The word trigger point describes a swollen lump that causes pain in areas like the shoulders, neck and back. To free the muscle of the contraction you first have to localize the trigger point and then loosen it with the help of pressure and massage. To treat painful points you can go to a physiotherapist or osteopath but you can also do it yourself.
How Do I Find The Trigger Point?
Pressure-sensitive trigger points form in muscles of the shoulders, back, neck and other body parts and cause radiating pain. Because of this, trigger points in the shoulder can cause pain in the arm. Such hardened muscles can be a result of overloading, bad posture and too little physical activity and are either active or lateral. Active trigger points cause pain even when the body is resting. Latent trigger points can only be felt when touching the affected area but can cause muscular dysfunctions as well.
To identify trigger points, you can use heat. Put a hot-water bottle or a grain pillow onto the hurting body part for 10 to 15 minutes. After that, palpate the area and look for hardened muscles. Those are your trigger points.
How Can I Treat trigger Points?
A trigger point therapy loosens the muscles and alleviates pain. It can be done manually or with the support of massage tools and helps with
- headaches and migraines
- neck pain
- shoulder pain
- back pain
- pain of the hip, pelvis and lumbar spine
- arm pain
- leg and foot pain
During a trigger point massage, it’s important to find the right spot. Concentrate on the most painful area of a sensitive point and massage it with your hands and elbows. Make sure to not use too much pressure. The pain should not be maximized and on a scale from 1 to 10 it should be between 4 and 7. Those who carry it too far will irritate the nervous system and worsen the pain.
In order to treat hard-to-reach regions, you can also use massage tools. The Knobble for example helps you treat deep-lying tissue and loosen tensions to alleviate pain. Other tools like the Thera Cane or Woodsticks make it easier for you to massage hurting body parts without help. The usage of such massage tools is easy and effective.
How Effective is a Trigger Point Massage?
If you are treating new trigger points you can already feel an improvement after only a few massages. With trigger points that have been bothering you for a while, you can only alleviate the pain lastingly when you are practicing trigger point therapy over a longer period of time. To prevent new pain it’s important to know the source and work on it. You can do this by avoiding overloading and by integrating more movement into your day.
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