Trigger Point Therapy

How to Self-Treat the Cause of 75% of Your Pain

trigger point therapyDo you suffer from aching “knots” in your neck, shoulders and arms, your mid and lower back, or even your hips and legs? These knots are also known as “trigger points,” and if left untreated they can become a center for irritation and inflammation in your muscles and nerves.

This ongoing inflammation leads to fibrosis, which thickens your connective tissues. Thicker connective tissue is less flexible, leading to a vicious cycle of additional irritation, tension, and pain as your body pulls on each trigger point.

What You Need to Know About Trigger Points

It’s possible to have one trigger point, but most people have many. In fact, they are incredibly common. As written in the journal Drugs:[i]

“Muscular pain is often attributed to a myofascial [muscle tissue and the connective tissue in and around it] pain disorder, a condition originally described by Drs Janet Travell and David Simons. Among patients seeking treatment from a variety of medical specialists, myofascial pain has been reported to vary from 30% to 93% depending on the subspecialty practice and setting.

Forty-four million Americans are estimated to have myofascial pain … myofascial pain disorders are characterised by the presence of tender, firm nodules called trigger points. Within each trigger point is a hyperirritable spot, the ‘taut-band’, which is composed of hypercontracted extrafusal muscle fibres. Palpation of this spot within the trigger point provokes radiating, aching-type pain into localised reference zones.”

BUST Painful Muscle Knots in Seconds… CLICK THE PICTURE ABOVE to Discover the Trigger Point Self-Treatment System Right Now!

When in the “active” phase, trigger points are very painful, although the pain may be “referred pain,” meaning it can be felt in seemingly unrelated parts of your body, and even cause surprising symptoms you do not associate with a “knot” in your muscle, such as headaches and joint pain. As the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists explains:[ii]

“The active trigger point referral symptom may feel like a dull ache, deep, pressing pain, burning, or a sensation of numbness and fatigue. It can also cause sweating, tearing of eyes, goosebumps and dizziness. The affected dense, shortened muscles, laden with taut bands may even compress and entrap nerves, leading to another secondary set of symptoms.

If unaddressed or ineffectively treated, eventually, other muscles around the dysfunctional one may be required to “take up the slack”, becoming stressed and developing secondary trigger points. It is not unusual for chronic pain patients to have multiple, overlapping referred pain patterns, making diagnosis and treatment more complex.”

Trigger points have been linked to chronic back pain, recurrent migraines, and even heartburn, toothaches and jaw pain.

You can also have “latent” trigger points, which you are probably unaware that you have because they do not cause pain unless you press on them directly. However, a latent trigger point can lead to muscle stiffness and weakness, or even restricted movement, and they can become active again when your muscles are stressed or overworked, you’re fatigued or fighting off an infection, under a lot of emotional stress, and so on.

For instance, if you wake up one morning to find your back has “gone out” again, it could be due to a latent trigger point that has re-surfaced and become active.

The Many Common Causes of Trigger Points

Trigger points are so common because they occur when an area of your body is injured or over-worked — and this refers to not only strains from physical work but also from lack of use, sedentary behavior, a long commute or too much time spent sitting, nutritional deficiencies, emotional stress, lack of sleep, and much, much more.

trigger point therapyIt takes only a single incident, such as a car accident, fall or sports injury, to initiate a trigger point, but they can also develop slowly over time from everyday occurrences such as:

  • Typing on your computer
  • Carrying a heavy purse or briefcase
  • Lifting your baby or toddler
  • Poor posture
  • Sitting for long periods in poorly designed furniture
  • Tensing or clenching your muscles due to anxiety or emotional stress

In the cases above, your altered patterns of movement put abnormal stress on your muscles, ligaments and joints. This leads to strength and flexibility imbalances in your muscles as well as postural dysfunctions throughout your body.

This “use-abuse-disuse” scenario creates more trigger points in other areas and a vicious pain cycle begins. Before you know it, you’ve developed clusters of active and latent trigger points. You’ve also given up doing the things you love to do because it simply hurts too much.

Conventional trigger point therapy involves the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, injections and even antidepressants, which may temporarily relieve pain but do nothing to heal the trigger point, or prevent more from developing. Further, oftentimes trigger points are completely missed as your source of pain, because you could be feeling pain in your buttocks, hip or even down your leg but the actual trigger point needing to be released is located in your lower back.

