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Trigger Point Therapy - How And Why It Works

Trigger Point Therapy, Trigger Point Massage, and Massage Therapy all work on the principle that releasing tight muscles relieves pain. This post is about what trigger point therapy is, why it works, and how to do it on your own.

Trigger Point Therapy Room

What Is Trigger Point Therapy?

Trigger point therapy is the discipline of releasing knots, or trigger points, in muscles. Trigger points can cause a lot of pain in muscles because of the constant muscle tension they maintain [1]. Trigger point therapy aims to relieve pain by releasing knots (trigger points) with deep tissue massage. Deep tissue massage physically digs deep into muscles to work out trigger points, releasing muscles of their constant tension. Deep tissue massage is commonly performed with the knuckles, thumbs, and elbows of a physical or massage therapist.

Trigger Point Therapy Low Back Massage

Why Does Trigger Point Therapy Work?

When performed correctly, trigger point therapy works because it effectively releases the trigger points (knots) in muscles. Active trigger points can cause a ton of pain due to the constant muscle tension they maintain [1]. Constant muscle tension means that muscles with trigger points can constantly pull on joints, compress nerves, and hinder flexibility. Constant muscle tension from trigger points can manifest physically as low back pain, neck pain, hand pain, and even headaches [1].

Trigger point therapy can effectively treat back pain, neck pain, and other physical pains by targeted massage. In the trigger point and massage therapy communities, it is known that specific muscles cause pain in predictable areas. For example, there are 5 specific muscles that can contribute to low back pain when trigger points are present. Trained physical and massage therapists know to target these muscles for massage when low back pain is present.

How Do I Know If Trigger Point Therapy Is Right For Me?

Most people will not know whether or not their pain is caused by trigger points and muscles just by feel. There is an enormous amount of complications and injuries that can cause pain in the human body, and it is impossible to determine how much pain can be relieved by trigger point therapy alone. However, in my opinion, trigger point and massage therapy should be the first line of defense against non-specific pain. I hold this opinion because unlike many treatments, trigger point therapy is non-invasive, inexpensive, and can be learned and done on your own. Trigger point therapy may also be the end of your pain relief journey in a short period of time.

How To Perform Trigger Point Therapy At Home

Trigger point therapy can be done at home with minimal learning and effort. There are tools on the market designed specifically to relieve muscle-induced neck pain, back pain, and more. Targeted self-massage tools are great because they drastically shorten the learning curve required to alleviate trigger point pain. Trigger points can also be worked with a non-targeted tool like a lacrosse ball, massage ball, or Theracane, but the learning curve is steeper.

When choosing an at home trigger point therapy tool, it is important to select a tool that is right for the job. We want a neck massager for neck pain, foot massager for foot pain, and lower back massager for lower back pain. Here at QL Claw we specialize in the specific muscles that contribute to lower back pain, all with one tool. The QL Claw device was designed to release the 5 muscles that can contribute to low back pain when trigger points are present. QL Claw has extensive written and video tutorials on how to get the most out of its tool for low back pain relief, hip pain relief, and more. Learn more at the link below!


Muscle Release Tool QL Claw
 QL Claw Trigger Point Therapy Device
Trigger Point Therapy Tool 





[1] Davies, Clair, and Amber Davies. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. 3rd ed., New Harbinger Publications, Inc., 2013.

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