Trigger Point Treatment

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Easy pain free method to treat trigger points in about 2 minutes. This is an effective and simple method. It’s free (you treat yourself) and safe. Worth watching!

PS. to go deeper into these techniques you may want to have a look at a course I’ve made that teaches self treatment of trigger points.

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  1. Linda says

    Thank you that was a very informative and easy to understand instruction. I know that releasing trigger points work as I have been working this way for a while on myself. I work as a yoga teacher and have been passing this onto my students who find it very helpful too. We use tennis balls for the butt and shoulders.

    I also liked your handout which gives a good picture of how a trigger point looks.

  2. Jonathan Kuttner says

    Dear Linda

    Really good to hear from you. I, too, suggest using old soft tennis balls for releasing trigger points you cannot reach.

    Again, if you find the painful point with the tennis ball then release the pressure until it is non tender. Then slowly increase pressure keeping below the pain threshold, you should be able to switch the trigger off painlessly.

    Also, you need to do the specific stretch for that muscle to get a more long lasting effect.

    I do yoga most mornings, and find it really helpful.


  3. says

    I’ve been suffering with wrist pain for a long time, and I finally realised today that it’s actually caused by the trigger point in my forearm – I had never heard of trigger points before today!

    It looks like your video has exactly the information I need to treat my problem. I’m excited to start, and to hopefully relieve the pain I have been experiencing.

    Thank you!

  4. Jonathan Kuttner says

    Hi June,

    trigger points in your arm are incredibly common. They occur more on your dominant side. eg. if you’re right handed
    they’re more likely to be on that side.

    There are two types of muscles in your forearm. The flexors pull your hand down, while extensor muscles lift your
    hand up.

    Trigger points can occur in both muscle groups, but they are more common in the extensor muscles.

    I’m going to make some more detailed videos showing how to treat trigger points in your hand, wrist and forearm.

  5. Jonathan Kuttner says


    I’ve just had a look at your crochet site. It’s really cool stuff! Crochet involves a lot of repetitive, fine wrist movements.
    The muscles that move the wrist in these complex patterns are the forearm muscles.

    Which is why you are very likely to have trigger points in these muscles.

  6. says

    Thanks for your replies, Jonathan! The interesting thing is that I actually have the pain in my right wrist, but I’m left-handed (and I hold the crochet hook in my left hand)…

    I’ve been using the technique in your video to treat my forearm, and my wrist feels noticeably better already! I’ll be looking out for your more detailed videos – thank you again for providing such a valuable resource.

  7. sundeep says

    i have had an ongoing problem with my knees for over 6 months now, it’s all day long, the dull pain, and sometimes worse, i’ve been seeing an osteo, he says i have tension and shortening in my legs, i’m doing yoga and stretching but not too much difference yet. i had a baby 8 months ago, had a ceaser delivery, and also had a 2 months of inactivity during the pregnancy as i was very sick. i’ve had an xray on knees which has shown nothing, so far, myofascial pain seems to be the only thing that makes sense. does that mean my trigger points would be in my legs around the knees, or lower back? And is this something that will probably be ongoing? is it possible that this is myofascial pain? it’s so confusing. Thanks for free info and your replies, seems like you are someone with a good well meaning heart, hope you believe in karma.
    thanks sundeep

  8. Jonathan Kuttner says

    Hi Sundeep,

    the fact that the xray is normal doesn’t rule out a problem within your knees.

    Has your osteo done a proper knee examination and ruled this out? Often examination and sometimes an MRI scan is necessary to sort out pain arising from within the structures of the knee itself. ie. the cartilage, meniscus or ligaments.

    If these examinations have been done properly, and your knee is normal then trigger points definitely can be a source of significant dull deep aching pain which you feel in your knee.

    The trigger points that cause pain in your knee mainly come from the thigh muscles, especially the quadreceps and hamstring muscles.

    I’m working on a series of videos that goes into detail about treating these trigger points.

    Myofascial can be long term unless you treat it. But there are many other problems within the knee which can also cause long term problems. This is why correct diagnosis is so important.

  9. Anna says

    Hello Jonathan!

