Trigger points are scar tissue/ knots/ tender spots in the muscle. Trigger points can cause both localised pain and referred pain, they can hinder movement, efficiency of the muscle and affect strength. Trigger points can be caused by previous injury, poor posture, mechanical overload, fatigue, metabolic/ endocrine inadequacies, nutritional deficiencies and infections. Trigger points can be released using spikey balls to apply pressure to the site, the pressure is detected in the muscle which sends a message to the brain via the golgi tendon organs, the brain receives the message and responds by telling the muscle to relax to release the tension (in a nut shell). The release of tension encourages the muscle to lengthen and the muscle fibres to realign therefore improving the flexibility and function of the muscle. Muscles that are shortened, tight or have scar tissue and adhesions are more likely to be injured with strains and tears. Regular use of spikey balls will help to keep the muscle long and knot free, and therefore injury free. Releasing trigger points with spikey balls also encourages removal of waste products in the muscle by stimulating blood flow to the muscles, which in turn helps promote recovery after exercise.
Common conditions caused by tension such as headaches, can be massively helped by trigger point therapy. Tension in the neck or shoulders are the most common causes of tension headaches, releasing these muscles will help reduce the occurrence of headaches.
Posture related problems can also be due to trigger points. By releasing the trigger points in the tight muscles that are causing poor posture such a tight pecs in a rounded shoulder posture. By releasing tension in the pecs its will lengthen them enabling you to draw the shoulders back to improve upper body posture.
Please note there are some conditions that are contraindicated for the use of spikey balls; DVT, varicose viens, bleeding disorders, acute inflammation, local infection, local malignancy, tumours, aneurysm, pregnancy, acute dermatological problems. If you suffer with any of these do not use trigger point therapy.
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