Home Brands Products Deals Promo Finder Store Features Forums Add Review What's Knoji? Sign Up Login

What Are Trigger Point and Are They Responsible for Pain and Discomfort?

Knoji reviews products and up-and-coming brands we think you'll love. In certain cases, we may receive a commission from brands mentioned in our guides. Learn more.
Trigger points are tight knots or fibrous bands that exist throughout our muscles. Active trigger points are the ones that cause pain and are usually tender to the touch. These points are called trigger points because they 'trigger' a painfu

Trigger points are specific, hyperirritable and hypersensitive areas in muscle that suffer from decreased circulation, increased contraction and spasm. Lack of circulation creates a high anomaly of toxins and increased nerve sensitivity that can range from low ache to sharp pain. These points are called trigger points because they "triggers" a painful response.

But a trigger point is more than a tender nodule. It affects not only the muscle where the trigger point is located, but also causes "referred pain" in tissues supplied by nerves.The daily clinical experience of thousands of massage therapists, physical therapists, and physicians strongly indicates that most of our common aches and pains — and many other physical complaints are actually caused by trigger points, or small contraction knots, in the muscles of the body.

Research shows that sustained manual trigger point therapy is by far the most effective means of getting rid of chronic myofascial (muscle and tissue) pain.

Trigger points differ from acupressure points.

Acupressure points are concentrations of energy or blockages of the body's energy pathways.

Trigger points are physical phenomena that can be felt by touch.

The purpose of trigger point therapy is to eliminate pain and to re-educate the muscles into pain-free habits. After several treatments, the swelling and stiffness of neuromuscular pain is reduced, range of motion is increased, tension is relieved, and circulation, flexibility and coordination are improved.

The pain caused by trigger points may be the biggest cause of disability and loss of time in the workplace.A trigger point (TrP) is a small patch of tightly contracted muscle, an isolated spasm affecting just a small patch of muscle tissue (not a whole-muscle spasm like a “charlie horse” or cramp10). That small patch of knotted muscle cuts off its own blood supply, which irritates it even more — a vicious cycle called “metabolic crisis.”

A collection of too many nasty trigger points is called myofascial pain syndrome (MPS).

Individual TrPs and MPS can cause a truly spectacular amount of discomfort — far more than most people believe is possible — as well as some surprising side effects.

What makes trigger points clinically important and fascinating is their triple threat. They can:

  • cause pain problems,                                 
  • complicate pain problems, and
  • mimic other pain problems.

Trigger points can cause pain directly. Trigger points are a “natural” part of muscle tissue. Trigger points complicate injuries. Trigger points show up in most painful situations like party crashers. Almost no matter what happens to you, you can count on trigger points to make it worse. They can form in response to virtually any other kind of problem. In many cases they actually begin to overshadow the original problem.

Trigger point therapy involves the applying of pressure to tender muscle tissue in order to relieve pain and dysfunction in other parts of the body. Sometimes massage and trigger point therapy are performed together. Trigger point therapy is also called myofascial trigger point therapy. It was developed by Dr. Janet Travel in the United States in the 1940s.

Everyone has trigger points; the question is to what degree. If you have lingering pain, tightness, or restriction of certain movements, you’re experiencing the effects of a trigger point.

Trigger points can be the root cause of any of these symptoms:

  •  dizziness
  •  earaches
  •  sinusitis
  •  heartburn
  •  neck and jaw pain
  •  heart arrhythmia
  •  genital pain
  •  numbness in hands or feet
  •  headaches
  •  restless leg
  •  low-back pain
  •  tennis elbow
  •  carpal tunnel
  •  joint pain
  •  toothache

When a trigger point tightens and spasms, it causes you pain. You alter your patterns of movement and new trigger points develop causing you more pain.

You need sufficient, sustained deep pressure on a regular basis to deactivate your trigger points. The Trigger Point Self-Treatment System is the complete system specifically designed to target, release and deactivate all your trigger points. It's the answer you’ve been looking for.

  • It is used to treat painful trigger points that cause referred pain.
  • It took a while to get the muscle in that condition, and it will likely take more than one massage to get rid of it.
  • These points are often areas of chronic "holding" and you need to learn how to move in different ways to keep them from recurring.
  • It will probably be uncomfortable.

Useful links:

* What Are Trigger Points?

* Trigger Point Massage Therapy

* Trigger Points and Referred Pain

* What Is Trigger Point Therapy?

* Trigger point manual (PDF -14 page report)


John Carter
Posted on Apr 2, 2019
Ron Siojo
Posted on Feb 14, 2011
carol roach
Posted on Feb 13, 2011

About This Article

Amera Khanam

Explore Top Fitness Equipment Brands

Expand more
Top-ranked fitness equipment brands