Many health care professionals assume the problem is where the pain is, and never address the underlying trigger point that’s causing the pain.

Unfortunately, trigger points are still not widely recognized by conventional physicians, even though researchers wrote nearly a decade ago:

“The treatment of myofascial pain disorders requires that symptomatic trigger points and muscles are identified as primary or ancillary pain generators.”[iii]

Use the Therapy That Solved President John F. Kennedy’s Chronic Back Pain

The link between trigger points and pain was first discovered by Dr. Janet Travell, who went on to write “The Trigger Point Manual” with her colleague Dr. David Simons. Dr. Travell was also former president Kennedy’s personal physician, and is credited with helping him relieve his chronic, disabling back pain.[iv]

Dr. Travell discovered that deep manual pressure applied to trigger points had a dramatic therapeutic effect by quickly eliminating pain. In fact, research shows that sustained manual trigger point therapy is a very effective means of getting rid of chronic myofascial (muscle and tissue) pain. For instance, a study published in October 2011 concluded manual treatment of active trigger points helped reduce shoulder pain and pressure sensitivity in shoulder impingement. [v]

Today, you can go to a massage therapist, physical therapist, chiropractor or even a trigger point specialist to receive manual trigger point therapy, but the success of the treatment depends on the skill level of the practitioner — and well-trained trigger point therapists are very hard to come by, not to mention expensive.

The Trigger Point Self-Treatment System is a welcome alternative, because not only is it incredibly effective, it allows you to lie down and relax while you essentially melt your pain away in the comfort of your own home.

You Can Self-Treat Your Trigger Points in Your Own Home

Developed by a board-certified neurological chiropractor who sought relief for his own disabling low-back and chronic shoulder-arm pain, the Trigger Point Self-Treatment System allows you to identify and then pressure massage your trigger points in the comfort of your own home — as often as necessary.

The program’s unique, easy-to-use design helps you completely relax your muscles while you apply only the amount of deep therapeutic pressure needed, to your comfort level.

There are other hand-held devices available to treat trigger points. However, they require you to tighten your muscles to use, which prevents the deep massage needed to work out and actually “deactivate” your trigger points.

BUST Painful Muscle Knots in Seconds… CLICK THE PICTURE ABOVE to Discover the Trigger Point Self-Treatment System Now!

With the Trigger Point Self-Treatment System, you are in complete control. By simply using your body weight, you effortlessly melt your knots away while completely relaxing into the treatment platform. In less than 10 minutes a day, you can feel relief you probably have not known for years. Better still, the Trigger Point Self-Treatment System will release and deactivate your trigger points, thus relieving the underlying cause of your pain.

Isn’t it time you take back the pain-free life you deserve?

With just a few minutes a day you can be set free from your trigger point pain … and with the Trigger Point Self-Treatment System at your fingertips, you can pull it out any time you feel a trigger point developing, keeping trigger points at bay for the rest of your life.


Filed Under: Trigger Point Therapy
Written By:
Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT

Jesse is the co-founder and visionary CEO of The Healthy Back Institute®, the world-leading source of natural back pain solutions. His mission as a former back pain sufferer is to help others live pain free without surgery and pharmaceuticals.

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11 thoughts on “Trigger Point Therapy”

  1. Avatar Gwen Kopecky says:

    This is great information for me. I was reminded to use my SpineWorks board daily as an adjunct to PT phoresis-ultrasound and deep massage therapy. Thank you!

  2. Avatar Albert F. Chestone says:

    dEAR jESSE:

    1. Avatar Admin says:

      Hi Albert,

      Thank you for your question.

      The emphasis of what we teach is restoring balance to the body from a physical, nutritional and mind body point of view, so that the body can heal its self. So we do not always look at specific treatments based on a specific condition but rather, when you address root cause issues that is below the condition its self, the body will respond in a positive way…

      So in the case of Arachnoiditis there can be many triggers, and those (internal or environmental) trigger have to be recognized and eliminated from your everyday life.

      Further, one of the complication of Arachnoiditis is a build up of scar tissue, if that is the case for you, we support the use of a natural products in the form of Proteolytic Systemic Enzymes, they work great to help the body breakdown excess scar tissue and free up the entanglement of the nerves.

