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Trigger Points: What is everybody on about!


I use the term Trigger Points on a daily basis so I think it would be useful to let you all know what it is I mean. If you have pain in the shoulder blade area that just won’t go away, and it is very tender to the touch, I can almost guarantee you suffer from trigger points so this article is for you.


Trigger Points are highly irritable nodules that can form in all soft tissues like muscles, tendons and ligaments. The classic Trigger Point refers pain to other areas that seem unrelated. For example, a Trigger Point on the scapular often refers pain to the shoulder and/or neck when pressed upon. The Trigger Point tightens up the muscle that contains them so stretching usually makes the pain worse. Because of this tightening of the muscle, blood flow through this area becomes restricted. When the tissue reaches this condition it becomes highly irritable and extremely uncomfortable.


Trigger Points develop when the tissue is stressed, so I gave the example of the shoulder blade because this area takes a great deal of stress. Commonly people carry their heads slightly forward from their shoulders, which has come about due to our modern seated environment. If the head is in it’s anatomically correct position there is no stress on the muscles at all. But if the head is carried in a forward position some very small muscles near the shoulder blade have to carry the full weight all day long. This is generally what leads to Trigger Point formation.

The trouble with Trigger Points is, that to get rid of them for good, you must remove the stress on the muscle that contains them. So in the above case the head position needs to be corrected. For this reason Trigger Points are notoriously difficult to treat.


In most cases, when trigger points have become a problem, maintenance is the best option whilst the causes of it’s formation are dealt with. Massage that is combined with some very specific Trigger Point release techniques is highly effective because blood flow is restored to these tight tissues. The increased blood flow flushes out waist toxins built up by the Trigger Point so alleviates the irritability.


Ice can be used to great affect with Trigger Points because it reduces the inflammation and pain associated with them. After the initial acute phase of Trigger Point activity Ice and Heat used in alternating combinations helps to keep blood flow pumping through the area, which reduces the ability for the triggers to reform quickly.

If you suffer from Trigger Points then your best course of action is to have them assessed and treated. Keeping on top of them will mean you won’t suffer their worst effects. Whilst the Trigger Points are being managed we can work on a plan to correct the structures that are causing their formation.


Trigger Points are inevitable in modern times but they are easily managed with the correct care. As always, the first step to feeling better is to seek the help of someone that can assess them and devise an effective plan to alleviate the symptoms whilst helping to reduce the load placed on the affected muscles.