    Thank you very much for your great advice and most informative videos!!!
    I am just wondering if there is a way to treat hip problems with the trigger points?
    I have an ongoing pain/tightness in my left hip joint/muscle which makes it difficult to do forward (standing or sitting) bends (for example, in yoga) and splits. In fact anything that involves movement of the hip (even lotus position or long periods of walking).

    Thank you so much!!!:)
    Have the most fantastic Thursday!!!;)

  10. Ray Kirton says

    Hi Jonathan
    I have learned over an extended period that trigger points in my right side quads, ITB, adductor and calf have caused pain and bowing in this right leg.
    [I also cancelled a hip operation and was on crutches for 12 months some time ago].
    I have tried a hard roller and a TP machine from Melbourne, but I like your method of releasing pressure to stop further stimulation of the TP.

  11. Jonathan Kuttner says

    Hi Ray

    It is really effective and, best of all, you can treat yourself whenever and wherever you need to.

    Do you have a practitioner near you who can do trigger point injections – using local anaesthetic?These can switch off particularly difficult and stubborn trigger points.


  12. Eric Lerner says

    Hi Jonathan,
    I have had a trigger point attack now for over two months. They have spread over my back and chest, with pain radiating into my right arm, and they have also set off some low-back pain. Using the computer has become quite difficult. They have been treated with deep massage and cortisone injections—twice—which in the past has cleared them up, but they are hanging on. I just tried your video soft pressure approach on a few of them. In some cases, it works as you describe, but when I stop, the pain immediately resumed and they are very sensitive to light touch again. In other cases (these are points that were injected 48 hours ago) the pain threshold does not seem to go down with light pressure. Any suggestions?

  13. pankaj says

    my question is that , does trigger point in the muscle disappear or it remains there for ever?because i got the same pain after my exams.

  14. Kathy says

    Thank you for your info on how to release trigger points, Dr. Kuttner. I have particularly bad myofascial problems around my ribcage, it feels like there is an iron band around it that gets tighter and tighter till it affects how deep a breath I can get. I have fibromyalgia and have suffered from CFIDS for almost 30 years, so already have problems with muscles.

    While the tightness encompasses my entire ribcage, the pain is mainly on the right side and as I’m sure you know, I found the trigger is on my left side under my arm. But not really understanding how release works I’ve not been successful in getting relief for any length of time.

    Now with your video I and my husband who helps with the massage know how to do it properly and I look forward to some real relief.

    Thank you!

  15. Jonathan Kuttner says

    Hi Eric
    pain can come from different sources. It sounds as if some of your pain is coming from trigger points. These would respond to the techniques that I have described. However there may well be other structures and other underlying processes involved.
    For example the back pain may arise from the discs or facet joints and the trigger points may be a secondary reaction by the body.
    Also there may an underlying inflammatory process, as occurs in auto-immune diseases.
    These usually can be sorted out with blood tests
    and appropriate investigations.
    If these are treated appropriately, then treatment of your triggers will be more effective and longer lasting.


    Hi Pankaj

    There are two types of trigger points. The first is active & causes pain.
    If this is treated, then either it goes forever [which is what you want] or it becomes a Latent trigger. This means is ‘goes to sleep’ and you feel no pain. However under certain circumstances it can be switched on again and become active.

    It sound like your triggers become latent and then are switched on by the stress of your exams.

    Hi Kathy

    I wish you all the best. Often a band around your chest arises from a mixture of dysfunction in the rib joints [costovertebral joints], the facet joints in the spine and trigger points.

    I suggest you also see a competent ostepath to release the spinal and ribs joints. You will then find releasing the trigger points much more effective.


  16. Kathy says

    Finding that ‘competent’ osteopath is the problem in my case. We live in a rather remote area, we don’t have a full time doctor for many miles and the one osteopath in the area says he doesn’t do ‘manipulations’ and can’t be of any assistance.

    This is why your videos are so helpful.

