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  • Questions on Trigger Point Therapy

    I've had lots of people suggest trigger point therapy, which I believe is the technique of applying intense pressure to the trigger points (muscle knots) using a lacrosse ball, or something like it. Does this sound accurate?

    My question is, how long should it take to solve these muscle knots I have in my back and shoulders? I've been going at them for about two weeks now, at least twice a day and they're still there and still causing tension.

    Does anyone have any experience in this area?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

  • #2
    My physical therapist used this technique on my hip muscles. At the start of therapy, I could feel the same muscles tightening back up on the drive home from the pt office, but as I strengthened the complementary muscle groups (my abs), the time between the release and the re-tightening lengthened.

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    • #3
      Trigger point is similar to what you describe, but really bad trigger points are knotted little points- like a bead in your muscle. You push on it and you'll want to cry.

      I dated a girl years ago that had this, because of some spinal issues she had- and when I hit the points, I could feel them like a little bead in her muscle, and it would HURT. I think that there's probably a limit to how much you can do on your own with this.

      Also, trigger points are knots of muscle. Those muscles are knotted for a reason, and if you don't work out those reasons, you'll never get rid of the knots entirely. If there is a postural issue that your body is compensating for, or just some kind of odd, chronic bad body positioning, you have to fix that too.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the input guys, both helpful. I do have postural issues, but I'm seeing a chiropractor 5 days a week to resolve that. I'm just trying to supplement with TPT to see if I can speed up the process.

        I do have the little beads/knots, and they are excruciating, but I've built up a pretty high pain threshold for them. They way I can tell that I've really got on is that I get a coppery taste in my mouth and start salivating for some reason. I often tines get referred pain up to my neck and down my arms. Lately I've been doing 10 minute or so sessions. At the very least I feel like I'm being proactive, if not effective.

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        • #5
          Last year one of my Neuro's suggested me trying a set of PT stretches as part of my treatment.
          And I did. And everyday no matter how well I stretched it seemed like I was back at square one the next day.

          So I took it one step further.
          I started seeing a massage therapist for deep tissue massage with pressure point release.
          At first I went every week.
          There were SO many knots. And there was so much pain working them out.
          (Seriously... cursing and wanting to cry on that table.)
          But after a couple of months I reduced to every other week, and now I can go once a month...
          Though I still like to go twice a month just because a lot of the time.
          (Now there is still some discomfort... it is deep tissue after all... but I don't get the knots like I used to or have the pain!)
          On the weeks I don't see my regular MT I sometimes don't get the pressure point release and I can tell it makes a difference... for whatever reason depressing those nerves causes the muscles to relax and be de-knotted or whatever and stay that way longer IMO.
          “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
          ~Friedrich Nietzsche
          And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.

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          • #6
            Thanks Cori, it nice to know (though a little depressing) that even a professional giving you treatments once a week took a couple months. This gives me hope that if I keep it up they will go away. I'll keep at it and see what I can do!

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