Real Bodywork has released another medical related application for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad called Muscle Trigger Points. The app contains detailed references for the most common trigger points and referral patterns to over 70 muscles. There are over 100 trigger points with their corresponding referral patterns and each one includes a detailed image as well as written comments.
You may be asking: What exactly is a trigger point and why do I need to know about them? A trigger point is a tight area in a muscle that causes pain to be felt somewhere else in the body. So if a specific part of the body is hurting, this pain is often generated by a trigger point elsewhere; find and treat the trigger point to fix the problem.
The app uses yellow and blue indicator dots which link to specific muscle groups. The yellow dots are deep muscles not shown in the main graphic but are shown in the referral page. The blue dots are muscles that are both shown within the main graphic and the detailed reference pages. On the main graphic page that shows the full body you have 3 tab options: “Muscles” which shows you the dots referencing the muscle points, “Zones” which shows you broader areas of muscle points, or “List” which brings up a full rundown of all muscles within the app. The List view also contains a search option if you are looking for something specific.
Once a dot or zone is clicked, you are taken to a more detailed image pinpointing the trigger point (marked with an “X”). It also illustrates the surrounding pain that could be associated with that specific muscle by colored blue highlights. Within the detailed view you are provided another set of tabs: “Action” (the muscles purpose), “Referral” (where the pain could go), and “Comments” (any additional comments). The tab layout, along with the text is in optimum location and are thoughtfully integrated within the app. The use of a tab menu in the main graphic of the body, as well as the detailed “zoomed-in” view makes for easy navigation and use. This feature, along with the list view (with search function) made finding a specific muscle an easy task.
The main graphic view with the full body shown provides two views; a front and back. You have a green circle arrow that needs to be tapped to toggle between the two. Basic pinch and zoom functionality allows you to scan around, but only with the 2D image. You do NOT have full 3D capability with the human 3D model. I found myself wishing that you could navigate around the model in full 3D as opposed to 2D with a toggle tab that displays the front and back. Another limitation worth noting is the app does not include all muscles, just the most common ones.
Muscle Trigger Points is an app that should appeal to massage therapists or anyone else involved in treating muscular pain. I would think if you are in this field of expertise an app like this would come in handy from time to time, though I would want a full-referenced version that contained all muscles as well as 3D navigation to really get the most out of it. For the basic user that doesn’t have any experience or awareness of trigger points, the app is quite useful for identifying problem areas and gives us a great visual for pinpointing the problem. I found it very interesting and was unaware that trigger points can actually span across the whole body. For example an arm trigger point can have implications in the hand, and a neck trigger point can cause pain in the face surrounding the eye – who would’ve thought??!!!
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