Relieve Trigger Points to Overcome Soft-Tissue Pain

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Disclaimer:

This post is not intended as medical advice. This post is for educational purposes only. There are many factors that can produce myofascial pain, including stress. If you have numbness, tingling, headaches, dizziness or other symptoms, please see your primary care provider first to determine or eliminate possible other causes

Not many people know that trigger points exist. Janet G. Travell and David G. Simons were the first to discover and describe referral patterns of trigger points. They also wrote the "trigger point bible that therapists use as a reference. Trigger points (TrPs) are areas of the muscle’s contractile unit — the sacromeres that are not letting go. They are “knotted” and pulling on either end of the muscles. TrPs can be the size small grains of sand, big tennis balls or ropes.

Latent ones are those that you can only feel when pressure is applied to them.

Muscles with trigger points in them do not gain strength nor do they get bigger. Active TrPs first tell you they are there by whispering. When they’re ignored they shout, and when they’re further ignored, they yell so loud that it becomes disabling. When TrPs are not dealt with when they're whispering, it takes longer to find relief and the muscle takes longer to heal.

You can use hands, tennis balls, Trigger Point Therapists and other tools to deactivate trigger points. The trick here is that more is not better. If they are particularly sensitive, chronic or you are new to self-treatment, be gentle and use short pulsing strokes. Keep your intensity at about a 2-6 on a 10 point scale. Start gently and gradually by working your way into them. When trigger points are deactivated, muscles won’t produce pain when pressed on.

Start to strengthen again when you no longer have trigger points in that area.Be very gentle with any stretching that you do. Most people tend to overstretch, which causes the fascia and muscles to contract.

Be very gentle with any stretching that you do. Most people tend to overstretch, which causes the fasica and muscles to contract.

Trigger Point Resources

 Paul Ingraham's website for more details on trigger points and how to save yourself.

Alfred Ball

CEO | Practicing Kinesiologist | Certified Fascial Stretch Therapist. He founded Lifemoves in 2007. He has been a Practicing Kinesiologist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach with the NSCA for over 15 years. When he isn't helping people regain their strength and confidence to move with ease he is hanging out with his wife and young son, writing, or training for his next endurance running race. His big audacious goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

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