If you are suffering from pain in your body than muscles need to be considered as one of the possible “pain generators”. Just like ligaments, tendons, joints, and discs, muscles can create both acute and chronic pain.

Each muscle has its own pain referral patterns, which have been accurately mapped out in the books “Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction – The Trigger Point Manual” by Travell and Simons.

infraspinatus diagram

Do you really know your LEVEL of Pain and Dysfunction?


Trigger points are commonly described as ‘trigger sites’ or ‘muscle knots’. These points are hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with taunt bands of muscle fibers. Activation of trigger points may be caused by a number of factors including:

  • Acute overload – Heavy lifting or quick acceleration during sport
  • Chronic overload – Long hours sitting at computers or training for sport
  • Activation by other trigger points – Chest triggers can set off shoulder triggers
  • Direct trauma – An opponent’s knee striking your thigh muscle
  • Spinal problems – Nerve dysfunction can lead to trigger points in the muscles
  • Deficiencies – Vitamin and mineral deficiencies and/or dehydration
  • Toxic overload – Toxicity within organs or glands

These taunt bands (trigger points) are a common, yet often overlooked, cause of pain.


trapezius muscles

Did you know that your neck pain and headaches could be coming from trigger points in your upper trapezius muscles?

gluteal muscles diagram

Did you know that your buttocks and leg pain could be coming from trigger points in your gluteal muscles?


A skilled practitioner can determine whether your pain pattern is being caused by muscular trigger points. The practitioner can palpate (feel) your muscle tissues and isolate trigger points (knots) within the muscle. In most cases, pressure on the trigger point will reproduce your pain. This can be a significant clue as to whether trigger points are contributing to the pain within your body.

 A skilled set of hands can then release the offending trigger point(s) and restore balance to the muscular system.


Trigger point therapy is a form of Remedial Massage Therapy in which direct pressure is applied to taunt bands of muscle tissue to bring about a reduction in muscle tension and in the process provide pain relief.

Organise an appointment with a Body Genius Trigger Point Therapist


Trigger points are a common, yet often overlooked, pain generator. Aches and pains are an extremely common medical complaint and often muscles are not considered as possible cause. Consider these examples:

  • A person presents with chronic headaches and is prescribed medication. Trigger points in the upper trapezius muscles and neck muscles are not considered as a possible cause.
  • A person presents with lower back pain and is given a referral for an expensive CT scan. The scan shows multiple levels of disc degeneration and the patient is told the disc disease is causing their pain pattern. Is it possible that proper assessment would reveal that the muscles surrounding the core, hips or lower back are contributing to this person’s pain?
  • A client presents with left shoulder pain at the front. The ultrasound scan demonstrated bursitis and tendonitis within the shoulder. The patient had a cortisone injection and was given exercises. Three weeks later the pain had not improved and they sought a second opinion. Careful examination revealed trigger points in the surrounding rotator cuff muscles and trigger point therapy alleviated 80% of their pain in three (3) sessions.

Muscular trigger points can cause pain problems, complicate pain problems and even mimic other pain problems.

Trigger points can cause headaches, lower back pain, shoulder pain, leg pain and even chest pain. Trigger points can also produce altered sensations such as pins and needles and numbness, which can be falsely attributed to nerves.

Trigger points can complicate injuries or other painful problems. Trigger points can form to try to protect an injured joint, tendon, or ligament. This often makes the situation worse and over time the trigger point pain may even begin to overshadow the original problem.

Trigger points can mimic pain patterns from other tissues within the body. Trigger points can make you feel like you have:


A toothache Bursitis Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Sciatica Headaches/migraines Tendonitis
Shin splints Tennis elbow Golfer’s elbow


This is why it’s so important to have your pain assessed by a highly skilled practitioner who is experienced in assessing the muscular system.


Great question!

