Trigger Point Release 101: Your Path to Pain-Free Living

trigger point release

With the human body going through everyday physical stress, exploring ways to perform trigger point release can be a highly beneficial part of your health and fitness regime.

This widely used healing technique involves applying some form of pressure to release tightness and tender body points that are collectively known as trigger points. 

Commonly called knots, trigger points are spots that manifest as a result of prolonged muscular tension, overuse of muscles, or even injury.

When left untreated, these pain points can result in a wide range of issues that make it incredibly difficult for anyone to go about their daily routine.

Some of these ailments can range from headaches and neck pain to lower back issues and even sciatica. That's why finding time to treat these pain points is crucial to improving your overall physical and mental well-being.

And this is exactly where trigger point release comes into play.

In this guide, we'll dive into just how you can make the most of this therapeutic healing technique and get back to living a pain-free life. You'll also learn what benefits you can expect and how to maximize them for maximum results.

Let's dive in!

How to Perform Trigger Point Release

Having too many trigger points in your muscles can cause a lot of pain and discomfort and even lead to long-term health issues.

Follow these simple steps to release them for a pain-free life:

Identify the trigger point

how to perform trigger point release

Treating your body to trigger point release starts with identifying the exact points of pain.

Trigger points are usually located in the deeper layers of your muscles, so you may need to do some exploratory work to find them. Common body areas where they occur include the neck, shoulders, back, hips, and legs.

To identify trigger points, you'll need to feel for tender spots in your body. If you're able to find them easily without any help, then great. Otherwise, you can ask a friend or family member to help you out.

Once you've identified them all, move on to the next step.

Apply pressure

Now that you've identified these trigger points, you can begin applying some gentle pressure to them.

But what should one use to apply pressure?

You can use your hands, a tennis ball, a foam roller, or other massage tools. Don't fret, we'll go over more about tools you can use for trigger point release later in this guide.

The key is to remember that you don't want to apply too much pressure. You just want to gently press into the points of pain and hold the pressure for as long as you can tolerate it.

Holding pressure for at least 30 seconds should do the trick. Once you're done, move on to the next step.

Release it

Taking time to release your trigger point is just as important as applying pressure to it.

Simply release the pressure you just applied until you feel the knot is completely gone. This may take several seconds to a few minutes, depending on how bad the point was.

Keep in mind that releasing trigger points can be a bit painful at times and can even cause some cramping during or right after the process.

However, you shouldn't worry about this since it's a normal part of the process and will go away soon enough.

Repeat as needed

Taking time to release trigger points can be a lengthy process, as these points can occur in one or even multiple areas of the body.

That's why it's recommended that you repeat this process as often as needed to ensure all your trigger points have been released. You can also repeat this process anytime if you start feeling any new pain in the area.

This will help keep these pains at bay and allow you to stay active for longer.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your body is free of discomfort and start living life to the fullest again. Just ensure that you are constantly checking in with yourself to ensure that the pressure you are applying isn't too intense or causing any additional pain.

Next, we'll discuss what techniques to use in order to maximize the effects of trigger point release.

Different Techniques for Trigger Point Release

Releasing trigger points can be done in a variety of ways.

Depending on the type and severity of pain you're experiencing, different techniques may be more suitable for your needs. Let's explore some of the most common methods you can try:

Pressure by hand

Using your hands to release trigger points is the most common option and may be a good choice for those looking for an easy, low-cost solution.

This method involves applying gentle pressure to the point with your fingertips or knuckles. You'll need to move your fingers in small circles around the spot until you feel it release. This technique can also be performed by a trained therapist or self-administered with proper guidance.

It is often combined with other therapies such as stretching, heat, or cold therapy to provide comprehensive relief from muscle tension and pain.

Massage therapy

Massage Trigger Point Release Technique

A second option for performing trigger point release is massage therapy.

This method involves having an experienced massage therapist use their hands or massage tools to apply pressure and release your trigger points.

The massage therapist will usually combine different techniques such as kneading, tapping, stroking, and more to help mobilize the area and manipulate the muscle tissue. This can be a great way to relax tense muscles, release knots, and reduce pain.

If visiting a massage therapist isn't an option, there are also tools you can use at home to help release trigger points.

Let's explore a few of them and how they play a role in trigger point release.

Foam rollers

Foam rolling is another popular technique used for manual trigger point release.

It involves using a cylindrical foam roller to press and massage the affected area. By rolling back and forth, you can help to loosen tight muscles and reduce tension in the body. What's more, it helps to increase circulation and promote relaxation.

