Hurts So Good: A Beginner’s Guide Self-Myofascial/Trigger Point Release

by Brett & Kate McKay on June 13, 2013 · 47 comments

in Fitness, Health & Sports, Wellness

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This post is brought to you by Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water.What’s this?

We can’t all afford a personal masseuse or athletic trainer to regularly rub out the kinks, soreness, and tight spots in our muscles. But there is a way to massage oneself, with the benefit of being able to control exactly where and how much pressure to apply. For that reason, in recent years, doing exercises with foam rollers, massage balls, and the like has gained immense popularity. Yet with new products and cheesy accompanying infomercials coming out all the time, knowing what to do and how to do it can be an intimidating task. At worst, doing exercises wrong can lead to pain and discomfort, and ultimately injury.

You may have heard varying terms for these exercises: trigger point release, active release techniques, or perhaps something similar. The technical term, however, is self-myofascial release (SMR). Other terms may mean different things for different people, so we’ll stick with SMR for the purposes of this post.

Benefits of Foam Rolling

Let’s dissect this science-y term we’ve just learned before diving into the how-tos of the various exercises.

Fascia, as physical therapist Jane Anderberg described it to me, is much like that slimy layer on a chicken breast that you can peel off. Every structure in the body — organs, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, etc. — is covered in a layer of fascia. It’s almost akin to oil in your car’s engine — it allows everything to run smoothly and slide without friction. Through the overstress of our muscles, whether through overuse or trauma, our layers of fascia can get tears in them. When the tears don’t heal properly, the various layers of fascia in your body can adhere together in spots (called adhesions), which will cause pain and discomfort. These adhesions keep your muscles from working the way they’re supposed to, which keeps your body from living up to its potential for strong and natural movement.

This is where where foam rolling and other similar exercises come into play. When we put pressure on these adhesions, they are released, and we can get back to optimal physical performance.

In addition to releasing these adhesions, SMR also has some general benefits for our bodies:

  • aids in preventing injuries
  • gets rid of knots and tightness in your muscles
  • physically de-stresses your body so it can work more efficiently
  • increases flexibility
  • increases blood flow, which helps for faster recovery from workouts
  • reduces soreness from workouts

To put together a comprehensive tutorial on some of the best SMR exercises you can perform, I talked to Damyko Busby a trainer who specializes in trigger point release at the Sky Fitness and Well Being gym here in Tulsa, OK.

What You’ll Need

  • Damyko used Trigger Point Performance products in his photo demonstration. They’re a bit pricy, but they can give you a more targeted massage. If you don’t want to fork over the dough for Trigger Point Performance, you can get by with…
  • Foam roller. Several different foam rollers exist on the market at different price levels. A plain-old high density foam roller is the most affordable option and will get the job done. The only problem is after months of use, they start to lose their round shape. A foam roller with PVC pipe in the middle solves that problem. The added sturdiness of the PVC pipe also gives a deeper, more intense massage. If you want to get really targeted with your SMR, you can get foam rollers that have grids molded onto the surface.
  • Ball. Many physical therapists and mobility trainers recommend a lacrosse ball for self-myofascial release. I’ve been using one for a few months now and can’t complain. You can pick one up at Academy Sports for a few bucks.
  • Yoga block. Some of the exercises utilize a yoga block. Not necessary, but can come in handy.
  • Mismatched compression socks (optional).

General Guidelines

  • Roll on the foam roller/ball until you feel a “trigger point” or “hot spot.” You’ll know you found one when it hurts. When you find a trigger point, stop and just rest on the foam roller for 10 to 20 seconds. Contrary to popular belief, it’s the pressure, not the rolling, that smooths fascia.
  • Avoid applying pressure on bones and joints. Just muscle.
  • Combine an abbreviated SMR with your regular warm-up on workout days. I like to focus on the spots that I have the most trouble with. Use one of your rest days to devote 30 to 45 minutes to SMR for your whole body.
  • Drink plenty of water after an intense SMR session.

Feet

Using Trigger Point Footballer

feetroller

1. Start with Footballer on heel. 2. Roll to ball of foot, stopping and applying pressure on any trigger points you find along the way. 3. Roll the Footballer on the inside of your sole. 4. And on the outside. Do the same with the other foot.

Using Lacrosse Ball or Massage Ball

feetball

You can use a lacrosse ball for this exercise. 1. Start at ball of your foot. 2. Roll to your heel, stopping and applying pressure on any trigger points you find along the way. Don’t forget to get the insides and outsides of your feet.