  17. cindy says

    hi johnathon
    i have widespread muscle pain but mostly in my sit bone area, finding it really difficult to sit the muscles in the bottom of my butt are so tender, have tride everything, now my middle back and spine itself are really tender, pain and pins and needles. i have a trigger point manuel and have used it but cannot seem to get the muscles in my butt to relax, do you have some sort of video or info that will help, continueuos wide spread pain is just unbearable never thougght that you muscles can cause so much body pain


  18. cindy says

    Hi Cindy

    Your symptoms sound complex. Especially the fact that there are pins & needles suggests that nerves may be compressed in your spine. I suggest you see a back specialist and have further investigation of your spine [ MRI would be best].

    Jonathan Kuttner

  19. Jonathan Kuttner says

    Hi Shelly
    Ribs almost always heal within 4-6 weeks. They have a natural splint with another rib on each side. They can sometimes heal with bumps or indents, but there will be good bony fusion after this time. It is most likely that you have trigger points in the muscles of the ribcage. These include the intercostals- which are small, but complex muscles inbetween the ribs. There are also the serratus anterior which is a fascinating muscle which attaches the shoulder blade to the rib cage. This muscle is felt in the 5or 6 ribs starting under the armpit down the side of the chest wall. Also the large pectoral muscles cover the front of the chest wall. All of these can have triggers and cause pain. All of these triggers can be turned off and each muscle has specific stretches.
    You do not need to do anything special or different because of the old healed fracture.


  20. my name is jagadish says

    dear Doctor I am Suffering From muscle Strain in the middle of back
    just right side 3 years to relief what to do

  21. my name is jagadish says

    dear Doctor I am Suffering From muscle Strain in the middle of back
    just one inches right side 3 years to relief what to do

  22. Andrew Teoh says

    Hi Dr. Johnathan,

    Firstly, I would like to appreciate you on your invaluable website which the infomation is superb.
    I have been having this pain at the the left side back of my head (parietal). Its a sharp pain which its localized. The pain lasts for just a second or two. I had this 2 years already and I even went for MRI and CT scan. Results: normal. My Neurologist even gave me a trigger point injection which does not help at all.

    When I touched the area, it feels sore.

    The pain comes with no reason. It can come at any point of the day. I went to a massage therapist and he told me that there might be a trigger point at the medulla oblongata….
    Dr Johnathan, can you advice me what can I do to get rid of the pain?

    Andrew Teoh (Malaysia)

    • Jonathan says

      Hi Andrew

      Pain in the side of your head in the parietal region can be referred from TrPs in a number of muscles. The commonest is the trapezius. It can also occur in sternocleidomastoid, splenius capitis adn suboccipital muscles – these all occur in the neck. On the head there are the temporalis, and some of the jaw muscles- masseter & pterygoids.

      So if your neurologist injected a TrP – this probably was not have been the one causing your pain.

      Incidentally you cannot get TrPs in your medulla oblongata. TrPs only occur in skeletal muscle and the medulla oblongata is part of your brain and so only has nerve tissue.

      These muscles can be viewed on Travell & Simons. I am bringing out videos which would help you diagnose and treat these specific TrPs.


  23. jagadish says

    Dear Doctor I am Suffering with muscle pain in the upper back while doing lats exercise in sitting cable while leaving weight in gym
    in that time it was happen 3years ago,
    in MRI Scan normal, i takan phisiotheraphy no use & doctor
    has given injection in the trigger point on that place no use and some
    doctor is telling it is muscle strain so doctor please give me a good solution for pain relief

    Thank You

  24. Debra Hoversten says

    I have both fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome. I have trigger point manuals & do a lot of self-treatment, but I would love to get your videos or (DVDs?). How do I order them?
    Recently I have had severe TrPs in my arms and legs that have caused huge knots whic are extremely sore & tender . I get pins & needles radiating down my leg & foot and in my arm it happens too.
    I did have muscles twitching going on too & even asked my internal medicine Dr. about being tested for MS. He said he does not feel it is
    MS and didn’t do any tests for that. He said it is likely a combination of my FMS & MPS (& stress & anxiety which I have had for a year. ) The pins & needles does improve with massage and trigger point work, but these are so sore I feel I need injections like I used to have when living in Minneapolis area. Now I live in a small town in northern MN. I don’t know if anyone does that around here.
    There is an acupuncturist. Would that help? Would she put the needles directly into the trigger points? I don’t want cortisone injections, but the anesthetic TrP injections would be great.
    I also have reactive hypoglycemia & thyroid nodules & goiter.
    I am 59 yrs. of age. Thank you for any advice you can give me.

