By Anita Boser (Guest Blogger)
Injuries are a fact of life, so most people will experience a trigger point that causes pain or a headache for a day or longer. In our technology laden world with hours spent with poor posture in front of a computer monitor or TV, trigger points in the neck and shoulders are more common than ever.
In many cases, you don’t have to depend on pain relievers or a doctor. You can treat yourself with simple techniques.
Trigger points are tight bands or knots in a muscle that get activated by overuse or repetitive strain that create a specific pain pattern. The pain may be distant to the originating muscle, and then can cause a trigger point in that muscle with a cascade effect of soreness.
Start by warming up your muscles with gentle movement or in a shower. Then find the taut bands within the painful muscle. These are exquisitely tender knots, some as small as a pea and others as big as a golf ball. Search the surrounding area, too, because there will be more than you think. Often pain in the neck starts with trigger points in the shoulders
Once you find the spots, you want to press them, but not with a vengeance. In “Pain Erasure,” Bonnie Pruden recommends a firm touch for 10 to 15 seconds. “The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook” proposes circular motions.
It’s important to get all of the contributing points, not just the one or two that hurt the most. Trigger points travel in packs.
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If you don’t address them all, the few you relieve are more likely to come back. As soon as you feel your pain returning, gently press on all of the related points to stop the progression.
Use your thumbs and fingers a little as possible. You don’t want to create a new set of trigger points that start in sore hands. Many people like using a TheraCane, because it reaches around the back and provides leverage. There’s also the low tech solution of tennis or racquet balls, but the surface area will be too large for some points, and some people have reported success using the handle of a wooden spoon. A kind spouse or friend can be the best option, when available and willing.
After pressing on the tender spots, gently stretch each are for about 15 seconds. You want to stretch slowly and concentrate on relaxing. Then rest for few minutes before moving on to your next activity.
If all else fails, a visit to a bodywork practitioner who is experienced in trigger points can help. And, for the most persistent, stubborn cases, a physiatrist (not a psychiatrist) has more medical options.
To learn how to take care of your muscles and regain your vitality, visit http://www.undulationexercise.com Anita Boser is a Certified Hellerwork Practitioner, Professional Structural Integration Practitioner, and author of “Undulation Exercises.” You can read her weekly blog articles at http://www.undulationexercise.blogspot.com
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Anita has some really straight forward tips for self treatment for trigger points. I would like to just add to this great article is when you are doing this treatment for yourself remember that you can use universal love energy(Reiki) on each trigger point. If you are a believer of love healing energy, then just take a deep breath in and press on point sending the energy to that spot, and as you breath out, breath out the heavy energy that was in the trigger point. Do this every time you press on a trigger point. Trust me it really works and adds to the power of natural healing and in a scientific way, as you take a deep breath in you are bring in more oxygen to the muscles being worked on so the body start to heal this area. Remember the body really knows what it is doing, but sometimes it just needs some help. Remember you are the one doing the treatment so be good to yourself and do not hurt yourself. If this treatment is not helping in any way, go see you massage therapist. Lets take care of oneself one trigger point at a time!