Trigger Points (With A Golf Ball) For Pain Relief
As a licensed massage therapist I’m going to share with you some very important trigger points. When these trigger points have direct and steady pressure applied you can find relief in the muscle, as well as in the referred pain areas. This also explains why I love golf balls for massage therapy!
Many of my clients suffer from the same, or similar pain issues. It is a great joy to make them feel better, but some of my techniques can be performed by my clients at home in between massage appointments.
It frustrates me that so many people live with pain, or get unnecessary surgeries. You may NEED surgery, or have some sort of serious issue, but doesn’t it make sense to start with the simplest solution first? Wouldn’t it be awesome, if you knew where to massage to make yourself feel better?
For example: A guy was having trouble with his car and no one could fix it until this one mechanic came along. He listened to the engine for a few minutes, and then gave it a big kick, in a certain strategic spot.
That fixed it!
The mechanic gives the car owner a bill for $400. The owner was shocked and demanded an itemized breakdown. The bill said “$1 for my time, and $399 for knowing where to kick.”
I’m going to show you a few places to kick!
Just so you know, pushing on a trigger point can be a bit painful, or you may get some twitching in that muscle, but this is a good sign that you are in the right place! This kind of massage technique is usually not comfortable, but massage therapists and other health professionals use it because it really helps to relax a stubborn muscle.
The trigger point chart shown here are just a few of my favorites. It shows the trigger points (indicated with a golf ball) as well as their referred pain areas (shown in the green). If you have pain in the green area, push and massage the area where the golf ball is.
Better yet, put the golf ball in a KaddyBACK™ so you can put pressure in these areas hands-free. It stays on your shoulder while sitting in a car, plane, etc. I use this on myself everyday in my car because of all the physical work I personally do as a massage therapist. What a relief I get!
When I’m showing my clients how to use it against the wall I see them trying to find the right spot on their back and I can tell the SECOND they find it! They get that “look” on their face. “OMG! I found it! Yowza!” I call it the “B-Spot” (Back Spot). I tell them, “Hold it there ‘til your eye twitches!” Hold it about 30 seconds if you can.
LOWER BACK / LUMBAR
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the feeling of the golf ball on the trigger points on my lower back, especially after a long day of standing! I’ll put a golf ball in each end of the KaddyBACK and place the ball in these areas, then sit tightly back to the seat. It makes a great lumbar support without putting any pressure on my spine. The seat needs to be firm to give you the pressure you need. Just don’t leave the golf balls on the seat and accidentally sit on them later!
This can also be done lying on the floor while your knees are bent.
The hamstrings are easy to do trigger point work while you are sitting, just by putting the golf ball under your thigh. It gets uncomfortable after a while, so just stop when you want to, and put it back until the pain goes away.
BACK OF NECK
To reach the trigger points in the back of the neck you can use just the golf ball, but using the golf ball with the SPAball Kaddy™ makes it much easier to control the ball. This can be done standing or sitting, although I like to lie on my back and hold the ball in place on my upper neck (and under my skull) while relaxing! I will rub and roll the ball on my sore muscles and, at times, just hold it on the trouble spots.
The forearms, as you know, can get really sore from the repetitive motion of typing, gardening, using the mouse, etc. It’s REALLY important to keep these loose to prevent injuries! If you massage and stretch regularly you can avoid permanent damage and possibly surgery!
This Illustration shows the muscles to work, but if you are already sore in these areas make sure you see a doctor. You don’t want to aggravate it, or make it worse. You can massage these muscles while sitting at your desk at work!
Massage under the arch of your foot or just put the golf ball on the floor and roll over it. This can be done with a COLD golf ball to help with plantar fasciitis, which is the inflammation of the plantar fascia or the arch tendon.
I’ve had to do this recently and I was thinking (while I was doing it) there is no way I would do this unless I knew it would help, because it’s so uncomfortable. Just so you know, it really did help.
If you are on an airplane you can put the golf ball inside your sock (under your arch) so it doesn’t roll away, but remember to take it out before you get up.
CHEST AND SHOULDER
The chest and shoulder muscles can get tight and cause your hand, or other places in your arm, to hurt. It sounds crazy but some upper back problems are due to the pectoral muscles being too short and tight. Anyone who is a weekend warrior doing any kind of sports has got to keep these areas flexible to prevent tearing a muscle! It’s also very helpful if you are slouching over a computer keyboard all day.
Now I also gotta say that the Grand Canyon wasn’t made in a day, and neither will getting rid of your knots! Even if your muscles loosen up a bit they can go back to contracting again because that’s what they are used to. Muscles have memory. This is why massage therapists want you to come back to see them more often at first until your muscles can be trained to be relaxed.
There’s many other areas on your body to massage but don’t forget to work on your partner! This can make them less cranky, and in turn, make YOUR life less stressful! And, they might return the favor! It’s a win-win!
There you have it! Enjoy!
– Heather Karr, LMT
Please visit these additional helpful video links. I think you will find them enjoyable and informative :
If you would like more details on what exactly a knot in a muscle is,
watch this 2 minute video: What is a Knot in a Muscle?
If you would like more info on helping your neck pain with a golf ball,
watch this 4 minute video: Massage For Neck Pain
If you would like more info on the effects of stress,
watch this 4 minute video: Effects of Stress
If you would like more info on golfer’s elbow,
watch this 3 minutes video: Golfer’s Elbow and Self Love
If you would like to see a demo of self-care and couples massage with a golf ball,
watch this 13 minute video: Self-Care and Couples Massage with a Golf Ball
The information here is not intended to be used as or to replace professional medical advice, and it does not constitute as a medical diagnosis or treatment. This information is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how this information is utilized. Please seek your physician or other qualified healthcare provider advice before trying any new treatment or discontinuing any treatments prescribed. If you have a health condition or concern, please consult a physician.
• The SPAball Kaddy and KaddyBACK have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition.
• A golf ball should never be applied directly to wounds, bruises or sprains.
• Do not use excessive pressure as injury may result. User discretion is strongly advised.