    • Jonathan says

      Hi Frank

      I agree. The back buddy looks very similar to the Theracane which I have used quite a bit and found very useful. As well as being able to get to /’hard to reach spots’, It also allows you to press accurately on an area. Because of its design you get some leverage and therefore can use less force, resting your arms.


  25. Tahir Sohail says

    Hi doctor,
    I am suffering from acute scitica pain starting through hip joint travelling upto toe of my right leg.I am feeing numness through out my leg and can not put weight on it.hamstring is stif and feeing stretched in theigh and leg. MRI reveal that Lum5 and 6 is presssing the scitica nerve causing numness and pain. I am also feeing pain while passing the urine and stool
    Ishall appreciate if you kindly advise me to get relief from the pain and I do not go for operation. Presently iam taking Homeo medicine.
    Tahir Sohail

    • Jonathan says

      Hello Tahir

      I have made a video on sciatica. Search this word on the site and watch video. Essentially there are specific medications that help nerve pain. If there is still significant pain- then I will do a Transforaminal Steroid Injection, which I have explained in the video. The only time you need to rush to surgery is if your bowel of bladder function changes – ie you cannot feel properly or are unable to pass urine or bowel motion.


  26. Bob Decker says

    Thanks for the manual.Small correction JFK was injured in the Pacific during WWII and was serving in congress during the Korean War. Thanks for the informative Trigger Point information.

  27. Lynne says

    After I fell in 08, along with the Fibro and theCMP syndrome I noticed deep ridges devloping on my head….what’s up with that?

    • Jonathan says

      Hello Lynne

      I don’t know. I have never heard of or come across this finding in Fibromyalgia or CMP. I suggest seeing a doctor to have is sorted out further.

      Kind Regards

      [Please note- I cannot suggest a specific treatment for your complaint as I have not taken a full history, examined you or reviewed your investigations.
      Therefore all comments I make can only be general – relating broadly to the problem you have described. ]

  28. Sturla Stendal says

    I think I have triggerpoints in the vastus medialis that cause anterior knee pain. The pain has been there for several months, when i started to press with a tennis ball on the muscle lying on the floor, i noticed a difference. But I don’t know how to treat the triggerpoint good enough. Any ideas on how to overcome the problem?

    • Jonathan says

      hello Sturla
      trigger points in the vastus medialis muscle certainly can cause anterior knee pain. You can treat this by following the principles in this link
      I have produced a new product which shows the diagnosis & treatment of this specific trigger point in video form. This will be on the web in in the near future You can purchase it if you so choose.

      Kind Regards

      Please note- I cannot suggest a specific treatment for your complaint as I have not taken a full history, examined you or reviewed your investigations.
      Therefore all comments I make can only be general – relating broadly to the problem you have described.

  29. Rose Robertson says

    Just like to register my appreciation of your general approach to pain and the relief of TrP’s. On my Remedial Massage Diploma course we learned & practised both TrP therapy and the Neuromuscular Technique (NMT). Because of my previous psychology / hypnotherapy background, and age-challenged condition (at least twice as old as most teachers and students!) I consider Pain to be an insistent & rather neurotic messenger. If it can be ignored or subdued once you’ve received its limited message, so much the better. My focus is to maximise effectiveness and minimise pain during the process! So when I came across your website and your technique for the ischemic, painfree treatment of TrP’s, I was very intrigued and look forward to using it. I have to say that the practices of cupping and dry needling of TrP’s also seem to be effective and relatively painfree – but they require the assistance of a trained professional. Thank you so much for your website which I’m enjoying.

    • Jonathan says

      hello Rose

      I really like the concept of pain as an insistence and rather neurotic messenger. Once viewed in this light, then so many possibilities open up to change, ignore or cope with its message.

      I’m really pleased that you like the painless ischaemic pressure technique and I am sure that you will find it very useful.