To perform foam rolling, lay down on the foam roller with the affected area directly on top. Slowly move back and forth until you feel the knot start to loosen.

Massage guns

If you are after a more intense release, you might want to consider using a massage gun.

Massage guns are devices that use powerful vibrations to penetrate deep into the muscles and help relieve tension and pain.

The vibration of the massage gun can help break up knots in the muscles as well as improve blood flow in the area. This can be ideal for those suffering from chronic muscle pain or tightness.

Modern-day massage guns come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can find one that fits your needs. Sleek, powerful models like the Fusion Elite have adjustable speed settings and interchangeable attachments that allow for varying levels of intensity and targeting different muscle groups.

They are often used by athletes, physical therapists, and individuals seeking muscle relaxation and pain relief.

Leg massagers

Leg massagers are devices or techniques used to apply pressure and manipulate your leg muscles, specifically targeting trigger points.

These devices are specially designed with adjustable leg sleeves that conveniently wrap around the leg muscles for a comfortable and targeted massage.

They can be used to help loosen knots, reduce tension, and stimulate blood flow in your leg muscles. This makes them a special fit for anyone looking to perform trigger point release without the help of a massage therapist.

Leg massagers are great for people who experience chronic muscle pain or stiffness in their legs, especially after long periods of sitting. It is also a good way to relax after a hard day's work.

However, it is important to note that leg massagers should be used according to the manufacturer's instructions and in moderation to avoid any potential adverse effects.

Massage balls

Massage balls are small, firm balls that are used in a technique called trigger point release.

By applying pressure to these trigger points using massage balls, the muscles can be relieved of tension and the pain can be reduced.

During trigger point release with massage balls, the individual places the ball on the trigger point and applies pressure by leaning against a wall or lying on the floor. The pressure helps to release the tension and knots in the muscle, promoting relaxation and pain relief.

Overall, massage balls provide a convenient and effective method for self-massage and trigger point release, allowing individuals to alleviate muscle tension and promote overall well-being.

Visit a chiropractor

Visiting a chiropractor is a technique used in trigger point release.

Chiropractors use various methods, including manual manipulation and adjustments, to release these trigger points and alleviate the associated symptoms.

By applying targeted pressure and stretching techniques to where you feel pain, chiropractors can help relax the muscles, improve blood flow, and promote healing. This technique can be beneficial for individuals experiencing muscle tension, chronic pain, or restricted mobility.

It is important to consult with a qualified chiropractor to determine if this treatment is suitable for your specific needs.

Try acupuncture

Visiting an acupuncturist is another trigger point release technique that can be effective in relieving muscle tension and pain.

During this procedure, fine acupuncture needles are inserted into the skin at specific points to release blocked energy and promote healing. This technique can help relax tight muscles while improving blood flow and circulation.

Studies show that acupuncture may be beneficial for individuals who are experiencing chronic pain or muscle spasms, as it can help reduce inflammation and promote relaxation.

Now that you are well aware of the different techniques used in trigger point release, you can pick the one that best suits your needs.

Whether you choose to use a leg massager, massage ball, chiropractor, or acupuncturist, each of these techniques can be helpful in relieving muscle tension and pain.

Next, we'll dive into the benefits trigger point release can bring to your overall health.

Benefits of Performing Trigger Point Release

From reduced pain to increased flexibility, trigger point release offers several benefits that can help improve overall health and well-being.

Some of them include:

Reduces pain

Trigger point release is an effective method for reducing pain in the body.

Applying pressure, performing stretches, and giving massages can reduce tension in the affected area and lessen discomfort. This also helps to improve circulation, which reduces inflammation and pain.

Moreover, it promotes relaxation, further decreases muscle tension, and relieves various types of persistent pain, such as joint pain, chronic neck pain, pelvic pain, arm pain, and musculoskeletal pain.

Regularly doing trigger point release can prevent and decrease pain in the long run.

Promotes relaxation

While it may seem counterintuitive, performing trigger point release can actually help promote relaxation.


Well, experiencing trigger points can often be painful, and this can add to a person’s stress. This can make it extremely difficult to relax.

Fortunately, trigger point therapy helps to reduce pain and tension in the body, leading to a more relaxed state. With techniques like stretching, applying blood pressure or massage therapy with tools like the Fusion Air C Pro, blood flow is better regulated, leading to a more relaxed feeling throughout the body.

This helps to reduce pain, improve mobility, and promote relaxation throughout the body.

