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.