Self-Massage Therapy for Trigger Points

If you suffer from tense muscles, you know how beneficial a trigger point massage can be. Unfortunately, not many people can afford a professional massage every time they experience aches and pains. You can, however, find relief with trigger point massage therapy.

What is a Trigger Point?

A trigger point is a specific spot within muscle tissue that causes pain due to being particularly tight. Trigger points are called such because they can set off a domino effect of pain. For example, if you have a sore spot along your back, it can lead to tense muscles in the neck. Those tense muscles can then cause chronic tension headaches.

Trigger point massage therapy targets the pain through pressure and release techniques. Trigger point massage therapy can be uncomfortable since the point of pain is being directly manipulated, but that manipulation releases constricted muscles which, in turn, alleviates pain.

Self-Treatment of Trigger Points

To successfully perform trigger point therapy, you must focus on the precise spot where your pain is centralized. These points are most painful when they’re manipulated at their center. When working with trigger points, you should always focus on the most painful area to assure you’ve found the trigger point.

While you’re focusing on the most painful spot of the bothersome muscle, you don’t want to maximize your pain. On a scale of 1 to 10, never exceed a 7 on the pain scale.

Trigger Point Massage Tools

Having the right massage tool to manipulate particular trigger points is key. While fingers, thumbs, elbows, and fists work on spots you can reach, if you have pain in your back or shoulders, you’ll need a way to reach the trigger point and apply pressure to the correct spot.

Some massage tools can be surprisingly simple, like a basic tennis ball. Others, like a backnobber, are more specialized. A backnobber is S shaped and reaches over your shoulder to manipulate trigger points along the back.

Foam rollers can work for certain spots but are typically too wide to manipulate trigger points effectively.

How to Manipulate Trigger Points

Trigger point therapy utilizes a pressure and release technique. Once you’ve located the trigger point causing you pain, you want to press your thumbs, fingertips, or whatever tool you have acquired for the job directly into the point of pain. Increase pressure until you feel your pain is between 4 to 7 on the pain scale and hold for between 30 seconds and a full minute. You can also use small kneading strokes.

Press hard enough to help release the muscle, but not so hard that you’ll injure yourself further. If you’re new to trigger point therapy, start gently.

Need help with trigger point massage therapy in Waterford, MI? Seek out a professional to help release muscles and alleviate your pain.