Trigger Point Massage

Trigger Point Massage

A trigger point is a tight area within a muscle tissue that causes local pain and referred pain to other parts of the body. Trigger points were originally mapped by Janet G. Travell, who was John F. Kennedy’s physician and provided the therapy for his ongoing back pain.

Trigger point massage therapy is one of the therapeutic massage techniques in which the therapist applies sustained pressure to trigger points of the body in order to relieve local or referred pain caused by activated trigger points in knotted muscles.

In trigger point massage therapy, the session can be highly interactive. The recipient actively participates in indentifying the responsible trigger point for the existing pain by providing consistent feedback of pain or discomfort experienced to the therapist.

Myofascial Trigger Points: Causes and Treatment

Trigger Point Explained

Trigger points are spots or areas of the body that are tender and tight. They are commonly referred to as muscle knots and can be isolated in a certain muscle group. Although the pain is often located in one muscle group, trigger points can lead to shooting pain in other parts of the body. For example, a trigger point in the upper back may lead to sharp pain in the neck.

Trigger point therapy involves applying direct and steady pressure to those areas. If you opt for trigger point therapy, the massage therapist will identify trigger points and use different techniques to apply various degrees of pressure to the painful areas. By applying direct pressure to the area, it increases blood flow, reduces muscle tension and alleviates pain. Trigger point therapy can be used to treat pain related to arthritis, injuries and everyday wear and tear on the muscles.

Depending on the severity of the muscle knots and tender areas, it may take more than one session to alleviate the problem. Although trigger point therapy is considered safe, direct pressure to a tender area can be uncomfortable.


Characteristics of Trigger Point Massage

Relaxation *

Therapeutic *****

Intensity: Strong to Very Strong

Lubrication: no

Undressing: Yes

Tip: Depends on facility

How to interpret the rating scale

Trigger point massage therapy is available at many processional massage clinics