Increases flexibility

Another benefit of trigger point release is that it helps increase flexibility in the body.

By applying pressure and performing stretches and massage, you can help loosen tight muscles and improve your overall range of motion. What's more, this technique helps to reduce knots in the body, leading to greater mobility and increased flexibility.

Regularly performing trigger point release can help restore muscle balance and reduce the risk of injuries.

Improves blood circulation

Trigger point release can be an effective way to improve circulation in the body.

By applying pressure and performing stretches and massage, you can help stimulate blood flow throughout the body. This helps provide oxygen and nutrients to affected areas, improving healing and overall health.

Performing trigger point release helps relax tight muscles and increase overall flexibility. This is especially beneficial for physically active people who need to move freely.

Overall, trigger point release is a great way to reduce discomfort and tension in your body without relying on medications or alternative treatments. With regular practice, you can improve your overall health and well-being.

Now that we know the benefits of performing trigger point release, let’s delve into what you can do to maximize your session.

Things to Do Before and After Trigger Point Release

While trigger point release is an effective method for improving health and well-being, there are certain things you should do before and after this therapy to get the most out of it.

Keep the following tips in mind for a smooth experience:


Before performing trigger point release, it is advisable to follow these steps to ensure that you get the most benefit:


Before performing trigger point release, it is important to hydrate because the process of releasing trigger points can be physically demanding and may cause the muscles to work harder and potentially become dehydrated.

Hydration helps to ensure that the muscles and tissues are properly lubricated, preventing excessive friction and reducing the risk of injury during the trigger point release process.

What's more, staying hydrated can also help flush out any toxins or waste products that may be released during muscle manipulation, promoting faster recovery and minimizing post-treatment discomfort.

Perform light stretch

Another way to maximize the benefits of trigger point release is to perform light stretches before the session.

Stretching helps to reduce tension in the muscles, improve blood supply and get rid of poor posture. By stretching prior to treatment, you can help prepare your body for the manipulation involved in trigger point release.

This will make it easier for your practitioner to work on tight muscles and knots and maximize the effects of the treatment.

Apply lubricants for maximum effect

It is important to apply lubricants to the area to maximize the effectiveness of the trigger point technique.

Lubricants, such as oils or creams, help reduce friction between the skin and the hands or tools used during trigger point release.

By applying lubricants, the hands or tools can glide smoothly over the skin, allowing for a more comfortable and efficient treatment. This reduces the chances of any discomfort or radiating pain caused by excessive friction.

What's more, lubricants can help reduce the risk of skin irritation or damage during the process. The smoothness provided by the lubricants ensures that the skin is not pulled or stretched excessively, minimizing the potential for any adverse effects.


After doing the important things to do before performing trigger point release, it is also important to take care of yourself after the session. Here are some things to keep in mind:


what to do after trigger point release

After performing trigger point release, it is important to rehydrate to support the body's healing process and prevent any potential side effects.

To effectively rehydrate after trigger point release, it is recommended to drink plenty of water or fluids that contain electrolytes. Electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium, help restore the body's electrolyte balance, which can be disrupted during the release process.

It is important to note that rehydration is not only beneficial immediately after trigger point release but should also be maintained throughout the day to ensure optimal hydration levels. 

Adequate hydration can help minimize any potential post-treatment discomfort and promote a faster recovery.

Use a cold compress

Using a cold compress after performing trigger point release can help reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.

As you may well know, trigger point release can cause localized inflammation in your body muscles. Applying a cold compress helps constrict blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the area, which can decrease inflammation and swelling.

It can also numb the area and provide temporary pain relief. Cold therapy can be especially beneficial immediately after trigger point release to help manage any discomfort or soreness that may occur.

Take time to rest

After performing trigger point release, it is important to take time to rest for several reasons.

First, trigger point release involves applying pressure and manipulating specific areas of the body to release tension and relieve pain. This can cause some temporary discomfort or soreness in the treated muscles. Resting allows the body to recover and heal from this physical manipulation.

Resting after trigger point release also allows the muscles to fully relax and reset. This is important because trigger points are areas of hyperirritability within the muscle tissue, often caused by chronic tension or overuse.

By resting, the muscles can return to a more relaxed state, reducing the likelihood of trigger points reoccurring.

Next, we'll dive into certain risks that can occur after performing trigger point release.

Potential Risks of Trigger Point Release

Trigger point release is generally a safe and effective technique for reducing pain and tension.