Soleus (Inner Calf)

Using a Foam Roller

calfroller

Put one leg on top of the foam roller with your other leg crossed on top. Roll up and down your inner-calf to find your hot spots. When you find a hot spot, stop and lift your butt off the ground with your hands to apply more pressure on your leg. In addition to applying steady pressure on your trigger points, you can also rock side-to-side on them.

Using Trigger Point Footballer

rollercalf

1. Place Footballer on the yoga block and your calf on the Footballer. 2. Place your other leg on top of the leg that you’re treating. 2. Roll all the way down your calf to your heel and all the way up near your knee. Stop on any trigger points and apply downward pressure on them. 4. Rotate your leg in to really work that soleus muscle.

Using Lacrosse or Massage Ball

ballcalf

1. Place ball on yoga block, one leg on ball, and the other leg on top of the leg you’re treating. Roll up and down leg to find trigger points. 2. When you find a trigger point, point your toe forward and hold for a few seconds. 3. Then point your toe back towards you and hold. Alternate between pointing forward and back a few times. 4. Don’t forget to really work the inside of the soleus.

Gastrocneumius (Outer Calf)

Using Trigger Point Footballer

rollersidecalf

Using Lacrosse or Massage Ball

ballsidecalf

You can do the same thing with a ball. When you find a hot spot, use your non-supporting hand to rock your leg back and forth on the ball. It’s going to hurt, but it’s the good kind of hurt.

Quads

Using Trigger Point Quadballer

quadroller

1. Place the Quadballler just above your knee. 2. Lie down and prop yourself up on your forearms. Roll the Quadballer up and down your quad, stopping on any trigger points. Gently rock side-to-side. 3. In addition to rocking side-to-side on hot spots, bend your leg back at your knee. Hold for a few seconds. 4. Straighten your leg. Hold. Alternate bending and straightening your leg on your hot spots on your quad. You can do this with a foam roller too.

Hip Adductors

Using Trigger Point Quadballer

insidequadroller1

1. Place Quadballer on inside of your thigh. 2. Lie down, propping yourself up on your forearms. Roll Quadballer up to your groin, stopping on any trigger points. Apply pressure. 3. Straighten your leg and hold for a few seconds. 4. Bend your leg at your knee and hold. Alternate between straightening and bending on hot spots.

Using Foam Roller

interiorquadfoam1

1. Start with foam roller near your knee on the inside of your thigh. 2. Roll up towards your groin, stopping on any trigger points. 3. With the foam roller, you can go higher up your adductor than you can with a Quadballer. Repeat on other leg.

IT Band

This is my favorite trigger point release exercise. If you run a lot, chances are you’ve experienced “runner’s knee.” Runner’s knee is caused by a tightening in your Iliotibial band, or IT band. The IT band is a thick band of fascia running on the side of your leg from your knee to your pelvis. Massaging your IT band can help loosen up tightness and prevent future injuries. Take it easy when you’re first starting out rolling your IT band. It’s going to hurt.

itbandfoam1

1. We’re going to roll the foam roller up and down the side of our leg starting at the top of the hip and down to just above the knee. 2. Lean back on your arm and bend your non-treated leg for added support. Roll up and down IT band, stopping on any hot spots. 3. If you really want to dig into those trigger points, lift both legs off the ground. Grimace. 4. In addition to applying steady pressure on hot spots, rock side-to-side on them. Repeat on other leg.

itfoam2

1. Turn your body in so you really work the inner part of your IT band. 2. Turn your body out to work the outer part.

Piriformis

This is my other favorite area to work during SMR sessions. If you spend your day sitting down like most folks, your piriformis muscle is probably very tight. Giving your butt a deep massage with a foam roller or ball will help alleviate some of that tightness.

Using Foam Roller

gluteroller

1. Sit on the foam roller and shift all your weight to one side of your butt. Your piriformis is located near your hip joint. You’ll know you’ve found it when it starts hurting so good. Cross your other foot over your knee. 2. Roll backwards and forwards to look for trigger points. Hold when you find them. Repeat on other side.

Using Lacrosse or Massage Ball

gluteball

1. Place ball on piriformis.  2. Find hot spots on piriformis and hold. 3. To really dig into it, lift the knee up on the side that you’re working. 4. Lower your knee like you’re doing a butterfly stretch. Hold. Bring back up. Alternate between a down and up position.

gluteball2

1. Another way to work your piriformis with the ball is to straighten your leg out in front of you. 2. Maintaining a straight leg, bring your leg out to the side. Hold. Repeat on other piriformis.