The first thing we need to decide is if your ilio-tibial bands (ITB) are actually tight or simply feel tight. A skilled therapist can perform a ‘Thomas Test’ to try to establish this answer. We have so many clients that feel tight in their ITB and roll them consistently and yet upon testing the bands are not tight.

Second, a skilled therapist can check mobility at the ankle, knee, hip, pelvis, spine and shoulders to make sure all your major joints are moving correctly. Are your ITBs becoming tight to compensate for lack of mobility in one or more of your joints?

Third, a skilled practitioner can assess the length of all the major muscles in your body. Are your ITBs becoming chronically tight because they are compensating for other tight tissues?

Fourth, a skilled practitioner can assess you on a functional level. At the Body Genius Institute we use the Functional Movement Screen®, Y-Balance Test® and a range of other functional tests to determine how well you move. Are your ITBs chronically tight due to poor functional ability?

Fifth, are your ITBs chronically tight due to poor biomechanics in sport or activity? This may include poor bike set up if you are a cyclist, a poor running style, poor form with gym-based exercises, etc

Sixth, are your ITBs chronically tight due to poor internal health? Tightness in soft tissues can be caused by poor gut health, systemic inflammation and many underlying health issues.

Although this sounds like a complicated process, a skilled practitioner can usually sort this out in 2-4 sessions.

This is a very common question and there are many factors that need to be considered.

Are your work or study postures continually ‘re-loading’ your muscles?

Is gym training, sport, or activity continually ‘re-loading’ your muscles?

Are faulty movement patterns or poor functional mobility overloading your muscular system?

Is it possible that the ‘pain generator’ is not the muscular system? Is it possible the muscles are tight due to other factors that have not been addressed yet?

  • Tight or subluxed joints can create muscle tightness and trigger points as a secondary problem. Releasing the tight muscles will help you to temporarily feel better but if the underlying joint problems are not addressed then pain and muscular tightness will return.
  • If your therapist is finding that the same trigger points are reforming over and over again, then they may need to look for ‘satellite’ trigger points. Satellite trigger points are trigger points that cause other trigger points to form. As such the therapist may need to release multiple regions of the body.
  • Are you following the Foundation Principles of health? If any of the foundation principles are being neglected they can lead to chronic symptoms including muscular tightness.

Foundation Principles of Health

Organic Food Adequate hydration Quality sleep patterns
Active Lifestyle Mental Health Spiritual Health
Emotional Health Optimal Breathing Patterns
  • Is it possible that you have underlying health issues or systemic inflammation and that your muscular tightness is a symptom of this condition? This may include gut issues, liver toxicity, gallbladder disease, circulatory problems or immune-related disorders.

A skilled therapist can sort through this list and help you to overcome your pain and tightness. This process is made much easier at the Body Genius Institute by following the Performance Pyramid. This process ensures we accurately diagnose the problem and identify all of the causative factors.

Performance Pyramid

Body Genius Performance Pyramid

Recovery from injury Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Shin Splints
Headaches Sciatica Plantar Fasciitis
Migraines Knee Pain Neck Pain
Tennis Elbow Golfer’s Elbow Lower Back Pain
Shoulder pain Bursitis Tendonitis
Frozen shoulder Fibromyalgia Arthritis and joint pain

If your pain is being contributed to by trigger points then you should notice a significant amount of relief in two to three sessions. If no pain resolution occurs than the treating therapist may consider a different pain generator for your condition.

In the long term, you will need less trigger point therapy if you are:

  • Sleeping well
  • In a state of optimal health
  • Minimize your psycho-emotional stress
  • Practice mindfulness techniques such as Tai Chi, Qigong, Meditation, Yoga, breathing exercises, etc
  • Eat a whole food diet made up of organic meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, berries, nuts, seeds, etc
  • Move your body on a daily basis.

Book a FREE phone call with a Body Genius trigger point therapy practitioner


We are located in Perth, just a few minutes from the CBD. All of our services, including trigger point therapy are based in one convenient location.

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