Trigger Point Pain Explained

A knot or trigger point can be painful on compression and can give rise to characteristic referred pain and tenderness.

What is a trigger point or “knot” in a muscle?

A trigger point (also known as a knot, myofascial trigger point or contraction nodule) is a very irritable spot in your muscle that is associated with a hypersensitive nodule within a taut band of muscle. This spot can be painful on compression and can give rise to characteristic referred pain and tenderness.

Trigger points can be latent (inactive) where they cause stiffness to movement (e.g. trigger points around the shoulder blade area may cause stiffness in the neck and shoulders), but they are not painful. Active trigger points not only cause stiffness to movement, but also cause pain.

Severity of symptoms from trigger points can vary greatly, from the agonising and incapacitating pain caused by active trigger points, to the painless restriction of movement from latent trigger points which can often be over looked.

There are around 400 muscles in the body, making up around 50% of your body weight, so this amount of tissue can have a huge impact on your movement and pain! In one study, around 50% of non-symptomatic young adults had latent trigger points in their shoulder. We know the incidence of musculskeletal pain and dysfunction in older populations is even higher!

How do trigger points become activated?

A trigger point is usually activated through some form of muscle overload, or by leaving a muscle in a shorted position for a prolonged period of time (such as poor posture or sleeping position). Consider dysfuntion due to a stroke and loss of normal movement due to osteporotic spinal changes. These can all contribute to tight muscles and painful trigger points.

Sudden activation of a trigger point can occur following a one-time trauma (such as lifting something heavy). A trigger point may also be activated gradually due to chronic overload (such as poor posture or repetitive tasks). Nervous tension associated with emotional stress can also induce trigger points, as can direct cooling of the skin (e.g. exposure to a cold draft). Onset of pain following activation of a latent trigger point due to muscle overload may be delayed as long as 12 to 20 hours. Other factors such as depression, vitamin or mineral deficiencies can also increase the likelihood of having trigger points.

How can painful trigger points be treated?

The provision of ongoing therapeutic pain management services is supported via the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) where a clinical need for onging treatment is identified. This type of chronic muscular pain and stiffness is very common!  Treatment for trigger point pain needs to address the trigger point itself, as well as the factors which activated it.

If you only treat the trigger point itself, the causative factors will remain and the trigger point will be reactivated. Many people assume muscula pain will resolve on its own, but that is often not the case especially for our clients with limited mobility.

Trigger points can be released using massage techniques such as trigger point pressure release, dry needling, deep massage or contract and release methods.

Depending on the area of your pain and the underlying causes, your therapist will determine corrective options such as massage and exercises to help manage your pain. All Encara therapists are skilled at localising trigger points as well as performing various treatment methods to alleviate your symptoms of pain and stiffness. Encara deliver these services via our ACFI pain management program at residential nursing facilities across Australia. Encara also support clients living in the community with the support of a home care package (HCP).

If you’d like to learn more please call 1300 761 965 or contact us here

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Safron Ealden

Business Development Lead - Home Care & NDIS

My name is Safron; I joined Encara in 2022 working in intake and customer service. Through my time at Encara, I gained valuable insight into the operation of our Home Care and NDIS services and moved into my current role as Business Development Lead promoting allied health services to the vulnerable people of our community through all funding streams including HCP, NDIS and privately funded services.

In my spare time I enjoy photography, weightlifting and spending time with my family. 

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Carlos Macias

Deputy State Manager QLD

My name is Carlos Macias, and I have been working as a physiotherapist for over 10 years. My initial influence was centred around elite athlete recovery programs, which included opportunities be involved with the Ethiopian Athletics Federation and the Ultraman World Championships in Hawaii. 

Moving to Australia from my home in Madrid, Spain, has allowed me to step into the Aged and Community sectors with Encara. This has been a welcome change of pace and it is some of the most rewarding work I have ever done. I love that we impact people’s lives, and most of all I am passionate about helping my clients maintain their independence and extend their time living at home surrounded by family. 

In my role as Deputy Queensland State Manager, I support our team of therapists in Queensland and manage the service delivery to all of our Queensland Aged Care clients. I think we have a great team, it’s always a great atmosphere, and I am very grateful for the vital work that each one of them do every day. 

In my spare time, I love spending time with my family and learning lessons from my young son every day.  My weekend activities include running or cycling and trying out the local cafes for my favourite meal time, breakfast, which always starts with a double shot latte.

Chelsea Bennett-Hall

Business Development Lead - Home Care & NDIS

My name is Chelsea; Since joining the Encara team in 2019 as a Rostering Administrator, I’ve transitioned into the role of Business Development Lead for the Home Care and NDIS Divisions.

As a proud member of the Encara family, my primary focus is connecting families with the best experts to empower the aged and disAbled communities, promoting their happiness, well-being, and independence. Through collaborative efforts with Encara’s allied health team and industry partners, I am enthusiastic about crafting innovative solutions that elevate the quality of care and support available to those in need.

You’ll often find me exploring the outdoors when I’m not working, accompanied by my sweet Italian Greyhound companion. Otherwise, I love indulging in Brisbane’s restaurants and travelling to new places where I can witness the sunset over the ocean.

Jenae Bryson

Talent Acquisition Partner

My name is Jenae; I have been with the Encara team since 2019; having experienced many roles within the company; I have gained exposure to rostering, claims and billing and, since 2020, Recruitment.

