Trigger Points: Their Causes and How Massage Therapy Can Help

By March 20, 2021Blog, Massage
Trigger points: Their causes and how massage therapy can help

Trigger-points is a term that most people are familiar with, but when it comes to details like how they form and who to consult,  very few people have the know-how. Here is more information about how trigger points form, how you can relieve the pain including choosing best physiotherapy clinic for your treatment.

How trigger points develop

Trigger points are hyper-irritable locations in skeletal muscles. They form when the muscles become strained, injured, or traumatized, causing tiny tears on the soft tissue. When the tissue starts healing, it shrinks and forms a knot or becomes twisted. This will impair blood flow to the muscle cells, and the fibres may become shorter to protect themselves from more injuries.

Other factors that may cause trigger points are poor nutrition, mental stress, improper body mechanics, and emotional stress. All these can cause your muscles to restrict movement as they try to protect themselves and prevent more pain. When it happens, your range of motion becomes limited, and the chances of trigger points developing increase.

The skeletal muscles being the largest muscles in the body, also increase the chances of trigger points developing. These muscles make up at least 40% of the body weight. They are a total of 400 muscles, with 200 being paired muscles. Trigger points can form on any of them.

How to point out trigger points

Trigger points usually develop in the taut, knotted, or rope-like band of muscles. They are extra sensitive when touched, and sometimes the pain forms as a pattern. If you notice a specific area becoming extra sensitive, seek professional help to determine whether it is a trigger point or something else. In most cases, muscles that have been surgically operated on and those around joints tend to be more susceptible to trigger point development. It’s also easier to discover the points on some areas of the body, such as the shoulder muscles, than on other parts of the body. Regular stretching is a good way of discovering areas of your body that are more tense or likely to have the triggers.

Trigger points are also likely to develop on paired muscles than ones that aren’t paired. For instance, if they develop on your right side, another one is likely to develop on the corresponding left side as well. However, the pain will be more intense on the side that has more tender muscles. Massage therapy on the side that’s more painful will often provide some relief, but you should have both sides massaged for best results.

Effects of trigger points

These points usually cause your muscles to stiffen, thereby limiting your ability to move freely. Sometimes they cause spasms in the muscles or cause the muscles to tire quickly by preventing them from relaxing. Excessive muscle contraction and slow muscle recovery are other effects of triggers. Additionally, they could cause muscle imbalance and, in extreme cases, cause the joint to pop as you move.

You rely on your muscles to expand and contract as you move around. The points can keep your muscles from doing either. When you move against the will of your muscles, the trigger points become irritated, resulting in different levels of pain. You’ll not feel like moving to ease the pain. Trigger point massage is the best remedy to get you back on your feet. It works very well for myofascial pain, with patients experiencing relief in a day or two. At most, you’ll feel better in one week after starting the massage therapy.

How to perform trigger point massage

You should always get a trigger point massage from a qualified therapist in Ajax who knows the right approach to take to get you the relief you need quickly. If you can’t, the following tools should help you get rid of the pain and enhance comfort in your entire body.


The micro roll is a small item you can carry around easily. It is made with circular ridges that will get you the deep massage you need. The ridges allow the pressure to reach the intended muscles and make the massage more invigorating. The EVA foam used to make the roll is soft enough to make you comfortable but sturdy enough for the massage. The small size also allows you to move the MicroRoll easily in the intended areas. It is perfect for muscles in the arms and feet.

Thera Cane

It is one of the most popular massage therapy devices. It is perfect for areas you can’t easily reach with your hands, such as the back and the shoulder blades. It is also one of the massage devices with unique designs and multiple user options. It is easy to use and will apply deep pressure to the targeted areas. Thera Cane has one of the most comprehensive user guides, with illustrations on how to use it for stretching and trigger point massages.

Franklin Method Products

These products are made by Eric Franklin, who created an approach that uses imagery and workouts to improve the functionality of the body. There is a wide variety of such products available, and they can perform trigger point massages or release tension in different parts of the body. Examples are:

  • The Franklin fascia massager oval:This is a small product that you can use to release the tension on your neck, hands, or feet. It can apply intense pressure for a massage and can also be used to wake up reactivate sensory receptors in the body. The device is also great for smoothening connective tissues on different parts of your body.
  • The Franklin fascia ball:This will give you relief by rolling out the fascia. The ball is filled with water to increase its density, and the smooth surface enhances your comfort. It is mostly suitable for hamstrings and glutes, among others. Some balls are bigger than others, so you can choose the one you prefer.

The above devices are just examples. There are many others you can choose from to ease the pain caused by trigger points. Whatever device you choose, maintain consistency if you want to overcome the trigger points. Applying the right amount of pressure is also essential in getting the desired results. Professional trigger point massage therapists can take care of you with the right amount of pressure at the right places.