We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Trigger Point Release?

By T. Carrier
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Trigger point release is a form of massage therapy based on the theory of trigger points. Practitioners of trigger point release believe that a muscle knot called a trigger point causes pain. Palpitation of these trigger points may therefore alleviate pain. Trigger point release is also known as neuromuscular therapy or myotherapy.

Although precise definitions vary, trigger points are generally believed to be small knots located on skeletal muscle fiber called fascia. They are tightly contracted and filled with wasteful substances. Furthermore, these nodules twitch, are tender to the touch, and cause pain. Frequently, the associated pain spreads to various areas of the body. This type of condition is known as referred pain, because the pain may not originate within the hurtful area.

Theorists have identified over 600 potential trigger points in muscles. Trigger points may actively cause pain, or they may activate other trigger points to cause pain. Factors such as overworked muscles, physical or emotional trauma, and infectious disease may set off trigger points. When found in abundance, trigger points may lead to myofascial pain syndrome, a condition of pain generalized throughout the body. Related pains are often confused with arthritis or other common ailments.

Trigger point release therapy involves loosening the muscles utilizing a variety of techniques. When trigger points are active, the muscles tighten, thereby reducing blood flow and putting pressure on nerves. Restoring muscular flexibility can alleviate these pain-inducing effects. Techniques typically center around massaging, stroking, and providing deep pressure along the trigger point pathways.

Individuals can also facilitate their own therapeutic exercises through the use of a foam roll. For example, one can utilize a foam roll on upper back muscles by assuming a sit-up position. After placing the roll below the shoulders between one’s back and the ground, an individual then raises the hips and stabilizes the head with one’s hands. For the next step, the individual rolls the foam along the back until it rests at the mid-back. If a tender point is felt, the individual should press into the foam until the pain alleviates.

Self-administered trigger point release can be applied to muscles all over the body, including the legs, arms, and hamstring. Each muscle application generally takes about two minutes. Compression of a trigger point should be sustained for between half a minute and a minute. Controlled breathing is also important in such exercises. Any self-administered techniques should be used with care and ideally discussed with a physician beforehand.

Several practitioners claim scientifically validated success with trigger point release, including the method’s founder: Janet Travel. Practitioners of alternative medicine like chiropractors or acupuncturists often promote the therapy, although professional medical organizations have not given an official endorsement to trigger point release methods.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.