- What are trigger points and what are the main causes of trigger points?
- How can a massage gun reduce trigger point pain?
- How to use a massage gun to release myofascial pain points naturally?
- Massage Gun vs Foam Roller: Which is better for releasing tension in the fascia?
- What are the best alternatives to electric massage guns for removing trigger points?
If you’ve ever had a massage, you’ve probably heard of trigger points. This is an injury that occurs most commonly in athletes, people under a lot of stress and in any patient who does physical activities that they are not used to.
The electric massage gun is a very useful tool for treating these muscle nodes located in myofascial tissue throughout the body. In this article, we will show you more details about how trigger points originate, how you can use this massaging device to soothe pain and how to trigger an effective myofascial release.
What are trigger points and what are the main causes of trigger points?
Trigger points are palpable with the hand, hurt when touched with pressure and are found on the same parts of the body, regardless of human build. They appear when sarcomas contract and prevent proper blood flow and oxygenation in the muscle tissues connected to them.
These are the main causes:
- Incorrect postures: as they are part of the muscular tissues, they are sensitive to the inadequate use that people make of their musculature, among these uses are sitting for long periods of time and slouching, and standing all day with legs stretched incorrectly, without allowing the spine to remain straight.
- Unexpected activities: when the body is not used to a type of physical demand, the muscles are easily fatigued and the fibres are likely to contract more than expected. Often, the fibres cannot return to normal and remain tight, creating muscle nodules.
- Trauma: from road traffic accidents to blows in the workplace or at home can be likely causes of injured and strained muscles. It is not even necessary to have bruising to notice that body movements are made difficult by the presence of these nodules.
- Sporting exertion: the most likely cause is fatigue from repetition of the same muscle action such as tennis, golf, basketball and football, where the same group of muscles are often put to the test and eventually become fatigued and easily contracted repeatedly. Percussion guns are an ally of athletes in all disciplines.
- Emotional reasons: Stress and anxiety are also risk factors that increase the chances of myofascial trigger points. This is because stresses in the thoughts translate into muscle tension that must be dealt with as if it were a sports injury. Constant stress can trigger anxiety in people, which increases the frequency of tensions in the fascia.
- Visceral factors: stomach problems such as indigestion and heartburn often trigger hot spots in the back, such as the lumbar area, which is closely connected to digestion. Ensuring proper liver function also reduces the presence of trigger points.
How can a massage gun reduce trigger point pain?
Among the different types of massage, percussion therapy is the most effective in soothing pain quickly and effectively, although with a shorter duration of effect. For this reason, it is recommended that people maintain a certain frequency in the use of the guns to sustain relief.
The massage gun delivers deep, rhythmic strokes to the myofascial tissue, thus providing a release of tension by stimulating trigger points directly, supported by a series of interchangeable heads that will help to treat different parts of the body.
This product achieves an immediate neural response by inhibiting the pain receptors that are responsible for carrying information to the spinal cord and brain that there are injuries to be addressed.
What is the purpose of the Taser? To increase range of motion by eliminating muscle stiffness and pain associated with these strains.
How to use a massage gun to release myofascial pain points naturally?
Myofascial guns can be used on any part of the body, just be aware that there should be no intense stimulation on the joints.
On the legs
Try to massage in a quiet place, where you can be seated and calm so as not to be in a hurry when using this product:
- Use the flat head to start stimulating the muscle groups.
- Concentrate on each leg at a time.
- Make short linear strokes from the end of the hip and before the knee.
- Stimulate the quads first, then the hamstrings.
- Use the large round head.
- Again make gentle strokes on the front and back of the thigh.
- Now stimulate the tibia, calves and soleus.
- Do not apply too much pressure either.
- Where you notice nodules, you should stimulate with a bullet tip head.
The arms are made up of smaller muscle groups, you should avoid hard heads.
- Use a smaller, rounded head.
- Make gentle linear strokes.
- First stimulate the arms and then the forearms.
- Do not stimulate the hands with this product.
