How to Find a Trigger Point

Finding a trigger point is a vital skill in itself. It requires sensitivity and attention, but most importantly you need to know what you’re looking for. This video gives you techniques for how to find trigger points.

If you have pain somewhere in a muscle, how do you know the pain is coming from a trigger point?

To answer this, you need to examine the area with your fingers. You can’t answer this question in any other way. You have to answer it through the tips of your fingers.

When you search for a trigger point, what you’re looking for is a tender point in the muscle.

If the trigger point is very active, you’ll feel a tight band within the muscle, almost like a guitar string. When you press on it, you may feel it jump under your fingers.

Usually the trigger point will be located somewhere within this band. When you press really firmly on the exact place where the trigger point is, you’ll feel tenderness there. And then, depending on the referral pattern for that point, you’ll also feel pain somewhere else.

These pain referral pathways are specific to each trigger point. Sometimes it can be hard to find the point that’s causing your specific pain, because it’s located far away from where you’re feeling the pain.

For example, trigger points in the shoulder can cause pain in the arm, trigger points in the neck can cause pain in the head. Points in the thigh can refer pain down into the knee, and triggers in the calf can refer pain down into the feet.

The referral patterns of each trigger have been mapped out and you can find all the major trigger point charts for free here.

Free Trigger Point Charts
Elizabeth Scheide September 20, 2012

To that lovely man with fibromyalgia at 35 years of age. Can you give him a message for me.
I have a good friend who has been getting fairly successful treatments for fibromyalgia and is
now working almost full time. Her recovery has not been easy but she is living a normal life now. If he has not found help, she may have some very helpful advice for him. He can email me if he wishes.

Sue English October 19, 2012

I have been struggling with what was initially diagnosed as bursitis with acromion impingement since last April. Had the cortisone shot which once the local anaesthetic wore off caused unbelievable pain. I then went on to physio who said it was adhesive capsulitis and put me through more painful stretches and exercises to no avail and creating more pain afterwards. Then on to acupuncture. Still more pain. I stumbled across trigger points while searching frozen shoulder. This is the first relief I’ve had and actually slept through last night without pain killers. I know I have a long way to go but I at least feel that there is hope now. I would love to train to do this therapy as it is almost miraculous how it gives immediate relief. Together with your videos and books from the library I am helping myself. I would love to be able to help others in the same way. Thanks so much for all your kind help.

Andrea December 4, 2012

Hi Jonathan,

I’ve been learning a lot about TP with you and I want to thank you. My question is: I have a lot of back pain, based on your “map” around the T3 and T4 area and I was wondering how can I treat that myself? The tennis ball doesn’t help a lot and it’s difficult sometimes. Is there any other way? I never had that pain and then I visited a chiropractor few times and shortly after the pain started… The massage helps a little bit but only temporary. Any suggestion? Can you help me somehow?

I appreciate your answer.


sanjau December 10, 2012

for good information
if you find trigger point is good
how o improve my knee pain

sanjau December 10, 2012


WILLIAM December 15, 2012

Jonathan I must tell you are a God sent to my 12 year problem that has caused me so much
discomfort,but since I found your program I can say I have discovered living again.I don,t
know how to thank you.I have sent this on to other people who I know will also get relief.
Thanks so much BILL

judy onyango December 20, 2012

WOW! Thanks .

Michelle Molenda February 3, 2013

I am very appreciative of this website! I learned a lot ,I have had problems for a long time. Again thank you, all the sites I opened where very well preformed ! Thanks for sharing your expertise .

[…] first two are relatively straight forward, and I’ve created free videos on how to do this. Here’s how to find triggers. Here’s some free trigger point charts And here’s how to switch off your triggers […]

Patricia February 15, 2013

Sounds like this would be great for those with Fibromyalgia!

mustafa February 17, 2013

Many thanks for the valuable information that sharing . Life only means when we share!
I am learning and understanding more about Trigger points and putting into my practise whenever appropriate. So thanks again.

Muni Dunn February 22, 2013

I came to this website by chance.I suffer pins & needles in my left foot & left arm. I’m wondering if trigger points help.otherwise I’m in good health

Jonathan February 22, 2013

Hello Muni,

yes, trigger points can tighten the scalene and pectoralis minor muscles. This can cause them to impinge on the nerves that supply the arm – causing numbness and tingling. The same thing can happen in the leg if the piriformis muscle has trigger points and is very tight.

bella ben yehudah April 16, 2013

thanks for all info.really helps and interesting. would like to know hoe to get to my upper back for the trigger point. my dr has said years ago about trigger points and bands.