Lats

lat2

1. Lay on your side with the foam roller beneath your lat near your armpit. 2. Work the roller down your side stopping and holding on trigger points. Don’t go too far down, though! You always want to stay on muscle. 3. To really work those hot spots, rock back and forth on the foam roller. 4. Rotate until your face is looking up at the ceiling and roll up and down to work the lats closer to your spine. Repeat on other side.

Biceps

biceps

1. Lie on your stomach with your bicep resting on the foam roller. Work the roller up and down your bicep to find trigger points. 2. When you find a trigger point, rotate your arm in so that your thumb is pointing down. Hold. 3. Rotate your arm so that your thumb is pointing up. Hold. 4. Rotate your arm in and out like this for a few cycles. Repeat on other bicep.

Back/Trapezius

backroller1

1. Place roller at base of spine. 2. Lean back. 3. Work your way up and down roller stopping on any hot spots. Be careful about applying too much pressure to your spine. 4. When the roller reaches your trapezius, arch your back and hold.

backroller2

5. With the roller beneath your trapezius, give yourself a hug. Hold. 6. Lift your arms straight in front of you. Hold. Alternate between self-hugs and raising your arms.

middleback

This next exercise requires two Trigger Point therapy massage balls and the little bag that holds them (don’t snicker). We’ll be hitting the fascia on the lower part of the trapezius.

back1

1. Lie back on the ground so that both Trigger Point balls are in-between your shoulder blades. 2. You may want to rest your head on a yoga block so you can apply enough pressure on the fascia you’re going to work. 3. Lift your arms straight in front of you. Hold. 4. Spread your arms crucifix style. Hold.

backhug

Biiig hug! Aww… owww!

back2

5. Lift your arms straight out. 6. Bring your right arm back above your head. Hold. 7. Bring your left arm back above your head. Look at that face. That’s the face of a man who’s getting rejuvenating deep tissue massage.

Traps with a Lacrosse or Massage Ball

upperback1

1. Place ball between the wall and upper part of your trapezius. 2. Turn your body away from the wall. 3. Roll back on ball until you find your hot spots. 3. Lift arm straight out. Apply pressure on hot spot. Repeat on other side.

upperback2

5. Give yourself a hug. 6. Pull your arm on the side that you’re working on the ball across your body with your other arm.

Chest

chestball

1. Place ball on pec and press down with both hands. 2. Roll ball around on pec until you find a hot spot and hold for a few seconds.

chestballblock

To apply more pressure on the ball you can use a yoga block.

chestblockwall

Or you can place the yoga ball on the wall to get more pressure.

Deltoids (Shoulders)

delts

1. Stand with your shoulder to the wall. Place massage ball between you and wall. 2. Roll deltoid on ball until you find trigger points. 3. Really focus on the front part of your shoulder.

deltblock1

1-2. Use a yoga block to apply more pressure.

Neck

neck1

1. Rest your neck on the foam roller, like you’re using it for a pillow. 2. Turn your head to your right. 3. Then to your left. No need to apply pressure -your own bodyweight will suffice.

neck3

5. Shift your weight on to your right side. 6. Perform a slight bridge by lifting your hips off the ground. 7. Rotate all the way onto your side. 8. Take a nap. Just kidding. Hold for a few seconds and then repeat on the other side.

Big thanks to Damyko for taking the time to show us how to do some trigger point release. Another thanks to Jane Anderberg from Agility Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine in Denver for helping with the science.

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gernot_Freiherr_von_Donnerbalken June 13, 2013 at 1:40 pm

It looks a litlle weird, but if it works, I should give it a try.
Thanks a lot for this enlightening article and greetings from across the Atlantic

2 Phillip G June 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Any downside to using a cheap piece of PVC pipe wrapped in traction tape? Also, baseballs and softballs.

3 Jeremy P June 13, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Foam rolling is the bees knees. Without a weekly massage and a lot of foam rolling, I’d be a walking wreck.

4 Grant Muller June 13, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Phillip, use a PVC pipe, thick wine bottle, atlas stone, just about anything cylindrical or round and hard reasonably hard works.

For the feet, just freeze a bottle of water, beats the hell out of any special tools.

For the thoracic spine mobility tape two $3 lacrosse balls together. Cheap and easy.

5 Paul June 13, 2013 at 6:17 pm

I perfer to use the Rumble Roller.

