Trigger point sports massage is a great way to self massage tight muscles. It is not as effective as a sports massage mainly because you can only work on small surface areas and use it as a specific release of one spot but it can be great for regular releasing tight gluteal muscles especially if you do a lot of sport or gym work.
Trigger points can also be called muscle knots, there is minimal science behind it but knots are areas of tension that build up in certain muscle groups. This tension tends to build at where the nerve connects to the muscle almost as if a plug is getting electricity from a socket.
Common Trigger point areas are
- Upper trapezius muscle at the base of the neck
- Gluteal muscles around the pelvis
- hamstring muscles
- Quadriceps muscles
Its important to remember NEVER to put continued pressure on any joint in the body and especially not around the neck. If you get any symptoms such as dizziness/ pins and needles or numbness then stop immediately.
Recently I treated Elena, a 40 year old gym class junkie. Elena was another patient who was passionate about her classes epecially her Zumba classes. She would normally exercise 6-7 days a week. Zumba 3-4 times, body pump and the stepper were her other favourites. Over time she started to wake up with a stiff lower back and this is what she came to see me for.
We assessed her and decided that the problem was a stiffness issue, (sometimes stiffness especially in the mornings can mean inflammation- it is an important distinction that you may need a physiotherapist to help you with). We treated her with a sports massage around her gluteals and her symptoms improved. In Elena’s case because of all the squats she was doing it was making her glute muscles stiff and therefore making her back stiff.
After just a couple of sessions of physiotherapy we showed Elena how to Trigger point sports massage using the Spiky balls. At first she tried it twice per week but she didn’t really feel the lasting effects due to the amount she was exercising. It was only when she started to use t the Spiky ball after each leg workout did she start to feel better.