      I agree that dry needling is effective, but if it is accurate, then it is not painless. This is because you need to place the needle as close as you can to the epicentre of the trigger point. this is what is called techi by the Chinese and it means to take hold of chi (the life force). When this happens you feel either a feeling like an electric shock or an ache. The feeling passes quickly and then you may feel either nothing or a slight heaviness.

      Cupping is less precise and, depending on the skill of the operator, it may give a pleasant feeling or may be painful — leaving significant bruising behind.

      Kind regards

  30. Christine Kelly says

    I just bought the trigger point board/digits online and I’ve tried it on a few of my muscles/trigger points with fantastic results,, THANK-YOU! I’m concerned that I’m not getting the best out of it and I may do more damage by mistake,, Is there a certain Dr. that I could go to that would work with me?
    I am from the Boston area.
    Thank-You Again,,
    Christine Kelly

    • Jonathan says

      hello Christine

      If you are getting fantastic results then you cannot be doing damage. once you understand how trigger points work & where they occur- then treatment of them should either turn them down or inactivate them.

      I live and work in New Zealand and so I do not know doctors in Boston. If you ask around I’m sure you will find a doctor who is skilled in this type of treatment.

      Kind regards

  31. Sunita says

    Dear Dr.Kuttner,
    I have been following your site for a while and really love the way that you help others.
    I have one problem to about my illness.I have a pain in my neck when i pinch on the left side of my neck the pain comes up through my head and it is really painful also i feel restless in my shoulder.I feel pain when getting up in the morning throughout my body.When writing or concentrating in something it hurts more.I have severe headache also(sometime my head will shake more while writing or concentrating).Sometimes i help myself by pressing to that pain area and it helped me then i apply ointment(i need to use the ointment almost all the time to relieve pain)
    Now i would like to know what exactly is this problem i am having?I went to see the doctor they would suggest the neck exercise and prescribe me the medicines and nothing else so could you please suggest if the injection of some kind can be given so that i can ask the doctor to do so.

    • Jonathan says

      Hello Sunitra

      it is difficult for me to make a precise diagnosis without taking your full history and examining you. However if you pinch the left side of your neck and the pain comes up into your head, then it is likely that you have a trigger point in the muscles at the top of your neck. The muscles that can do this include sternocleidomastoid, suboccipital muscles and trapezius. You really need to find a practitioner who understands myofascial dysfunction. In my course I show how to diagnose trigger point in these muscles and then how to treat them yourself. If you have difficulty doing the treatment on yourself, then the you can show the video to a massage therapist or your doctor and they can take the treatment from there.

      However there may be some other underlying problem and I suggest that you have x-rays of your neck and have a Dr who is experienced with these kinds of problems examine you. If they are trigger points, then injections can also be very helpful. however the practitioner needs to have experience in doing this.

      Kind regards

      PS As I am not able to take a full history, examine you or to view your investigations, my comments will be general suggestions which you may choose to pursue with your own medical practitioner.

    • Jonathan says

      Hi Anna,

      I’m not too sure where you are in the world – if you google ‘back buddy’ you should be able to find a supplier. (I’ve never used one myself, so I can’t make any recommendations here.) I have used a theracane however, and found it helpful.

      – Jonathan

  32. Anna Wildman says

    Hi Dr. Kuttner,

    Thanks for so much for the information for the Theracane, I looked at it last night, I might order it.
    Would trigger point caused my fingers hurt and became trigger finger? I just had my thumb surgery done last month because the trigger thumb last month and my right thumb is hurting now. I am very worry now that I might need another surgery.



  33. Yvonne says

    I have a trigger point attached to my floating rib that is permanently switched on and painful, I can’t massage it because it hurts and has become hyper sensative. My sports masseur has worked at it. What is the best way forward. I still have an active one higher up in my ribs. This is all following bodyboarding with a bad back. My facet joints are also stiff. Do you think acipunture would be useful, or injections. Should I try acipunture first? Thanks, Yvonne

  34. says

    Dear sir,
    I am suffering back pain which is starting from the centre of my left hip and walk through my thi and then ends on foot I am suffering this pain for 13 years

  35. Cynthia says

    Hi Dr Kuttner

    Thank you for a very useful site. A couple of years ago, after numerous treatments (including cortisone injections and an arthroscopy) by GPs, surgeons, physiotherapists, bio-kineticists, acupuncturists etc., I still had knee and hip pain, and did not have enough strength in my legs to be able to get up from a sitting position. Finally a chiropractor treated the trigger points in my hips/buttocks, and there was an immediate, dramatic improvement. I now regularly treat a number of trigger points in my legs, back, hips and buttocks. However, although the pain is all but gone, I still struggle to get up from a sitting position unless the seat is higher than normal. Could this also be caused by trigger points?