Mary Murphy April 17, 2013

Thank you so much for so much free information about my myofascial pain syndrome of nearly 20 years since a back problem arose when I was nursing elderly with dementia. I am unable to ‘buy. ‘ help due to the mess the English Gvt has us in up here in Scotland ‘

Mary Murphy April 17, 2013

Dear Jonathon, Thank you so much for your terrific website. I have suffered pain due to an awkward lifting of an elderly patient nearly 20 years ago. This mid back pain now involving my neck, knees and everywhere between is all encompasing and soul destroying. Thank you for your help. Mary

Sadegh June 7, 2013

Thanks for your help .
I really need this video but I could not watch it ,and your another videos ( because of filtering issue in my country Iran)
I will appreciate if you please upload video clips in another site or directly email them to me.

Sincerely: A Painful Patient.

laima June 12, 2013

Dear Jonathon,many thanks,you are my saviour.Nobody tell me what you say and show to me,with your help I can now cope with my pain on all my body.Thanks a lot.

Janene June 18, 2013

I have been using this trigger point release technique and it has made a huge difference, when I have a headache coming on (caused by my neck) I can do 3 or 4 releases (this takes about 8 minutes) on each side of the neck and it can stop the headache getting worse. I also use it for over use of the shoulders and for glutes after running, it really helps to settle things down. As time goes by you get much better at finding and releasing the trigger points.

waikhom suraj mangangcha July 1, 2013

Dear Jonathan I suddenly meet you and get much knowledge from you about the trigger point but i am just a new one in your course but unexpectedly I learn good knowledge and start application. thanks a lot .

Jagdish Sood August 19, 2013

WOW:- Thanks. YOU ARE GOD SENT for me!

luchmee January 17, 2014


bob March 7, 2014

Got two question first when applying pressure should I be careful not to affect nerves ending? And second I got pain right on inside forearm right where tendon in in middle elbow could this be coming from back .shoulder blades

karyn March 22, 2014

Hi Jonathan , im enjoying learning your techniques but cannot see an area for trigger point to release a spur in my foot . Hope u can throw some light on this for me .

Neetu Sood July 20, 2014

Your email for self treating Trigger Points are very helpful . Where can l download and print Trigger point chart.


Jonathan July 30, 2014

If you go to you can access all the triggers online for free. We do also sell a printable version there.

zhao wei yan September 25, 2014

i am a chinese surgeon ,i like to have the trigger point maps ,thank you very much

Jonathan September 27, 2014

Try looking at – we have created a free trigger charts course there.

rahul raina November 16, 2014

Thanks for removing misconception..

Libby February 6, 2015

This was the only thing that worked for relieving the headache I had after a bout of Bell’s Palsy. Thanks so much.

Sara February 19, 2015

I have almost been suffering from piriformis a year now. Im 26 and it has just ruined my life. I look forward to try this thecnique.

Thanks alot for all these free information

David Allen April 28, 2015

Using your Trigger Point Chart the nearest one that relates to me is the Trapezius although the pain doesn’t extend to my head. It states that the trigger point for this muscle is on the upper shoulder but I can find no trigger point there. I’ve watched many of your videos and read your instructions so I guess I must be doing something wrong.

Edward Jarvis August 6, 2015

I am always pleasantly surprised by your videos. Your understanding makes a difficult subject seem easy. Warmest regards.

Georgestahl October 2, 2015

I like your work , ! Thank you

Tony March 19, 2017

Hi, Fantastic information and so siple,”gracias” how Tony

David May 7, 2017

Thank you Dr Jonathan Kuttner,
I have studied Ayurveda, yoga and cranial sacral therapy. I would like to report that I am having gradual success with the trigger point instructions you have demonstrated on the video clip. Your instructions are clear and easy to follow. I just “know” this technique is so right for me! I thank you for giving me back my confidence as I had nearly given up. In 2010 I had a surfing accident duck diving a large powerful west coast wave at Lion Rock. After many battles with ACC i finally received full cover and in November 2015 I had an Artificial Disc Replacement at C6/C7 and 16 months post op, still suffer painful spasms and deep tissue pain. However, since applying some of the trigger point therapy I am feeling a little better and have even had comments like “you are looking better” …”you looked terrible before”. I will now start working on L3/4 bulging disc and L5/S1 prolapsed disc which causes horrible pain at times! Thank you so much Jonathan for your wonderful “bedside manner” on the videos teaching us all to get well. Somehow I have changed my thinking of “given up surfing” to, “I cant wait to get well enough to start paddling again!” I was so depressed before because I had surfed all my life (now 60) and was super fit before my accident getting “hammered” by that wave. The way you explain everything makes sense and your “kind voice” coaches one so easily into recovery mode. Thank you x 1000000 and may the creator bless you, Naiomi and family forever! What a gift to the human race you are. Mauri ora. David Wilson.

Jonathan May 7, 2017

Thanks David – really appreciate this. And all the best with getting back to surfing!

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