A Guide to Trigger Points
If you work in an office, chances are your body has developed trigger points. Trigger points, colloquially known as “knots” in your muscles, typically develop from poor posture, improper exercise, and a whole variety of other reasons. This guide is meant to cover all the gear you’ll ever need on self trigger point therapy, or more formally, self myofascial release. I’ve known many friends and acquaintances who’ve dealt with muscle pains, injuries, and kinks from sleeping improperly that could all be solved with some of these techniques. Trigger points also lead to increased chance of injuries. The most important part is being aware in the first place.
The basic principle is to put static pressure for 30–60 seconds on a trigger point to make them disappear. Following this article, you can research much more on specific techniques, but this is the primer.
If you were only interested in having one tool, make it the lacrosse ball. It’s commonplace, small, and extremely versatile. A lacrosse ball lets you target most hard to reach areas that you need to deal with. Typically, you’d use it by putting it between your body and a wall to apply pressure to knots in your back, legs, calves, and anywhere you’d develop pain or discomfort. Its portability makes it a no brainer to take on trips in case you develop any pains during your travels. In case anyone is wondering, this is my exact routine.
The foam roller is most useful for the back and large muscle groups such as your quads, hamstrings, and the rest of your legs really. Its large size releases fascia in large swaths. It originally helped the most with the back pain I’d been having. The black one is preferred if you can stand the pressure.
These similar tools and are both really handy. Backnobber slightly edges out the Theracane in my book. The ability of the Backnobber to snap into two as well as its lighter weight means it beats the Theracane by far in terms of portability. Although the Theracane has a few more usable areas, the main hook angle isn’t as efficient. Overall, high maneuverability, as well as not needing a surface such as a wall/floor, makes these very effective tools. Pick one.
Rumble Roller (optional)
A smaller 12" compact one is ideal, and the mechanism is similar to having multiple lacrosse balls working on your back at the same time. I’ve denoted this as optional as it doesn’t do anything unique compared with the items mentioned above, but due to sheer speed and efficiency, this has risen to become my most used item. It’s like the king kong of foam rollers. Just looking at it will probably tenderize your knots.
This tool is useful for the forearms. If you’ve been spending too much time on the keyboard and you feel that carpal tunnel is coming, do yourself a favor and use this on yourself.
And that’s it. These tools should cover just about everything you might ever need. Amazon affiliate links purposely left out.