However, it is essential to note that certain risks are associated with this manual therapy. Listed below are the potential risks associated with this technique:

Muscle pain

Trigger point release can cause pain as a side effect.

The pain can be aching, throbbing, or tingling as the tight muscles are released. It is normal to experience this. If the pain, like musculoskeletal pain and pelvic pain, becomes too intense or unbearable, taking some time off will go a long way to ensuring you feel better.

After the session, you may feel soreness, which is also standard and should go away after a few days.


Infection is a possible risk associated with trigger point release.

While it is scarce, there is still the possibility of infection if proper hygiene techniques are not followed. It is vital to ensure that all tools and equipment used during trigger point release are properly sterilized and that hands are clean before and after each session.

What's more, it is important to avoid sharing tools or equipment with others, as this can increase the risk of infection.

Tissue damage

Trigger point release can also cause tissue damage if not performed correctly.

It is crucial to be sure you are using proper techniques and applying appropriate direct pressure during the session.

What's more, it is essential to stop immediately if you experience any sharp pain or discomfort, as this may indicate tissue damage.


Bleeding is a possible risk associated with trigger point release.

While it is not common, there is the potential for minor bleeding during and after the session due to tissue manipulation. This is because the deep pressure applied during trigger point release can cause little tears in soft tissues, resulting in bleeding.

What's more, it is essential to keep any tools or equipment used during the session clean and sterile to avoid infection.

Muscle tears

Muscle tears can occur during trigger point release if the sustained pressure is too great or the technique is not performed correctly.

A muscle tear can range from a minor strain to a complete muscle rupture or tendon rupture. Symptoms of a muscle tear may include sudden pain, swelling, bruising, or difficulty moving the affected area.


Soreness is another common side effect of trigger point release.

It is important to note that soreness after a session is normal and should subside after a few days. However, if the soreness persists or becomes unbearable, it is essential to stop until it subsides.

What's more, avoiding applying too much sustained pressure during the session is vital, as this can cause additional soreness.

Nerve damage

Nerve damage is a possible risk associated with trigger point release.

Because the technique involves application of pressure to tight muscles, there is potential for nerves to become compressed or pinched during the session. This can cause numbness, tingling, or pain in the affected area.

What's more, nerve damage can lead to long-term problems such as muscle weakness or impaired motor coordination. It is essential to exercise caution during a trigger point release session and stop immediately if any of these symptoms are present.

Bruising and swelling

Bruising and swelling are possible side effects of trigger point release.

Bruising is caused by the manipulation of soft tissues during the session, which can cause minor tears in the skin and underlying tissues. Swelling is also a common side effect, as a twitch response to pressure applied can cause an accumulation of fluids around the affected area.

It is important to note that bruising and swelling should subside after a few days.

Trigger point release is a gentle yet effective technique that relieves muscle tension and reduces pain. However, there are certain risks associated with them that should be taken into consideration.

By understanding these risks and taking the necessary precautions, you can ensure that your trigger point release session is safe and effective.

Next, let's dive into what conditions trigger point release can be used to treat.

Health Conditions You Can Treat with Trigger Point Release

Treating your body to trigger point release can be helpful in relieving several health conditions. The following are some of the most common ones that can benefit from this type of massage:

Chronic pain

Chronic pain is a common ailment that can be treated with trigger point release.

Trigger point release helps reduce tension in muscles and soft tissue, which can provide relief from chronic pain. This technique has also been shown to reduce inflammation, lower muscle spasms, and decrease the range of motion in some body regions.

It can also relieve tension headaches and neck pain associated with tension and stress, like repetitive stress and chronic stress.

Joint swelling

what you can treat with trigger point release

Joint swelling is a common issue caused by injury, overuse, or arthritis.

Trigger point release can help reduce joint swelling by improving circulation and reducing inflammation. By applying pressure to tight muscles around the affected joint, trigger point release can help relieve tension and improve the range of motion.

What's more, this technique can help relax muscle knots and adhesions, reducing joint swelling.

Muscle tension and tightness

Muscle tension and tightness are common issues that can be alleviated with trigger point release.

The tension in these areas can be relieved by applying pressure to tight muscles. This technique can help reduce severe pain and improve the range of motion in affected areas by releasing tense muscle knots and adhesions.

Additionally, trigger point release has been found to reduce inflammation in the area, relieving tightness and soreness.

Tension-type headaches and migraines

Headaches and migraines can be treated with trigger point release.

This technique helps reduce head, neck, and shoulder muscle tension, relieving the pain pattern associated with tension headaches and migraines. Additionally, trigger point release can help improve circulation in these areas, which can help reduce inflammation and discomfort.

