Several years ago, I had a persistent muscle spasm in my shoulder. I went through the doctor’s general treatment guidelines. Heat, ibuprofen and muscle relaxers. It wouldn’t go away. We moved on to physical therapy for a year, steroid injections and more muscle relaxers. They called it a trigger point. Basically, a muscle spasm that won’t go away. I started investing in trigger point therapy tools and trying a few alternative methods of healing. Very quickly, I discovered that chiropractors are awesome and that I hate acupuncture.
I have come to learn quite a bit about trigger points over the last few years and if you suffer from these painful muscle knots, there ARE products out there that can help. Keep reading to find a few trigger point therapy massage tools to consider to help you overcome the pain and improve flexibility.
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What is a Trigger Point?
A trigger point is more than just a muscle spasm, although a lot of research is still being done to understand what they are. When pressed, trigger points feel like knots or tight bands in the muscle. They are usually very tender. If you examined the muscle up close, part of the muscle fiber itself is contracted into a small dense area, and the rest of the fiber around it is stretched thin. Eventually, some of the structural changes within the muscle may be irreversible if trigger points are left untreated for long enough. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure that is where I am with my own trigger points.
I have been diagnosed with Myofascial Pain Syndrome which basically is an autoimmune issue resulting in a ton of muscle stiffness and a tendency to suffer from multiple trigger points. While trigger point tools, exercise, and nutrition will help, nothing will cure them completely for me. Check out these natural remedies for chronic pain and then start focusing on breaking up those trigger points as much as you can.
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Trigger Point Therapy Tools
Before I list the trigger point therapy tools that may help, let me just say that NOTHING will help without the right nutrition and a seriously good exercise routine. Fuel your body with the proper nutrients, take your vitamins and get out of the chair and start working out regularly. But, in addition to a healthy lifestyle, try these trigger point massage tools for muscle pain relief:
Foam Roller For Relieving Muscle Tension
Foam rollers are awesome and can be used to treat trigger point in a number of different areas of your body. Invest in a good foam roller and then get yourself a book about how to use a foam roller effectively. It is a bit of an art to learn how to use it on different parts of your body. However, I love the one we have and use it on my back and calves regularly.
Check out the video below from Livestrong about how to use a foam roller.
Cane shaped massager
This slightly weird cane shaped massager makes it easy to apply pain-relieving deep compression directly to hard, knotted trigger points anywhere they occur, breaking up tension even in the hardest-to-reach muscle areas. This helps bring oxygenated blood to the trigger point, helping it work more efficiently. It’s like a massage therapist in your own home.
More Chronic Pain Tips
- Omega 3 and Inflammation and Coping With Chronic Pain
- Electrotherapy Pain Relief and Staying Active with Chronic Pain
- 7 Effective Natural Remedies for Chronic Pain
- Sauna Tips for Better Health and Improved Well being
Massage Therapy Ball Set
Instead of a tennis ball for trigger point therapy, consider a massage therapy ball set. An assortment of sizes helps you properly treat trigger points at various parts of the body.
One Person Trigger Point Massage Tool
The Gideon trigger point self massage tool is similar to the cane shown above, except the shape of the trigger point therapy area is different. The cane has ball like protrusions whereas this self massage tool has areas that are supposed to simulate a massage therapists hands. I have had a number of massage therapy sessions and they DO help…just wish they weren’t so expensive. This trigger point massage tool is an inexpensive alternative.
Foot Roller Massager
Feet are prone to trigger points, just like the rest of the body. I do a ton of foot stretches to keep the muscles in my feet from spasms but this foot roller massager is a great way to tackle trigger points on the soles of the feet. The lightweight and portable size is convenient for the gym, office or on the road. Tuck this little foot roller massager into your bag and take it everywhere you go.
I would love to know if you have found other trigger point therapy tools that have worked for you.
Do you suffer from trigger points? Tell me about your own experiences!
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.