Trigger points are those tender lumps in your muscles. Trigger points are formed when muscles grow tight into ‘knots’ due to constant tension.  These knots usually correspond to referred pain, which is pain felt at a different point than where the injury occurred. Trigger points develop in the myofascial, mainly in the center of a muscle belly.


Causes – Usually, TrPs happen due to:

  • Ageing
  • Injury sustained by a fall, by stress or birth trauma.
  • Lack of exercise
  • Bad posture
  • Muscle overuse and respective micro-trauma
  • Chronic stress condition
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Joint problems and hypermobility.


  • Muscle weakness or imbalance
  • Changes in Range of Motion (ROM).
  • Painful movement and/or movement that sometimes can exacerbate symptoms.
  • Tension headaches, migraines, tinnitus, temporomandibular joint problems… as accompanying symptoms.
  • Postural abnormalities and compensations.

Trigger point release

The physiotherapist will stretch the muscle and then apply pressure to areas of muscle tightness or ‘knots’. This helps to relive muscle tension and promote healing. The pressure applied during trigger point release ‘reprograms’ the neuromuscular system so that pain decreases. This encourages the muscles to return to their normal state. This promotes healing as the inflammation decreases and the individual experiences reduced pain and tightness.


Prepared By

Khaw Wei Dong

Physiotherapist Penang

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