We will first discuss trigger points. Knots also known as trigger points are common throughout the muscles of the body. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Claire and Amber Davies defines a trigger point as “a grumpy little spot in a taut band of muscle tissue that hurts when you press on it. With pressure it can reproduce and confirm your symptoms” (pain).
The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Claire and Amber Davies also provided these rules of self-massage:
1. Never massage a pulse - avoid areas with arteries near the surface.
2. Use a tool if possible and save your hands.
3. Three tools that work well are the massage cane, lacrosse ball, and massage gun (or handheld massager).
4. Use deep stroking massage.
5. Massage with short, repeated strokes from one side of the painful spot to the other.
6. Do the massage stroke slowly.
7. Do the massage in one direction for the best ergonomics.
8. The goal of the trigger point massage is to apply continued pointed pressure to the knot which can hurt (but it should be a pleasant kind of hurt). If it hurts too much you should stop.
9. Aim at not going any higher than a pain level of 5 on a scale of 1-10.
10. Limit massage to 10 to 12 strokes per trigger point.
11. Work a trigger point three to six times per day.
12. If you get no relief, you may be working the wrong spot.
For muscle strain or tendonitis, we want to provide this additional advice:
1. Apply cross-fiber friction massage to the tendon or muscle belly. Use two fingertips side by side or one atop of another. Find the tender spot over the tendon or muscle belly and massage across the muscle fibers deeply and vigorously. (Cross Fiber Massage)
2. Try massage for 30 to 60 seconds and if the pain is increasing stop and try again in a few days. If the pain level plateaus or improves you may continue for 5-15 minutes every other day.
3. If the pain is spreading out, it is generally getting worse.
4. If the pain is centralizing or becoming more focused, it is generally getting better.
This video is part of a series of videos on how to treat your pain with self-massage. Check the full series of videos along with the downloadable guide sheets for each video on our website here: https://www.bobandbrad.com/massage/
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