Back pain can have many different causes. A misalignment from an injury or some systemic inefficiency is the main cause in most cases. However, a tight muscle or muscle group can play a significant role. Often the tightness is caused by a misalignment, but adjusting a misalignment may be difficult because of the tight muscle.
Trigger point release is one of the best ways to help a tight muscle that may be causing back pain.
The right technique is needed in order to insure a good release of these tight muscle. The right trigger point or points must be found, the right pressure applied for the right amount of time. Otherwise the release won’t be as complete if achieved at all.
One important tip is that the best pressure point is rarely right where the pain or injury is. A proper understanding of where the muscle is, where it originates and inserts (begins and ends), and its path are needed in order to find the right place to apply pressure can be found.
Finding the trigger point itself is fairly easy only requiring a little sensitivity. They are hollow areas in the muscle that dip down or have less resistance when a little pressure is applied. It’s like the muscle opens up to the massage therapists hands as they work into the point.
The amount of time to apply pressure depends on many factors. A trigger point usually needs to be worked for a shorter time at first building up the time over a few sessions, but in some cases a longer time can be applied right away.
The closer you are to the point of pain or injury the more sensitive the point may be, so a shorter time might be better when working in those areas. Working right on the area that hurts often only aggravate the injury. However, at times the direct approach is best, but with great care.
Many therapists work a trigger point for too short of a time. The ideal time is until the muscle releases. A sensitive therapist can feel the release which often comes in stages. They can tell by feel when the muscle has released enough, and when any more time might cause undo irritation or soreness. The holding time can be up to three minutes, with a longer time usually being better as long as proper care is taken.
One great thing about trigger point release is that like Self Adjusting Technique, it can be self applied for fast back pain relief. It is best to have a skilled practitioner do the work for you, but working on yourself has the obvious advantages of immediacy and that it doesn’t cost anything. Massage tools can be employed to avoid causing your fingers to cramp with the long holding times required for a good release. One massage tool is a big “S” shape that allows you to work the back quite effectively.
Trigger point release can also relax muscles that affect misalignments so the adjustment will hold. A look at some anatomy charts can be very helpful in knowing what is needed. And, stay in communication with your therapist, let them know if you think the pressure or time is too much or not enough.
Self adjusting the area is much easier when the muscles cooperate. If you are using Self Adjusting Technique to adjust yourself, and the adjustment doesn’t seem to be working, you might try releasing the muscle with trigger point release technique first. Likewise, if the adjustments don’t seem to be holding, you might try getting the muscles to release with trigger point release technique.
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