6 Jeff June 13, 2013 at 9:01 pm

I carry two tennis balls with me everyday. I’ve been laying on them, varying the distance between them, and rolling to the trigger points on my back. Works wonders, and the tennis balls are not as hard on my back as lacrosse balls.

7 Leonardo June 13, 2013 at 9:01 pm

first time i tried this it felt like i was about to die. Next day felt like i was about to fly.

Awesome post!

8 John June 13, 2013 at 9:48 pm

If you want to release, use a lacrosse ball.

What if Lacrosse is what gets you sore in the first place?

9 bob June 13, 2013 at 10:27 pm

I am very glad AOM wrote this article. Another good muscle for mfr is the tibialis anterior, if you’ve ever experienced shin splints these points are nearly magic (at least that’s what my clients tell me). Directly lateral to the tibia lies this muscle, just feel around until you find the points of tension then press and hold each.

-a massage therapist

10 Artsariz June 14, 2013 at 5:45 am

It looks very similar to a full body massage!

11 Gwen June 14, 2013 at 7:23 am

Fantastic, and timely. I’m so sore. Gonna have to grab one of the foam rollers at my gym. :)

12 Joe June 14, 2013 at 7:26 am

MYR is awesome. I’ve been doing it daily for a few years and it has made a huge difference on my flexibility. Great article!

13 Damar June 14, 2013 at 7:50 am

I squat a lot and have been doing a lot of foam rolling lately.Makes a noticeable difference

Great post as always

Thanks

14 Owen Marcus June 14, 2013 at 10:24 am

Great post. I’ve been recommending this to my clients and readers for years. These techniques can do a lot more that stretching. I recommend this to everyone from my non-athletic client to my professional athlete. I tell them, do this rather than see me.

The only limitation with doing this is if the soft tissue is very tight it won’t work. You will need some to help you release the tissue before this will work.

15 Eddie June 14, 2013 at 11:00 am

This is a great therapy to relieve sore muscles. Awhile back I went to a chiropractor for an adjustment and he perfomred the Graston Technique on my quads. I thought I was going to die when he did it but the result was well worth the pain. Since then I have used a foam roller almost every night and sleep a lot better.

16 Steve June 14, 2013 at 11:10 am

Hilariously timed. I had a bilateral fasciotomy last month to deal with Compartment Syndrome and I wonder if these exercises would have helped me over the past ten years or so. Regardless, I’ll be trying this routine now. On a somewhat related note, if you suffer from shin splints, Google “Compartment Syndrome”. I always though I had shin splints but as with so many other things, it turns out I was wrong. After the surgery, I was running and doing weight-load marches in less than three weeks without pain; amazing.

17 Salvatore June 14, 2013 at 12:09 pm

“Take it easy when you’re first starting out rolling your IT band. It’s going to hurt.”

Understatement of the century.

18 Cameron June 14, 2013 at 12:21 pm

I wasn’t going to laugh until you said, “don’t snicker”…

19 Derek June 14, 2013 at 10:15 pm

Bought a foam rolller a few weeks ago and was kind of messing around with it. I just went through the whole set of exercises and it was awesome! Definitely can feel a difference. Thanks for the post.

20 Michael June 15, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Thank you for bringing information on this wonderful therapy to your readers! I have been using the principles outlined here to self-treat unresolved injuries sustained 40 and 50 years ago. It is amazing how effective the therapy is in repairing these old injuries!

I have two additions to this great information. 1. If you find the source of pain, it is possible to use just your fingers, or a baseball, or golf ball placed against a wall to roll against. Place the baseball in a sock so you can reach those places otherwise inaccessible.

2, In my experience, it is not the fascia that is the source of the pain, but the injured muscles themselves.

Again, thank you for bringing this very important information to your readers. Great stuff!
P.S. There is a great book that I use to find and treat my trigger points called “The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook” by Clair Davies. it is listed at $22.95 at most booksellers but a little cheaper at the on-line sellers. Highly recommended!

21 Benson W. June 15, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I have done this on myself and it works!!! I woke up several weeks ago with severe, lower right back pains, to the point I was spasming whenever I bent over or moved around the house. I was literally screaming out in pain whenever I bent over even in the slightest, which caused contractions of my back muscles, in turn spasming the muscles that were aching, causing even more pain. It was a vicious cycle. I eventually remembered what my masseuse taught me about working out the kinks and knots myself. The biggest thing, of course, is to relax and just accept the pain and imagine the roller working into the knot and moving it out of the way. That in essence helps you to relax the muscle fibers. After two hours on the roller, I was operating normally and spent the entire day playing at Universal Studios Hollywood, with only a tiny bit of the pain left to remind me of what I had gone through just that morning! I also learned that day that a lot of our muscular pains are worsened by how much we tighten our muscles in response to them.

