Trigger points – or muscle knots, is a common problem people can get. A trigger point is a cramped muscle tissue that causes pressure on sensitive points in the muscles. Someone who has many trigger points (and gets them regularly) is known to have Myofascial pain syndrome.
What makes a “trigger point?”
According to Dr. Janet Travell, who coined the term, a trigger point must have the following characteristics:
- Pain is discrete, and on an irritable point in skeletal muscle, but not caused by injury
- The painful point can be felt as a nodule or band in the muscle, and a twitch in the muscle happens on stimulation of the trigger point
- Palpation (a doctor feeling the body for pain) of the trigger point repeats the pain and within a specific location
What causes trigger points?
A trigger point can be caused by many reasons. An athlete exercising very hard can cause their muscles to become overloaded. It can also be caused by heavy stress, muscle tear, disease, health issues, or by injuries caused some time ago, but has since healed. Trigger points are only in muscles.
Trigger points pain, on the other side, causes a lot and a lot of spending. Only in the United States it is calculated that $50 billion are spent each year only for curing back pain. With around 3.5 million people affected, back pain is the second most common cause of disabilities between American adults.
How to treat trigger points?
Most experts will agree, the best way to treat trigger points is through massage therapy. The massage can be given by a professional masseuse, or by using mechanical vibration (electronic massage therapy devices). Stretching techniques can also help treat these painful knots.
The best way to treat this pain is to find the trigger point, stretching the muscle and using massage techniques to “loosen” the knot.
How Shiatsu Massage helps to treat trigger points:
A massage technique that is popular around the world for treating sore, fatigued and painful muscles is the Shiatsu massage. It’s commonly used in spas and is now easily available at home thanks to electronic massage therapy devices. Shiatsu massage uses fingers and thumbs to apply pressure on specific points on the body. Follow the link to continue reading more about Shiatsu massage and its benefits.
Sometimes all that’s needed is right a soothing, pain relieving massage in the comfort of home. Keep reading, as this article will cover common trigger point areas on the body, and some massage solutions that you can enjoy at home.
A solution for tired feet
Have you ever found yourself walking down the street or in the office, only to abruptly stop and flinch because of the pain in your feet? In Chinese Foot Reflexology, it is believed that the feet are a map to the many pressure points in the body.
Trigger points can often happen in the feet, and they can be very painful. They’re also very inconvenient, leaving you unable to walk or continue with your work. A great treatment to prevent trigger points in the feet is to regularly massage them throughout the week. But frequent foot massages can be very expensive. Thanks to electronic massage devices, you can get a relaxing massage at home without breaking the bank.
How to aid trigger points in hard to reach areas
Sometimes we can get very bad muscle pain on our bodies where our hands just can’t reach. All you want is a finger or palm pressure massage to stop the pain and get on with your day. Absent the masseur or the option to actually go get a massage, the quick way to try and solve the problem is to slowly and carefully stretch the muscle in pain. If this doesn’t work, or if the pain is in a place hard to reach with your hands, you will have to rely on a massager with a long handle that can reach the troublesome spot. For this purpose we have made a handheld massager just for this purpose. Click on the picture below to learn more.
The shoulders and neck are critical
If you work from home or sit in a chair at the office for long periods of time, chances are, you’ve experienced soreness and fatigue in your shoulders and neck. If you are active outdoors, lift weights or work a labor intensive job, you’ve had to deal with trigger points before. One way to find some relief is to apply heat to where it hurts. This helps to loosen the muscle. Naipo’s Cordless Shoulder and Neck Massager has a heat function built in, so you can get a warm (or hot) massage at home or even at the office.