Whenever a body makes a strenuous effort, micro-tears occur in muscle fibers. These stress points can also be caused by a trauma, such as a kick, a fall, or overstretching. When a horse is recovering from an injury, stress points can occur in the muscles that compensate. Tension can also create stress points.
In the diagram below you can see the most common places for stress points to show up. During a massage session, I check all 25 of these points. I have found the fastest and most effective way to release these points of stress is through direct pressure. Keeping the body free of these restrictive spots will keep a horse freer in his movement as he ages.