Trigger Point Therapy

Here at Heale’s Chiropractic Clinics, we offer a range of treatments to help with pain relief and to speed up recovery.

One of those treatments is massage therapy. Our fully qualified and highly trained massage therapists are experts in different massage techniques. One of those techniques is trigger point therapy, and I would like to explain exactly what that is!

What are trigger points?

Trigger points feel like little marbles or knots just under the skin. They are usually sore to touch and can cause pain and deep aching. These sore spots are extremely common and are often alarmingly painful and seem to cluster around injuries. They may be a major factor in back and neck pain!

What are the types of trigger points?

There are two types of trigger points that massage therapists treat:

  • Active trigger points

An active trigger point refers to pain to another part of the body, for example, if you press on an active trigger point in the shoulder, you may feel pain in the shoulder along with symptoms in your arm or chest.

  • Passive trigger points

A Passive trigger point simply hurts at their exact location, for example, if you have a painful knot in a muscle and you press on it, the pain will be felt where the pressure is on the knot.

Features of trigger points:

  • Tender to touch and form a knot or tight band of hard tissue in or around a muscle
  • Applying pressure will cause localised pain but can cause pain elsewhere in the body
  • They can be held responsible for other issues in the body such as limited mobility, fatigue, weak muscles and lack of co-ordination.

Where can they occur?

They can occur just about any where in the body where there is muscle tissue. Areas in the body where they are more commonly found may include:

  • Hamstrings
  • Low back
  • Upper back and shoulders
  • Neck
  • Calf’s
  • Iliotibial band – a strong, thick band of tissue that runs down the outside of the thigh

What is trigger point therapy?

The use of trigger point massage needs to be completed by a fully trained therapist. This technique helps relieve pain produced by trigger points.

Precise pressure is applied to the area to release tight fibres and to stop them being continuously contracted. This temporarily cuts off circulation to the tissue and in doing so signals the body to open up microcapillaries, thus increasing blood flow to the area and breaking the pain-spasm-pain cycle.

The therapist trained in deactivating trigger points may use a combination of treatments and will depend on the individual.

The final outcome is to regain full range of movement in the affected muscles and to bring much needed pain relief.

Is it painful?

Generally, trigger points are sensitive and you will probably already be in some level of pain with them! The pressure used may cause a step up in this discomfort. However, if you find that you cannot manage the level of pressure the therapist is applying, just let them know and they will reduce the pressure immediately.

What conditions can be treated with trigger point therapy?

This type of therapy can be used to assist with pain in many conditions and this list is not exhaustive, but the most common ones include:

  • Low back pain
  • Sciatica
  • Headaches and migraine
  • Shoulder pain
  • Leg pain
  • Arm pain

What are the benefits of trigger point therapy?

  • Pain relief
  • Stimulation of blood flow aiding in the removal of toxins and replenishment of oxygen
  • Stretching tight contracted muscle fibres
  • Endorphin release – the feel good hormone

If you think you or someone you know would benefit from this type of massage technique or if you would like some further information or to speak to a member of our team please call us on: Hitchin 01462 420077 or Luton 01582 579687, alternatively e-mail us at: or .