      I would also suggest you get a copy of our book, The 7 Day Back Pain Cure to learn more about what we call The Complete Healing Formula, you can get your free copy here:

      Thank you
      Admin (The Healthy Back Institute)

  3. Avatar Anne Smith says:

    Are there trigger points for plantar fasciitis?

  4. Avatar steve says:

    Sure any condition can cause trigger points to develop over time, but I would suggest addressing the “itis” before letting that trigger points develop… Heal n Soothe, Heating pads, Massage, compression stocking, shoe inserts any or all of the above, but get control of the itis ASAP…


  5. Avatar David says:

    Can you use a inversion table after a spinal fusion operations

    1. Avatar Steve says:

      David, No form of spinal decompression is advised after a spinal fusion operation…

      We suggest you read about our muscle balance therapy in side the Treatment tab up top of this page.

      Steven H.
      HBI – Staff

  6. Avatar Wazza says:

    Have had three Lumbar fusions, now with constant pain in the SI area, numbness and pain radiating down the right thigh. Would you be able to recommend something? a Physio told me the other day, your days of walking are over, use a zimmer frame am (66) male.
    He also said never do pool work or walk in water, loved crabbing in thigh deep water (minus the sharks that sometimes follow us in West Oz) Any help or advice?

    1. Avatar Admin says:

      HI Wazza,
      Thank you for your comment and explaining your pain. We believe education is key when dealing with back pain and a great starting point would be to get a copy of our free book the “7 Day Back Pain Cure” .

      The book discusses back pain issues,muscle imbalances, sciatica and related pains, various treatment options you can consider, pain relief suggestions, action plans and other helpful information for when dealing with pain. We do hope you find it useful.

      Do please read more details and lots of further information about the 7 Day Back Pain Cure book via the link below

      Our Best Wishes
      Admin (The Healthy Back Institute)

  7. Avatar Shivani Sharma says:

    Can this help with Idiopathic Scoliosis?

  8. Avatar Steve says:

    Shivani, If you have Trigger Points associated with your condition then addressing Trigger Points can improve the way you feel and function.


    Steve HBI-Staff

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Trigger Point Pain

By Steven Hefferon, PTA, CMT

Research by Drs. Janet Travell and David Simons, authors of “The Trigger Point Manual,” has shown that trigger points are the primary cause of pain at least 75 percent of the time and are a factor in nearly every painful condition. Learn more about trigger point therapy by this link: Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger points, a type of muscle stiffness, are the result of tiny contraction knots that develop in muscle and tissue when an area of the body is injured or overworked. Trigger points are something traditional doctors ignore, but they could be the one thing that has been overlooked in your case for years, if not decades.

A hallmark of trigger points is something called “referred” pain. This means that trigger points typically send their pain to some other place in the body, which is why conventional treatments for pain so often fail. Many health care practitioners wrongly assume that the problem is located where the pain is and therefore fail to assess the body correctly to find the cause of your pain.

I’m going to give you some valuable information about trigger points that I hope will encourage you to consider the possibility that trigger points may be the missing link in your quest for relief.

What triggers a trigger point?

Trigger points can occur as a result of muscle trauma (from car accidents, falls, sports- and work-related injuries, etc.), muscle strain from repetitive movements at work or play, postural strain from standing or sitting improperly for long periods at the computer, emotional stress, anxiety, allergies, nutritional deficiencies, inflammation, and toxins in the environment. A single event can initiate a trigger point, and you can suffer the effects for the rest of your life if that trigger point is not addressed properly.

Why trigger points cause trouble

Your body’s instinctive reaction to a harmful “event” is to protect itself. It does that by altering the way you move, sit, or stand, which puts abnormal stress on your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. This produces strength and flexibility imbalances in your muscles, as well as postural dysfunctions throughout your body.

Click Here to Learn How to Self Treat Trigger Points from Home

If that were not bad enough, your blood flow can become restricted and when that happens both your peripheral and central nervous systems will start to send out those “referred” pain signals, making assessment and treatment even trickier. That’s why some experts believe that trigger points are the beginning stage of fibromyalgia. Can things get even worse? Keep reading.

