Find Out What Causes Trigger Points

This video explains what causes trigger points to occur. You’ll learn:

  • Why a small malfunction in your body’s natural reflexes can cause triggers
  • What a trigger point looks like – under a microscope
  • How triggers act like the trigger of a gun

NB – video contains images from Janet Travell.

Trigger points are really common cause of pain in people. Most people will have trigger point pain at some stage in their life and some will suffer long term with this pain. It can be quite severe and incapacitating if left untreated.

The basis of trigger point pain is a reflex arc. In a normal muscle cell is a muscle spindle fiber. There are millions of them that are scattered throughout the body. It’s a nerve created in a spiral all the way down as the spindle strictures. It will send a message along the sensory nerve to the spinal cord and back to the muscle.

This is a really simple reflex arc and there are millions of these scattered throughout your body. They are used for all the amazingly complex things that you do like sitting, standing, walking – movements which happen automatically in your body.

The problem is that when this little arc starts malfunctioning, it sets up a trigger point. When the spindle starts misfiring the muscle gets a small area of spasm. This small area of spasm is a trigger point complex, which pulls a tight band within the muscle.

The trigger point acts like the trigger of a gun. When you pull the trigger of a gun, something happens in the distance. A similar thing happens when a trigger point sets off a pain referral pattern specific to each trigger point.

There are trigger points all over your body which may cause pain in your face, in your head, in your neck, in your back, in your abdomen, in your chest, buttock, and down your legs. Anywhere you have muscles, you may have pain arising from trigger points.

In summary, trigger points are a cause of chronic muscle pain that affects almost everybody at some stage of their life. They can be treated using ischemic pressure and myofascial release.

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(7) comments

Mary Martin September 13, 2009

very informative.Thank you for giving all this knowledge out. It makes a great difference to a sufferer!


[…] first things first – what’s a trigger point? The short definition is that it’s a tight band within your muscle. It’s like your […]

Rod Raymond September 19, 2011

Have you found that TPs always come back in the same location, or different places in the same muscle? Thanks

John January 17, 2012

Thank you very much for these videos. This is the first time I’ve heard that you can do it pain free, I just assumed you needed to “tough it out” and put all the pressure you could on the trigger point to get it to release. I use the term “mashing it” and while that works, it’s very hard to do on yourself due to the pain.

I really appreciate what you’ve described and will surely share with others.

JOSE July 30, 2012

Dear Dr. Kuttner:
I have a pain at the inside part of my left elbow. Supposedly golfist elbow (not tennis elbow)…haven’t been golf player in my life! I think it started once I begun exercising with a large fit ball, making pushups on top of it.
I can feel a little bit hotter and spongy than the other elbow, the string that crosses just below the point of the elbow is a little thicker than the right elbow and it hurts when I press the inside bone of the elbow. It seems to be something on the tendon and not a muscular pain.

Rupert September 12, 2012

Hello Jonathan,
Good day to you and thanks for the generosity that you have shown by making this level of info free. I am experiencing pain when I move my left thumb and I am unable to identify the Tps and hence shut it off. Can you send me anymore addittional info that will help ; thanks.


eleonora palmieri October 24, 2012

thank you very much for sharing your knowledge …..very useful…at the moment because my TPin the neck is active the pain like you said goes up my ear ….and tooth….my question is …do you think there is a possibility that food intolerance, can activate trigger points?….thank you ever so much….bye eleonora

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