Giving yourself a massage may not make a lot of sense. It almost feels like you are trying to tickle yourself. However, if there’s ever a good reason for giving your own muscles love and attention, it’s likely because of trigger points and muscle “knots”. These are sore spots that often come with stiffness and pain. They’re quite common like acne, which can cause further pain or could be a complication of almost any type of body pain. These trigger points can also be a big reason why you experience neck and lower back pains.
Fortunately, you can self-treat most trigger points – the minor ones, anyway. In fact, you’d often get more relief from trigger point pains by self-massaging than coming in for a massage appointment. Professional massages are no doubt nice — and sometimes really important— but you can save a lot of money when you learn to massage these trigger points yourself. It is effective, affordable and safe. Not to mention a convenient way to help yourself get relief from many body pains.
Alternative treatment for pain relief- but worth trying
There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding trigger points. There’s no denying that people often suffer from sore spots in the muscles, but what causes them is unclear, and the common idea that knots are a form of micro damp in the fibers might not be accurate. To be quite honest, it’s not even clear if massage actually does work. So, massaging trigger points is an alternative pain relief treatment — but hey – it’s worth trying.
Easy ways you can massage sore trigger points
It’s really very simple. You just need to rub the sore area. But how do you do it exactly? There are a few things you need to consider.
Keep it simple.
You can simply press on the trigger point, pressing on it for up to a minute and a half. You can also use small, circular strokes – kneading on the muscles. If it feels good, keep going. If you know the direction of your muscle fibres, make sure that you knead or stroke parallel to the muscle fibres – stretching them as this may be more effective.
How hard should you rub or press?
Just right. Strong enough to get the knots out, but not to the point of causing more unnecessary pain. Too much hard rubbing can make the situation worse. So, on a scale of 10 — where 10 is excruciating, and 1 is comfortable, stay within the 3 – 6 range, and start gently – increasing intensity as you go.
How often should you massage trigger points?
Don’t overdo it. Start with one session for 30 seconds up to a minute depending on how you feel. Five minutes is usually the most amount of time that you can work on any trigger point, but that’s not a hard and fast rule — if massaging the trigger point feels good, then keep going.
What can you use to massage trigger points?
You can use your thumbs, elbows or handheld devices like the Hydragun percussion massager. While using thumbs and elbows are effective – using massage guns won’t tire you as much. These devices use percussive force to drive vibrations deep into muscle tissue, improving blood flow and breaking up trigger points.