My current position as Talent Acquisition Partner allows me to work with therapists nationwide to find their ideal role. I love that placing therapists in Residential Aged Care and Community settings provides our clients access to Allied Health Services, vital for mobility, independence and re-ablement. We aim to encourage a Happy, Healthy and Independent workforce nationally.

Kylie Lewis

National Quality and Service Development Manager

BPHTY, LEVEL II PILATES INSTRUCTOR

Kylie has over 10 years’ experience working as a physiotherapist across a variety of clinical settings including private hospitals, private practice, aged care, and community and home care settings.

Her passion for pursuing a physiotherapy career stemmed from her experience as a competitive swimmer where she had extensive exposure to injury prevention and management.

Kylie has a drive towards leadership and enjoys the opportunity to support the health and wellbeing of Encara’s clients.

Hoan

SA/WA State Manager

Hoan has a passion for hands-on treatment, rehabilitation and healthy ageing.

Having experienced working with a broad range of clients in culturally diverse environments, Hoan found aged care to be his area of choice. He values making a positive impact on the physical well being and quality of life of the elderly.

Luke

State Manager Victoria/ACT & Sth NSW

Luke joined the Encara team in 2016 having previously worked in a hospital, aged care and community settings.

Luke is driven to achieve the best outcomes for our most vulnerable Australian demographic with a particular passion for falls management and orthopaedic rehabilitation. With a collaborative multidisciplinary approach, Luke strives to mentor those involved in all aspects of client care in order to optimise physical function and quality of life within the aged care setting.

Luke is passionate about the development of young leaders and the growth of those within his team. During the summer weekends, you can find Luke playing cricket or attending live music with friends.

Rachel

Education Coordinator

Rachel is a bubbly and passionate Physiotherapist with over 10 years’ experience in the industry. She spent the majority of her career working in private practice and has a real passion for sports physiotherapy after growing up competing as a New Zealand gymnast for many years. However, her interest in aged care was sparked after moving to Australia and joining Encara!

Rachel believes in “move it or lose it”, bringing positive energy to everyone she works with. She loves working as part of a team and is equally passionate about helping to mentor, educate and train everyone in the Encara Family.

Matthew

National Clinical and Customer Experience Manager

Matthew has over 10 years of experience in physiotherapy and has been in a management role with Encara since 2015. He completed a Bachelor of Health Science (Musculoskeletal Therapy) before continuing his study with a Master of Physiotherapy Studies.

Matthew spent his first years in private practice and with state and national sporting teams before changing his focus to aged care. Matthew was very close with his grandparents growing up and has found working in aged care truly rewarding. He promotes a caring, positive and professional culture across Encara. 

Melanie

General Manager

Melanie joined the Encara family in 2017 in the newly created role of Business Development Consultant. Since commencing at Encara, Melanie progressed into the role of Business Development Manager overseeing the onboarding of new clients in the Aged Care and Home Care Division, as well as operational oversight and growth of Encara Healthcare. Melanie moved into the role of General Manager in April 2022 where her focus is on the administrative operations of the Encara business.

Melanie has over 11 years of experience within the healthcare sector, from large corporate healthcare organisations to smaller private businesses.

Melanie values learning and developing her skill set from the guidance of industry experts and leaders, as well as her Encara family. In her spare time, Melanie enjoys staying active, dining out, and spending time with her family and close friends.

Peter O'Brien

Director

My name is Peter O’Brien, and I am one of the founding directors of Encara and a qualified physiotherapist. With over 20 years of experience in the field, I am proud to have built a team of skilled professionals who share my passion for helping people improve their physical health and wellbeing. Whether you or a loved one require NDIS therapy support, home care, or aged care services, we are here to help.

Ongoing education and training are essential for providing the highest quality care and exceptional customer experience to our clients, and I encourage all members of my team to pursue professional development opportunities whenever possible.

Encara has become a trusted name in Allied Health services across Australia with our national coverage and dedication to excellence. Our goal is to help our clients be healthy, happy and independent, regardless of their age or physical abilities.

Bradley Packer

Director

My name is Bradley, one of the founding directors of Encara and a qualified physiotherapist. I love that Encara’s people make a positive impact in their local communities every day. Whether preventing falls at home, delivering convenient therapy support to NDIS participants, or creating successful partnerships with aged care providers, I’m proud to help others feel happy, healthy and independent. At Encara, my focus is on the continued improvement and growth of Encara, to impact more people across Australia.

As Encara celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2024, I’m exceptionally proud of the careers we have launched and advanced with our industry-leading continuing professional development (CPD) programs.

I’m excited to apply Encara’s uniquely deep expertise to create outstanding customer experiences and clinical results for people in need nationwide.

Candice Wilson

Business Development Lead - Residential Aged Care

My name is Candice; I joined the People and Talent team at Encara in 2022 as Talent Acquisition Partner, managing the end to end recruitment and onboarding process to support the Encara team nationally. Through my time at Encara, I gained valuable insight into the operations and moved into my current role as Business Development Lead for Residential Aged Care, connecting with facilities nationwide to support residents with Encara’s RAC & Wellness Programs.

I have over ten years of experience in global leadership roles and have worked in Business Development across Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. I love to travel and connect with people of all cultures and backgrounds. My spare time is spent hanging out with my animals at my Hobby Farm in the Scenic Rim.

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