22 Jan June 16, 2013 at 8:15 am

Great timing!
I’ve had serious knee pains for over a month because of increasing my running distance too quickly. Just found out days ago that this could be caused by IT band problems.

Started doing the lower body exercises listed here yesterday and while the pain is not completely gone yet it already is a lot less severe. Thanks AoM!!

Rolling the IT is an elaborate form of self torture though! Is soreness of the trigger points after rolling them normal/how long does it last/will it lessen when rolling for longer?

23 Lita June 16, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Oh, this looks like it could potentially help me out a lot! Excellent article! (I’m off to steal the dog’s tennis balls…)

24 Thomas June 17, 2013 at 9:02 am

Jan,

It took me 2 weeks of 2x per week at physical therapy to roll out all the hot spots in my IT band. Start out slow, keep one foot on the ground to support yourself. Eventually, you can work up to having both feet off the ground.

Thomas
Avid Foam Roller

25 Information Technology June 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm

My IT band was killing me where it connected down in/below my knee. Rolling it out wasn’t really all that painful, but the results were great after I stuck with it for a few months. So, don’t think that a lack of pain/discomfort means a lack of progress.

26 Srinivas Kari June 22, 2013 at 11:33 am

Wonderful. It feels very relaxing to do this. Could you do a post about chiropractice?If not, could anyone shed some light on chiropractice? it’d be great to see if something like that could realign /adjust the spine/neck?

27 Richard June 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Great article. Related to this stuff I can’t recommend Kelly Starrett’s work highly enough. His book “Becoming a Supple Leopard” explains how to do all this stuff brilliantly. It explains how to mobilize for specific movements you value, and explains how human beings should stand, walk, jump, squat, etc. It’s worked wonders with my shoulders after 1 month’s reading and rolling around on a lacrosse ball.

http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Supple-Leopard-Preventing-Performance/dp/1936608588/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372025182&sr=8-1&keywords=becoming+a+supple+leopard

28 Joe June 25, 2013 at 10:09 am

@ Richard. KStar is the man! His website (www.mobilitywod.com) is a gold mine for mobility and movement instructional videos.

29 Justin Archer June 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I’ve been in the health and fitness industry for eleven years now, the last seven of which I’ve specialized in posture alignment therapy. Last year I started to incorporate self-myofascial release (SMR) both in my own therapy as well as that of my clients with great success. The SMR really helps break up adhesions and return muscles to their normal length and tone (like converting beef jerky into nice filet mignon) so that they can function properly like they were originally designed to. This entail makes the posture alignment exercises I prescribe my clients that much more effective, and the overall therapy protocol more efficient. So I love SMR, both for how it makes my clients feel, but also for how it makes my job easier by being able to give them a complimentary technique to help them take control (and responsibility) for their health. I couldn’t imagine a better match made in heaven than SMR and posture alignment therapy. Well, other than my wife and I of course ;). Great post!

Take care and keep moving,

Justin Archer aka “The Posture Guy”

30 Hannah June 25, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Great article! As a college dance major I can add in some others–a tennis ball works great for the glutes if you stand with your back facing the wall and put the ball in between the wall and you. Roll it around on your glutes and feel them release. A golf ball or bouncy ball is also really good for calves and any smaller knots that a bigger ball can’t pinpoint. If you’re rolling out your calves make sure to get the lateral/medial muscles as well (gets the gastroc and peroneal triggers that way).

31 Joel A. June 27, 2013 at 2:16 pm

I use a 3″ PVC pipe wrapped in duct tape, a 12″ softball, and a theracane. Total for everything came in under $40. Some great methods up here but no need to buy a $100 foam roller that will break down in less than a year!

32 Indika June 27, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Thank you so much for an awesome post! It came at just the right time for me. I had heard about foam rolling and was thinking about giving it a shot and didn’t know how to go about it and then landed here (I wasn’t looking forward to doing all that research). This is just the ticket!

Has anyone ever experienced any sort of emotional release or changes when having painful spots massaged. I have come across comments to this effect in my reading, about this sort of thing happening with massages. I am curious to know if it can happen with foam rolling / self-massage.
Many thanks in advance!

