Sticks, Stones, and Trigger Points! Trigger points are painful spots in your muscle that hurt like hell when you poke them. The tightly knotted muscles restrict your movement, hinder muscle activation, and flat out hurt.
DISCLAIMER: I urge you to contact your physical therapist – or use mine. Erik Moen or any of his staff at CaporeSanoPT can assist if you are in the Seattle area. I am not claiming to be a skilled PT — I am merely sharing what tools are working for me. Feel free to try at your own risk.
I’ve discovered the road to lasting results requires daily work. No one but the elite can afford a daily massage. That’s why there is a billion dollar market on home exercise and recovery tools. To make home recovery work for you, it requires discipline, diligence and sticks, stones, and trigger point activation.
My story with chronic pain began 2 years ago. It was becoming debilitating. Simple walking became excruciating. I couldn’t sleep due to agonizing hip pain. Most of you know me as a highly active lady who loves to move. I tried many things including 9 months of physical therapy. I just got worse.
Sticks and Stones: The right tools for the job make all the difference. Using them correctly helps too.
When Erik Moen, Owner of CaporeSanoPT, offered to help, I was thrilled.
Erik, in his infinite wisdom and kindness, spent an hour with me in his office and we enjoyed a ride later. His guidance is what turned the page for me. Within 3 months, I enjoyed more mobility, had a sense of control, and could handle activities of daily living without debilitating pain. I’m still on the mend, but after 2 years of increased pain and limiting all activities, this is wonderful.
When it comes to physical therapy, don’t settle for second best. I finally found some videos online by Doctor Jo. 15 minutes on a balance ball, and I was on the road to recovery. If you can’t get to a PT, go to AskDoctorJo.com for your specific needs. Jo will answer questions via her Facebook page.
The things I continue to find most beneficial are in my toolkit. I may end up making a video, but for now, this is it.
I try to avoid buying tons of stuff. At a minimum, bet yourself a Tiger Tail Massage Stick. It’s a must have for working on legs, quads, shoulders… and it works best if you use it daily.
Erik recommended I use the Tiger Tail stick roller. I already own a stick, but he said this Tiger Tail is much nicer on your muscles. It is. It’s a bit softer but still plenty hard. I roll out my quads, IT Band, and adductors. I can do some sticky point stuff. And I can use it for a lot of other things. This stick is a bit softer, but most importantly, it’s working better.
I just ordered this quad roller after watching a video about how to work on the FAI pain that I have. It’s my hope that this better targets the quad, adductor, and hamstring – especially at the attachement point. We shall see… but it’s here for your consideration. I’ve heard great things.
Tennis Balls, Golf Balls, Lacrosse Balls — or Get the Trigger Point Ball.
I used a couple tennis balls for years. I roll my shoulder and feet on them to gently massage and relax. A yoga teacher told me to use a golf ball. OMG – don’t do it. It hurts too much to sustain a practice with it. In fact, if you want credible help, don’t ask your yoga instructor. They know yoga and they are not educated in recovery. They may have some ideas, but unless trained as a PT, just listen to their yoga teaching and go to the right source. And if you are getting sharp pain, stop. Just stop.
I digress. Here’s the best trigger point balls:
And speaking of Balls, if you don’t have a Balance Ball, Click the image below and get one right now. The key to strong core and flexibility is with this huge ball. I use it daily for hip mobility, core strengthening, and plain fun.
Trigger Point Roller
And then there is the grandaddy of them all. The Trigger Point Core Roller. I think these take getting used to. I’ve had mine for a year. It is my go to for getting all the kinks out. I’ve recently learned some more efficient and effective applications. Get the harder one from Trigger Point Therapy. The soft foam breaks down and doesn’t always do the trick.
The Balance Pad
Another tool Erik suggested a few years back is still one of my favorites. The Balance Pad by Airex is an easy way to activate the muscles that help your entire leg function well. Small reflex muscles that help you balance are activated by standing on this pad. I had a couple other balance platforms that I’ve since chucked.
And you can find it all here in this Amazon Shop I set up. Will do more later, but for now, this is the best way to shop.