A trigger point is a hyper-irritable spot, usually within a taut band of skeletal muscle or its fascia. It is point tender on site, often exhibits a predictable pain referral pattern and causes a shortening of the affected muscle(1). What does this mean? Let’s start with what fascia is. Fascia is the biological fabric that holds the body together, it’s a vast connective tissue network surrounding your muscles, joints, organs, nerves, blood vessels and bones(2)(3). It’s the shiny white film that’s on the chicken you eat.
When stressed of injured, muscles and fascia often form trigger points, that thing that feels like a “knot”(3). Trigger points can cause an array of symptoms including: pain, decreased range of motion and headaches.
Trigger points usually follow a predictable referral pattern. Trapezius for example refers around the ear in the shape of a question mark and may cause headaches
How trigger points are released:
Trigger point therapy is a technique, used by massage therapists and other health care professionals to release the contracted tissue. There are several techniques that may be used, the most common involves applying direct pressure to the trigger point until it releases, always working within the client’s pain threshold. Heat and stretching are also indicated and may be used to help eradicate a trigger point.
Think you might be suffering from knots or trigger points in your body? Don’t hesitate to book a massage today
1. Rattray, F., Ludwig, L. and Beglin, G. (2000). Clinical massage therapy. Toronto: Talus Inc.
2. Anatomy Trains. (2016). Fascia and Extra-Cellular Matrix – Stability and Movement. [online] Available at: https://www.anatomytrains.com/fascia/ [Accessed 28 Sep. 2016].
3. TPTherapy. (2016).[online] Available at: https://www.tptherapy.com/instructions/trigger_points [Accessed 28 Sep. 2016].
4. Anon, (2016). [online] Available at: 4. http://www.myofascialtherapy.org/myofascial-therapy/index.html [Accessed 28 Sep. 2016].