- If you notice trigger points on the arm, use the same head.
- Position the gun at an angle and hold it there for a few seconds.
On the back
As the back is a complicated area for self-massage, it is best if you enlist the help of someone else to use the stun gun:
- Lie face down on a table or bed.
- Place your arms close to your torso, facing backwards.
- The massage should begin with flat heads, one stroke on all muscle groups.
- To stimulate each group, you can switch to the large round head.
- Make strokes for a maximum of two minutes, away from the vertebrae.
- When you want to massage the latissimus dorsi, use a U-shaped head.
- The electric gun should go from the base of the back to the cervical, in a straight line.
- The pressure should be gentle. Make two or three passes with this product.
- Your assistant should use the vacuum of the fork to avoid touching the vertebrae.
On the neck
This part is very sensitive to massages, it is not necessary to apply a lot of pressure on the neck so as not to affect the integrity of the cervical vertebrae.
- Start sliding the gun at a slight incline.
- Use a round, soft, smaller head.
- The stimulation should last a few seconds.
- The front should not be stimulated, only the sides and the nape of the neck.
- To stimulate the vertebral area, use a U-shaped head.
- Draw the gun in a straight line from the middle back to the base of the skull.
- You should only make two or three passes.
- A full body session should last a maximum of half an hour when you stimulate several muscle groups.
- The massages on each muscle group are only one or two minutes.
- Each muscle should receive stimulation for 30 seconds.
- If you use a bullet head for trigger points, the massage is 15 seconds
- If you do not feel pain, you can extend the massages when you want relaxation and use soft heads.
- To warm up, only make two or three strokes with the gun to prevent injury to weakened areas.
Regularity of sessions
- It is safe to use the electric gun on a daily basis, as long as you respect the timing of the sessions.
- If you alternate the areas to be stimulated, there is no problem in using the product all week.
- If you must extend the frequency of use, avoid constant deep massage.
- Physiotherapists and doctors recommend that, if there are no injuries to be treated, massages should be done every other day.
Massage Gun vs Foam Roller: Which is better for releasing tension in the fascia?
Both products are designed to treat myofascial tensions, but they do so with different techniques, so it is not correct to talk about which is better. However, it is possible to refer to when it is better to use the Foam Roller and the percussion gun.
As we said, both products have similar benefits, but the type of massage is different. On the one hand, the massage roller evenly stimulates a larger muscle area and reaches most of the trigger points. To use it correctly, pressure and gliding must be applied.
On the other hand, the massage gun uses the percussive massage technique, which consists of giving rhythmic, precise blows in specific places to make the fascia in that area release tension.
In conclusion, the roller releases myofascial tension superficially and at many trigger points. But the percussion gun is better for quick pain relief and better at stimulating deeper trigger points that are difficult for the roller to access.
What are the best alternatives to electric massage guns for removing trigger points?
In addition to the electric massage gun, you can find a wide variety of options on our website to eliminate the intense pain caused by the presence of trigger points.
Check out this list of the best options on the market:
- Mini percussion massage gun: this is a more practical option, less professional in use, and has no major complications when it comes to applying therapy. In addition, it offers the same benefits as the initial massages offered by its professional counterpart.
- Vibrating massage balls: these are the size of your hand and can be used without techniques or routines to treat hot spots left by physical tensions. You only need to detect which areas are hardened to place the product with the vibration on.
- Massage balls: these are for more professional use or for people who already have some experience in applying myofascial self-massage. These balls come in a pack with smooth, spiked and peanut-shaped balls, each of which offers a specific benefit, you just need to do routines that are easy to learn.
- Foam Roller: This is one of the most powerful products because it covers a larger area of the body from the first glide. It also reaches most trigger points and does not require the assistance of others to have a positive effect.
- Massage hooks: are one of the first self-massage products to release myofascial tensions. They come in stick, umbrella handle and question mark designs. The advantage with them is that you only require pressure when grasping the handles for the stimulators to better stimulate the muscle nodules.