By Christine Dailey
Although it sounds like something only athletes would need to worry about, trigger point therapy is recommended to everyone. So, yes, you should keep reading!
“Trigger points are the result of the myofascia (connective tissue surrounding and embedding the muscle tissue) becoming inflamed or injured,” explains TriggerPoint Performance Therapy™ Director of Education and Programming, Brynne Elliott. Unfortunately, everybody is susceptible to trigger points – they are inevitable due to daily abuse and postures of the body.”
Trigger points are in virtually every muscle. Myofascial trigger points lead to increased stiffness, decreased range of motion, local tenderness, referred pain and increased muscle sensitivity – all things you may feel daily from sitting hunched over at work for eight hours or enduring a series of tough workouts.
Elliott says that trigger point therapy is recommended both pre- and post-workout three to seven times a week. When done pre-workout, it’s used to “prepare muscles for optimal movement and tissue compliance,” she said. Post-workout therapy will flush the tissue, create pliability and allow the recovery process to begin.
Trigger point therapy takes the foam roller you’ve likely seen at the gym to a new level. Commonly used before and after workouts to inhibit overactive muscles, the foam roller is a form of self-myofascial release (SMR). TriggerPoint has designed a foam rolling protocol (using the GRID®) to systematically restore tissue elasticity and enhance fluidity and function. Conclusively, this reduces pain, prevents injuries and enhances performance.
“It’s important to understand that myofascial release can be painful for beginners,” admits Elliott. She claims that “discomfort is often a signal that the muscles being targeted surround fascia and are restricted.” Discomfort during SMR will decrease overtime as long as you apply it regularly to restore and maintain optimal muscle length.
If you think you might require more than the casual foam roll, ask one of our trainers about trigger point therapy. Many of our trainers at Sports Club/LA and Reebok Sports Club/NY are trained in SMR and can help you reach optimal level of movement.