Muscle pain and discomfort is common among athletes and people involved in repetitive stress activities. This leads to the manifestation of myofascial trigger points or muscles knots and postural syndromes. Trigger points can cause pain, tingling and can even cause pain referrals to other areas of the body.
Trigger points were described by British physician Balfour as, “nodular tumors and thickenings which were painful to the touch and from which pain shot to the neighboring parts.” It is easy to feel these nodules on yourself when they are present.
Postural syndromes are a result of a muscle imbalance where a group of muscles is constantly tight or shortened and another is stretched or lengthened. Pectoral muscles, gluteal and quadriceps tend to be tight. This causes a breakdown in biomechanics and movement patterns which lead to injuries.
So what can you do about trigger points and tight muscles?
You can help maintain loose muscles, improve muscles function, decrease pain and prevent injuries by doing self-myofascial compression. This consists of rolling and kneading out the knots with foam rollers, balls or specific TP tools. These devises aid in applying pressure over affected muscles and restoring nerve and oxygen supply to the muscles.
Foam rollers can help target large muscle groups, a ball is good to target small muscles and a deeper more accurate compression. Rolling techniques are easy to learn and should be used as part of your recovery or maintenance program whether you are an athlete or not.
Make sure you learn proper rolling and myofascial compression techniques from a trained professional and have injuries evaluated by a physician before initiating any rehab program.