It is important to note that this technique should only be used as a supplement to other treatments for headaches and migraines.


Stress is a common issue that can be treated with trigger point release.

Repetitive, chronic, and daily stress, like emotional stress, can cause muscles to become tense and tight, leading to pain patterns and discomfort. Trigger point release helps reduce tension in the affected areas by applying firm pressure to the points of tension.

This technique has been found to help reduce stress levels, improve circulation, and relax tight muscles. What's more, trigger point release can relieve tension headaches and neck pain associated with repetitive stress.


Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness at specific points in the body.

Trigger point release can be an effective treatment for those suffering from fibromyalgia as it helps relieve muscle and connective tissue tension, reducing pain and improving the range of motion.

What's more, trigger point release has been found to increase circulation to affected areas, reducing inflammation and improving overall well-being.

Myofascial pain syndrome

Trigger point release can treat myofascial pain syndrome, a chronic condition characterized by localized muscle pain, myofascial tissue, and connective tissue.'

This technique helps release tension in the affected areas, reducing pain and improving range of motion. Trigger point release has been found to increase circulation to the area, reduce inflammation, and relieve myofascial release and pain syndrome.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome is characterized by pain from trigger points, numbness, and tingling in the hand and arm due to pressure on the median nerve.

Trigger point release can be an effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome as it helps reduce tension in the common muscles of the affected area, which can provide complete relief from pain patterns.

Additionally, this technique has increased circulation to the area, reducing inflammation and improving overall well-being.

Sports injuries

Trigger point release is a great way to treat sports-related injuries.

It can help reduce inflammation and swelling in the affected area, relieving intense musculoskeletal pain and discomfort. Additionally, this technique has improved the range of motion in some body regions.

By targeting tight muscles and soft tissues, trigger point release can improve muscle flexibility and strength, which can help prevent future injuries.

Postal problems and muscle imbalances

Trigger point release can be used to treat postural problems and muscle imbalances.

This technique helps reduce muscle and soft tissue tension, improve bad posture and body posture, and relieve widespread pain associated with skeletal muscle imbalances.

What’s more, trigger point release has been found to enhance the range of motion in affected areas, which can help restore balance and symmetry to the body.

Acute trauma and micro-trauma

When performing trigger point release, seeking professional help when dealing with acute trauma or micro-trauma is essential.

Acute trauma occurs when a person experiences a direct injury due to an incident or accident, and micro-trauma occurs when a person experiences minor injuries over a long period of time. This may include experiencing soreness in muscle fibers or tenderness in certain areas of the body. Trigger point release can be effective in treating these conditions.

However, it is essential to seek professional help to ensure the technique is done correctly and safely.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about trigger point release. Let us know if you have any further questions.

Is trigger point release safe for everyone?

The trigger point release is generally safe for most people.

However, it may only be suitable for some. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any trigger point treatment to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your needs.

People who have certain medical conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, should seek medical advice before undergoing active trigger point release.

How long does it take for trigger point release to work?

The effects of trigger point release can differ from person to person, but most people experience symptomatic relief after just a few sessions.

It is important to note that trigger point release is not an overnight cure and may require multiple sessions to achieve the desired results. Your massage therapist can provide an estimated timeline for your trigger point treatment plan.

How often should I get trigger point release therapy?

The frequency of trigger point releases will vary depending on the individual and the condition being treated.

Generally, it is recommended to have trigger point release sessions done at least once a month to maintain the benefits achieved from each session. However, your therapist may recommend more frequent sessions if you are experiencing acute pain or a chronic condition.


In conclusion, trigger point release is a safe and effective way to relieve intense pain, improve range of motion, and enhance overall well-being.

Although it is possible to do trigger point release at home, seeking professional help is generally recommended to ensure the knots are released safely and effectively. Insurance does not usually cover this type of treatment.

However, checking with your provider to see if any coverage is provided is essential. A range of latent trigger point release tools are available, and your massage therapist can recommend the best ones for you based on your individual needs.

To conclude, trigger point release is a great way to reduce trigger point pain and improve mobility. It can be done safely and effectively at home or with the help of a professional. Many different tools are available for this type of treatment, and it is essential to consult your healthcare provider before beginning any trigger point therapy.

With the right tools and techniques, trigger point release can be a very effective way to improve your overall well-being.

Reach out to us if you have any questions about trigger point release or if you would like to discuss a treatment plan for your specific needs. We are here to help!

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