    Many thanks

  36. Tracey says

    Thank you so much for the informative video on trigger points & neck tension! I have been suffering for over a month now with a sore neck & very tight upper back/shoulder muscles! I’ve been doing stretches (as given to me by a chiropractor) but without the breathing (for the neck) & the knowledge of the amount of pressure to be putting on my trigger points I have been obviously prolonging & worsening the pain! In just the ten minutes since visiting your site & watching those two videos, I can turn my head & feel like a million dollars… well, almost that good! I’ll be sure to do this on a daily basis now. Thank you again.

    Previously sore in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA!

  37. Stephanie says

    The use of a lacrosse ball is hugely beneficial in this treatment as it is solid rubber and will not “give” but will return the pressure you apply to it.

  38. bajram says

    I have pain in the left chest in course of heart.I have and two infarct myocardy. I to searc your advice to act on someone’s advice because off pain.As for me is approximative with identic heart pain.Doctor in conformity with ro-graphy diagnosis rheumatisma causes. Treatment with Tylenol and Cobroxin and pain it is all the same to me.What I can to overcome these pain ?

  39. Christine Savill says

    Hi Jonathon,

    How much is course in NZD’s. Is it a DVD set or online downloads?
    I am a Naturopathy Student and am very interested in trigger points and gentle manipulation.


  40. Jonathan says

    Hi from NZ Christine,

    the course is dvd´s the get sent out and online videos you can access immediately.The dvd´s have free shipping.

    – Jonathan

  41. Robbie says

    Hi Jonathon

    Can you tell me the difference between trigger point therapy and myofascial release? Do the two go hand in hand as im a little confused. Would the practioner performing myofascial release work on trigger points at the same time? I have been diagnosed with myofascial disorder of the neck and right shoulder so i wanted to go for the correct treatment as i have exhausted all other avenues.

  42. says

    Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the internet the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people think about worries that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  43. Judith Peplow says

    I have found when treating trigger points on clients that I sometimes have to ‘follow them in’. I will find them by pressing, ease off until the client is comfortable then when there is no pain I sometimes have to press deeper to get release at the next level until I can press and there is no pain at all. Has anyone else had this experience? Judith

  44. alfred says

    1 1/2 year ago i have trigger finger on my right thumb. And it goes off after few months after i massage my arm from finger to upper arm. Now my fourth finger of left & right affected. I did see othorpedic doc. they advice me to do physioteraphy (some finger exercise), which i did. but the situation did not improve. May be i should try your trigger point methods (after i receive your manual.)

  45. says

    In this case, pressure is usually felt mostly in the lumbar area
    (lower back) and over time, this will result in excruciating pain. If a nerve root is
    brushed by the discogram needle, the nerve root can become irritated causing pain, which will
    almost always go away quickly. I have written this article to explain why they say to do
    this and I why I don’t agree and why I believe there is a better option.

  46. says

    Non impact aerobic exercise also have many benefits, but the focus should be on exercises that are safe, if you are
    unsure always consult a professional back pain adviser.
    And yet this is more of an exception than a rule in the western world or countries influenced by the western world.
    Thank you for stopping by today and I hope these natural remedies for back pain do you the world
    of good.

  47. says

    Because the discs are absorbing shock with movement, you would
    be in pain all day if your discs could cause you pain. Some physicians use acupuncture to
    those undergoing physical therapy. Daily exercise is the key to avoid lower back
    pain left side or any other strains on your muscles.

  48. says

    I have. front of pevic muscules pain. rectal pain lower back pain testicular pain sexual dysfunction around 4-5 yrs a l have been visited many doctors no one
    diagnosed my real problem what is my problem and treatment
    lam 22 yrs. old boy


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