Hey, raise your hand if you’ve ever had a deep achy pain between your shoulder blades. You’ve finished a hard day of work at the computer and you’re hit with a burning knot that kills any fun plans for the evening. It’s daunting enough to put dinner together and clean up, never mind being kind to the kids.

Well, I’ve got good news; getting rid of that pain isn’t as daunting as you might think. With the right tool at your disposal, you can easily knock out that knot in minutes, without spending the big bucks it takes to hire your chiropractor or massage therapist. When you’re done viewing this you’ll know exactly how to embark on a “Search and Destroy” mission. Ready? Let’s dive in.

Understanding What Trigger Points Are

Before you dive into your mission you need to understand what trigger points (TPs) are and why you want to go after them. TPs are metabolic waste collection points in overworked muscles where the muscle turns into tendon. Because the nerve that controls that muscle is located in the same location, this chemical irritation can ‘trigger” more tightness in the muscle.

This is a classic positive feedback loop that creates that knot you can’t seem to get rid of. You can break the loop by applying a sustained pressure to blanch away waste product from the TP and reflexively relax the muscle.

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It

To start, find a tennis ball and lie down on the floor. Next, place the ball under you or, stand against the wall and leverage your stance into the wall.

3 Steps to “Search & Destroy”

  1. Now you get to go on your search: Nothing fancy here, you’re just looking for the most tender muscular points around the “clock” (shoulder blades) and between the shoulders. By the way, stay away from bony points. That won’t help.
  2. Next you get to destroy: Once you locate a tender point apply pressure to reach a 5 to 7 on a 10 point pain scale. (An 8 would feel like you are injurying tissue whereas a 5-7 would feel like a “good hurt”). Now, hold that point for 30-60 seconds. Don’t rub, rock or roll… just press baby!
  3. Now, move on: After you have pressured the TP for 30-60 seconds move on to the next one. You don’t get to go back and repeat the cycle. One point, one cycle. You can over do it!

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Mission Accomplished

Do this “search and destroy” mission regularly and you’ll notice less intense trigger point pain and a greater difficulty finding as many of them. This way, you’re getting after the TPs before the waste products have accumulated. And you know what the best part is? The next day you’ll start your day with a refreshed group of muscles ready to go about their job with less pain. By the way, you can use these same techniques in the low back and around the muscles of the hip.

Now that you’ve accomplished your mission you’re all set to enjoy a fun evening at home or out and about!

So are you trigger happy? I’d love to hear how this technique works for you. Please speak up and share your experiences and questions in the comments below.

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