Here’s why you may be suffering

To better illustrate the process, here’s an example of how one trigger point in one muscle can cause back pain, sciatica, or a herniated disc. The most common place for a trigger point is in the muscle of the lower back called the quadratus lumborum (QL), which is located just above your hips. Regardless of what kind of event sparks the trigger point, your QL will gradually become dysfunctional – that is, the QL will tighten and shorten. And as you limit its use, it will weaken.

As the QL becomes increasingly dysfunctional, it will alter the position of the pelvis. As the pelvis becomes dysfunctional, it will force the spine into an abnormal curvature that will put abnormal pressure on the disc. Over time, the disc will begin to bulge. This situation will get progressively worse, affecting your overall quality of life. Depression often follows. All of this from a single event that occurred in one moment in time.

How do you know if you have trigger points?

Everyone has trigger points; the question is degree. If you have lingering pain, tightness, or restriction of certain movements, it is a good bet that you are experiencing the effects of a trigger point. Trigger points may produce symptoms as diverse as dizziness, earaches, sinusitis, nausea, heartburn, false heart pain, heart arrhythmia, genital pain, and numbness in the hands and feet.

Trigger points can bring on headaches, neck and jaw pain, low back pain, sciatica, tennis elbow, and carpal tunnel syndrome – you name it. They are the source of joint pain in the shoulder, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle that is often mistaken for arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, or ligament injury. If you think this is overkill, I suggest you read the book “Why We Hurt: A Complete Physical & Spiritual Guide to Healing Your Chronic Pain,” by Dr. Greg Fors, in which he explains precisely why so many different conditions are rooted in trigger points.

Here are a few more symptoms you should know about: If you have restless leg syndrome, you have TPs; if your teeth hurt, you have TPs; if your workouts have plateaued, you have TPs; if you have painful menses or irritable bowel syndrome, you have TPs.

How does Trigger Point Therapy work?

Simply rubbing the surface of the skin with a massage lotion, a vibrating massager – or using heat – will not change the tissue of a single trigger point. What it needs is sufficient deep sustained pressure to the “knotted-up area.” As you work the Trigger Point, your body will undergo soft tissue release, allowing for increased blood flow, a reduction in muscle spasm, and the break-up of scar tissue. It will also help remove any build-up of toxic metabolic waste.

Your body will also undergo a neurological release, reducing the pain signals to the brain and resetting your neuromuscular system to restore its proper function. In other words, everything will again work the way it should.

How long does it take to get relief?

The length of time it takes to release a trigger point depends on several factors, one of which is how long you have had your trigger point. Other factors include the number of trigger points you have, how effective your current treatment is, and how consistently you can administer or receive treatment.

Even if you are lucky enough to find a clinician who can properly assess your condition – let alone treat trigger points – it can be time-consuming and costly to pay someone to completely release all the primary, latent, and myofascial trigger points you may have in your body. You can try going to a massage therapist, but trigger points are very fickle; they need to be addressed daily using a technique that will apply the pinpoint pressure that is needed. Most likely it will be impractical to see a massage therapist frequently enough to get a trigger point to release.

An approach that makes sense

The basic idea is simple. First of all, a trigger point is only about the size of a mustard seed, which is one of the tiniest of all seeds. The idea is to put sustained pressure on the area for a set period of time on a regular basis. There are a number of techniques out there that you can employ to do this. The bottom line is that you need to take the initiative.

“There is no substitute for learning to control your own musculoskeletal pain,” says Dr. Simons. “Treating myofascial trigger points yourself addresses the source of that kind of common pain and is not just a way of temporarily relieving it.” In other words, you can fix your own trigger points better than anyone else – once and for all. Dr. Simons has it exactly right: You must educate yourself about your condition and then apply what you’ve learned. This runs counter to today’s conventional wisdom, which says that whenever we have a health issue, we should find someone to take care of the problem for us.

What I’m saying here is that you need to take responsibility for managing your own care. From time to time, of course, you may find you need help from medical professionals. But even so, the more you know, the better care you’re going to receive. This is naturally going to require some time and effort on your part, but the payoff will be faster with far better results.

Click Here to Learn How to Self Treat Trigger Points from Home

Learn How To Self Treat Your Trigger Points and Erase Your Pain in Just Minutes…

Did you know that in just minutes you can locate and self treat your trigger points? It’s true… you can get quick and lasting relief from all types of pain by using these simple self treatment techniques.

Click here to learn more about trigger point self treatment

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