Your upperback and neck are two of the commonest places to get triggers – and no wonder! Your upperback and neck muscles are working every waking hour of your day. They’re constantly supporting your head, adjusting your posture and working with your shoulder muscles. Especially for people with office jobs, knowing how to self treat your trigger points for upperback and neck pain is vital. Why office jobs? If you’re sitting at a computer all day, take a moment to look around your office. In all likelihood, you’ll see your fellow workers slumped or hunched over their desks in varying degrees of tension. Because you’re focusing on what’s going on your computer screen, it’s all too easy to forget how you’re sitting. And doing this for eight hours a day, five days a week (or more!) all adds up. So, first things first — what is a trigger point? The short definition is that it’s a tight band within your muscle. It’s like your muscle has switched on a small spasm, which just hasn’t relaxed out.
Why does your body do this? It’s part of a defensive reflex. Your muscles naturally contract when they feel they’ve been stretched too far. But for many people, parts of your muscle don’t release, and this leaves behind small ‘trigger points.’ And while some people get these triggers from a physical accident, it’s equally common to get triggers from sitting for a long time in a position where you’re putting strain on your muscles. (Like sitting with your neck in an awkward position.) Myofascial points, also referred to as trigger points, are located on specific spots on your body on your muscles and the area surrounding this tissue. The term myofascial comes from the word myo, meaning muscle tissue, and fascial, meaning the surrounding area.
What is MyoFascia Release? Myofascial techniques are performed by using your thumbs, a tennis or lacrosse ball, or specific tools sold for trigger point release. Many massage and physical therapists also undergo extensive training to become a certified myofascial trigger point therapist. However, myofascial release techniques are intended to be a form of self-help. When you apply pressure to the point, you reduce the blood flow to the muscle knot. This “resets” the trigger and turns off the protective reflex.
How Can I Perform This Technique? This technique will help massage and release trigger points located along the shoulder blade. Place a lacrosse ball inside an old sock. This will help prevent the ball from dropping. Stand with your back against a wall and bring the ball in between the wall and your shoulder, where the soft tissue between your spine and the shoulder bone is located. Holding the end of the sock with one hand, press your body into the wall while leaning on the ball. Move your body around until you feel any tight points. Bend your knees and move your body around to massage those areas with the ball.
That’s it! One very effective way to treat neck trigger points for neck pain. And the key – it should be completely painless. If it hurts, you’re not doing it right. So just go gently, you’ll find the triggers you need to deactivate and then switch them off. Now get back to work!