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Trigger points !

What are they?

often referred to at knots!


Trigger points are restricted and usually tender points that can form within any soft tissue but tend to from in ‘postural’ muscles rather than ‘movement’ muscles.


Trigger points can often cause a cascading effect of more trigger points (satellite or secondary trigger points)



The body creates a trigger point to guard the muscles and stop them from tearing but what could be the cause of your horses trigger points?

  • poor circulation

  • poorly fitting tack

  • compensatory movement patterns

  • nervous system over exertion

  • muscular tension or overuse

  • acute or chronic injury

  • High intensity training


Left untreated could result in behavioural, performance and soundness issues


How can a trigger point be treated?

Releasing a trigger point can be done with massage, starting off with effleurage to warm the muscles and relax the patient.

remember pain creates muscle guarding And resistance therefore the wrong approach to the individual may make it more difficult to release a trigger point.

Then more deeper massage techniques can be employed such as compression. stretching of the muscles and positional release techniques can also be key in releasing trigger points.

during compression pain signals can often be activated causing spasms in the surrounding tissues, like with people some horses enjoy this pain/pleasure release feeling and some not so much, so a slower softer approach may need to be adopted to say within the horses comfort level.

Regularly getting your horse checked over by a physio or manual therapist will help to keep trigger points to a minimum, your therapist will also try to determine the cause of the trigger points and help you work towards keeping them to a minimum.



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