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Massage sticks & foam rollers, trigger points

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:06 am
by ViewsAskew
yawny, I want to cry when I use the foam roller. It seems, at first, that I simply cannot. But, it does start to hurt less when doing it and continues to loosen up througout the day. In a few days, it is so much better that I often am sure I do not need to do it anymore, only to stop for a few days and not be able to get out of bed again. Oh - I use a pressure point massager by Gaiam that I like more than the foal roller - here is a link to it at Amazon. ... UTF8&psc=1

I use the foam roller on my calves, ankles, and knees when in bed in the morning. Then I do a set of stretches. Finally, I get up, make coffee, and use the pressure point massager. I honestly have to MAKE myself do it because it hurts so much. But, it helps. A lot. That is me - I have so many issues that are related to tight muscles, fascia, and tendons. I started with snapping hip about 25 years ago. Then the plantar fasciitis. Then I had lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) simply from trying on bras at a store. I have had patellar tendonitis in one knee for about 15 years, and now have it in the other knee as well. I started getting painful trigger points in muscles at least 25 years ago. Took me about 15 years to figure that out.

I have never found any link to any of these. Not sure I could get out of bed without tools, foam rollers, and the like.

Oh - I think I would get a fibro diagnosis, too. Wish I knew your neuro!

Re: Muscle Relaxants

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:42 am
by badnights
I have dreadful pain when I foam roll, like you guys, it's very hard for me to force myself to do it. I got this wonderful tool - a massage roller I guess its called - that lets me adjust the pressure applied to the muscle by not pushing as hard, and most days it's the only thing I can stand to use on my legs. It's pretty good for releasing trigger points in thighs and calves.

Mine is kind of like this only heavier duty, with a hard roller that has small ridges on it - not smooth like this one: ... =332281433

I saw something that might be even better at releasing the trigger points. Mine actually looks more like this one, but my ridges are much smaller: ... =331886726

Re: Muscle Relaxants

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:37 am
by ViewsAskew
I have one similar to your second one - it is my least favorite, but it is more about how it rolls, I think. The one I have makes noise and the rollers do not roll freely. When I bought the Gaiam one, I was hopeful. When it came, I almost sent it back! But, I LOVE it now. More than the foam roller.

For what it is worth, I rarely foam roll the way they teach you. I have trigger fingers and repetitive stress issues with my wrists. I cannot prop myself up without causing my fingers/hand to go numb. I just lay on my back, put the roller on the bed, and set my calf, ankle or knee on it and let the body weight do the work. I move my calf back and forth or up and down. There are a few spots that immediately get better and a few that I can work on for five minutes before they start to loosen. But, the Gaiam is the one that really helps.

The Gaiam is great for fascia, trigger points, and tight muscles. The little spikes are hard, but as with Beth's roller, you press as hard as you can take it. When I was in a political march this winter, my knee started to hurt toward the end. By the time I got home, I could hardly walk. Not sure what I did, but it clearly involved the pes anserine area where three tendons attach to the tibia. I take the Gaiam and nestle the spikes into the area where all the tendons attach and move it around in a cirle. It feels better very quickly. I can use that same rotating motion on any area where something is overly tight and it helps it very quickly. it also does well rolling it up and down the shin bone, around the ankles, and in the hip and buttock area.

Re: Muscle Relaxants

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:38 am
by Polar Bear
Views - I looked up your link and the roller at $10 approx.
Went to - the roller is £35 (reduced from £110) plus approx £10 for delivery... yikes.
Think I'll check out other rollers.

Re: Muscle Relaxants

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:07 pm
by pamhb
I am a hard core user of rollers, massage sticks, lacrosse balls, and tennis balls. I am one big mass of trigger points, and each device offers a different way to get at them.

It isn't unusual for any of these items to hurt the first time you use them. Go slow, and only apply as much pressure as you can tolerate. Eventually you'll work up to a point where your trigger points will release more easily, and you'll start to enjoy the sensation. Some tips:

-- for the greatest benefit, loosen up the muscles first with a heating pad or hot bath/shower.
-- I find that if I'm doing release work at night, I have to be far more cautious about how aggressively I attack my trigger points. Too much or too hard results in exciting the central nervous system, which then just attracts the RLS.
-- drink plenty of fluids. You're actually working with the fascia, which is kind of a gooey, slippery mess which holds everything in place. It needs lots of fluid to function properly.
-- if you are very, very tight, you may need to work with a massage therapist to help loosen things up initially. It's best if the massage therapist has some knowledge on the release of trigger points.
-- you should also add a stretching program to try and keep those muscles a bit looser on an ongoing basis.

I have for the past year spent many miserable nights contemplating exactly how my RLS feels (a meditation technique), and I have noticed that many of my spasms originate in the areas where my trigger points are most active. I first tried massage therapy to get better release in these areas, but it was a losing battle -- he would loosen me up, but by the next morning, after a bad night with RLS and hip pain, they would be as tight as ever. Now I am working with a physiotherapist who is using a technique called "dry needling" (you have to find someone trained in the technique, rather than an acupuncturist). He inserts a needle directly into the trigger point and manipulates it until the muscle spasms and lets go. The treatment is not for the faint-of-heart; but after 3 treatments of my shoulder, I can finally lie on it at night without instant RLS.

What is a "trigger point"? Basically, it's what feels like a knot in your muscle tissue, which when you press on it, hurts. The theory is that such areas become so contracted, that the tissue begins to choke off its own blood supply (leading to hypoxia, which is now believed to have some connection to RLS.) I first learned about them in a chronic pain management course taught out of the University of Minnesota. If you're interested, here's some information

Re: Massage sticks & foam rollers, trigger points

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:47 pm
by badnights
I created this Topic to hold a discussion on massage bars / foam rollers that developed in a different Topic, in the Prescription Forum, on muscle relaxants ( viewtopic.php?f=4&t=10004 ). Any of the posts having to do solely with massage/roller tools have been moved here. They were posted after the 4th post in the original Topic (viewtopic.php?p=91292#p91292).

Re: Massage sticks & foam rollers, trigger points

Posted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:51 pm
by pamhb
I found this interesting article on the treatment of trigger points for RLS. They call it the "Restful Legs Recipe". While I am way beyond the point of being able to release my trigger points with simple compression techniques, it does show the same trigger point areas that I find to be involved with my RLS. ... Ez4-cnKpeA