33 Chris Barnes DC June 27, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Great demonstration of SMR. One word of caution about this great technique is that if you are constantly rolling a muscle that is weak/inhibited, you are robbing the body of stability it is trying to create. This can actually make you more likely to be injured. If you have to keep rolling every day just to keep up with your daily workouts, then there is most likely some substantial muscle imbalances at work. Just because something is painful, or tender to the touch does not mean it should be “rolled out.” The bigger question to answer is “why is this always sore?” Not to take away anything from this excellent article as this is a great technique and I teach it to most of my patients, but I simply feel that I should caution those who are reading this before they begin rolling out specific areas because they are painful. Ask the question “Why?” Fix that, and you won’t need to spend hours a week rolling around on the floor.

34 Tyrone July 7, 2013 at 7:26 pm

I have used some of these techniques in the past on my back. Very effective. Thanks to this post I will expand my routine. Awesome!

35 Jay July 9, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Great article. Very informative. I’ve always had issues with my IT band. So when I discovered the foam roller. I chose to forgo that and just use my good old bread roller that I used to use for my shins in muay thai. Works quite well.

36 Shonci August 6, 2013 at 3:14 pm

I’m so glad I came across this site today. I work in an office and I’ve been doing some of the SMR techniques while at work today, with some modifications. My traps are my problem area. With no lacrosse or tennis balls, I used what I had available — aluminum foil. I rolled and squashed it into a ball and went to work on my traps while sitting in my desk chair (this was a modification of the “traps with lacrosse ball” technique that Mr. Busby demonstrated in the article. I feel so much better! Thank you for all the great info!

37 Will Arias August 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Just a small detail. All really nice except the “Piriformis release” where the leg crossing should be the other way around, which means the foot of the side been treated must rest on top of the opposite knee. Cheers. Will

38 buster August 17, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Thank you for the article. Can you explain the role of the compression socks.

39 Jonathan September 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Great post! I always foam roll when sore. Foam rolling and a nice ice bath always get me back on my feet no matter how tough a workout. I haven’t seen some of the positions used in the pictures posted, but I will certainly try them.

40 Tim October 15, 2013 at 9:34 am

Thanks for the article. I have plantar fasciitis in my left foot. I use an orange road hockey ball and can feel the adhesion in my heel breaking down as i press and roll.

41 Michael October 21, 2013 at 1:58 pm

You DON’T want to foam roll your IT band. Your IT band is not a muscle, meaning it won’t loosen up. You can instead foam roll your TFL (Tensor fasciae latae) which is the muscle that connects the IT band to the hip.

42 Maha November 7, 2013 at 11:13 am

Just came across this article , read all the comments and it seems everyone is pleased with the results . I have been suffering with Myofascial pain syndrome between my ribs and slightly down my stomach muscles , thae tightness and pain is horrific with no end in sight …I will definetly try this but please advise on what and how to use for the intercostal muscles and stomach muscles.
PLEASE HELP

43 Sandra November 11, 2013 at 10:10 am

I am a trigger point massage instructor and am impressed with the amount of work you put into this page. Your description of “holding” the pressure on the trigger point instead of rolling across it is correct with the etiology of a trigger point and how to release it. And holding the pressure for about 20 seconds is also correct. There is a small error that I wanted to point out in a friendly way.
Your description of the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles are anatomically incorrect. The soleus is on the lateral “outer” side of the posterior calf mostly and the gastrocnemius muscle consists of two muscle bellies on both the lateral and medial sides of the posterior calf.

44 Paige December 15, 2013 at 8:59 pm

I like a smaller roller like a golf ball muscle roller which i can bring with me easily to the gym. Anyone else have one?

http://zzathletics.com/Golf-Ball-Muscle-Roller-Massager-GBMR1.htm

45 Andrew January 7, 2014 at 11:25 am

Nice socks!
Seriously though, thanks for putting together such a comprehensive article together. Very useful.

46 Dez Merrow March 1, 2014 at 9:48 pm

I have been suffering with hip pain for the last 6 months – just after I decided to take a short hiatus from martial arts training. I found this site, did the piriformis exercise and for the first time, I am able to stop the pain immediately. I don’t have to take any OTC pain meds to get to sleep tonight. THANK YOU!!

47 Mark Pederson March 11, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Brett & Kate,
Very nice and useful article! I recently launched a kickstarter campaign for a product that pertains to your article. Please check it out at http://kck.st/1kIhn4y If it is something you think is useful to your audience I would love it if you shared the link.

-Mark
Fanelli Fitness

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