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Trigger points

'Trigger points are the most often missed source of chronic pain' (Prof. Dr. D. Simons)

Painful spots in the body often play an important role in someone's experienced physical complaints, for example pain, stiffness or tingling. These areas have often become hypersensitive to pressure or stretch on the tissue. If these spots are located in a muscle, it is called a (myofascial) trigger point. Popularly called “muscle knots”. It is estimated that these trigger points play an important role in 70-90% of all people with chronic/persistent complaints.


A human being consists largely of moisture. In every muscle, around every muscle, between all muscles and between all membranes in the body there is a gel-like substance that ensures that we can move freely and that all energy, nutrients and waste can flow through the body. A trigger point is a "hardening" or "adhesion" of this gel-like substance, making the tissue at that location less fluid. As a result, blood flow and acidity change, making this piece of tissue hypersensitive.


Trigger points can occur in any muscle and can arise from a variety of causes. Factors such as physical overload, an accident, psycho-emotional stress, inactivity, unhealthy diet, restrained emotions, poor sleep quality and postural components can play a role in the development of trigger points. Trigger points are often annoying but not harmful, you can just keep moving. 


Various complaints can present themselves in which trigger points play an important role, such as low back pain, neck pain, shoulder complaints and other muscle complaints. They also often play a role in specific disorders such as tennis elbow, 'sciatica' or Tietze's syndrome.

Each trigger point has its own radiation area that almost always covers a large area, larger than the place where the trigger point is located. For example, a trigger point on the shoulder blade can radiate to the fingers, and a trigger point in the buttock region can radiate to the lower leg and foot. Trigger points are also responsible for part of the complaints with specific complaints that are caused by something else. With a herniated disc in the low back, part of the experienced pain is often caused by active trigger points (see the video at the top of this page for a detailed explanation).


Fortunately, trigger points can be treated well with various methods. Trigger points that have not existed that long often disappear spontaneously through movement, stretching and stretching. Deep trigger points that have existed for a long time often do not go away on their own. A fascia therapist is extra trained in the examination and treatment of myofascial trigger points and can support you in their treatment. The fascia therapy FIT method uses a new technique that is less painful than ischemic compression (pressing hard) or dry needling. During the therapy, the focus will be on trigger point treatment, mobilizing the fascia in the (near) environment and possible causative or perpetuating factors will be examined. It is quite possible to apply self-treatment techniques and exercises to reduce pain caused by trigger points, see the website for


Some more explanation:

Practical tips and links:

  • For exercises to treat trigger points yourself, check out our website here.

  • Books to disable trigger points yourself:

    • Claire Davies: Trigger Point Therapy Handbook​

    • Jill Miller - The Roll Model (English)

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