Triger Points

Fix Yourself At Home: Trigger Point Pain Special!

Do you ever just get that annoying, nagging pain in a certain part of your body that you just have to press and try and get rid of? You might be sitting with your partner and ask them to press into your neck or you might grab a ball and roll it into your buttock. It's that nice pain we seek that then gives us much needed relief afterwards.

If you’ve done this – then you’re probably doing the right thing. To give you some more information and guidance on this subject should help you to manage any aches and pains you may be getting during isolation and home working.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, staying home and working have become commonplace – but with that comes a whole host of postural and positional issues. Trigger point development is one of the unfortunate products of this period  - so knowing WHAT they are and what YOU can do, can help to make this period a whole lot easier.

The neck, shoulders and hips are common places for these irritable points of pain to develop. Especially if we think about the increased sitting and desk-based work we may be performing. The neck and shoulders can become overstressed from hunched working over the kitchen table, and the buttocks may become tight from inadequate seating in your makeshift office.

What Can I Do?

You will be glad to know that self-treatment can be performed!

Trigger point release is the most common way of treating these issues when you have correctly diagnosed and identified the areas which may be a problem. The technique is simple and can be performed as much as you feel it needs. Another point to consider is why you have been getting the trigger point in the first place – this is where you have to do some homework to think about the cause (postures, working positions, habits, injuries).

Heat placed upon a trigger point before treating the area can help to relax the area further. Use a hot water bottle or microwaveable wheat cushion to get a comfortable level of heat.

The technique is simple and comes in 3 easy steps:

  1. Find your trigger point and apply firm pressure to about 50% of your comfort level – hold for 10 seconds
  2. Maintain the 50% pressure and increase to 75% - hold for a further 10 seconds
  3. Maintain and increase pressure to more than 75% and whatever you can tolerate for a final 10 seconds.

The constant maintenance of pressure to the trigger point causes it to relax and loosen. You may need to repeat this measure repeatedly to get the desired effect. You can use your own hands, release tools such as hockey balls or any firm object which allows you to apply pressure. If you can't reach the area you need to be treated someone else can perform this also.

MSK Sports Injury Clinic
Mark Poolan
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