Trigger Point Massage Ball

trigger point massage balls

A trigger point massage ball is a ball that can be used for self-massage. They are a portable, affordable and convenient option for massaging muscle knots. 

What are trigger points?

Trigger points, also often referred to as knots, are highly irritable spots that develop in the bands of the skeletal muscles fascia. They are often defined by intense pain when pressure is applied, but trigger points can also be defined by twitch response (involuntary contraction of muscle) and referred pain (pain felt in location other than site of painful stimulus). Most of us are familiar with this sensation, however trigger points do not always result in pain. 

There are a number of potential causes for Trigger Points, they include:

  • Joint problems and hypermobility
  • Muscle overuse and respective micro-trauma
  • Chronic stress condition
  • Lack of exercise
  • Ageing
  • Poor posture
  • Injury
  • Vitamin deficiencies (commonly vitamins C, D, B; folic acid; iron)
  • Poor sleep

Trigger points can flare-up and can present as a symptom of chronic conditions, and systemic diseases, including fibromyalgia, arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid, psoriatic), lyme disease, hypoglycemia and hypothyroidism, and others. (read more)

Trigger point self-massge

Massage is an effective way to help soothe and work the tight knots that form in the muscle fascia. We don’t always have time to book in with a massage therapist and want relief fast. Or perhaps the pain presents while you’re at work or traveling. This is when it is great to have a trigger point massage ball for self-massage. Our arms can only bend and reach certain spot, the pressure may be limited by our range of motion and contorting the body to reach the trigger point may lead to further pain. Like a foam roller you can use your body weight to regulate and adjust the pressure. But, unlike the foam roller which covers a wider area, the small ball allows you to target a very specific spot like a trigger point.

It is most useful on areas of the body where you can trap the ball between your body and a steady surface (floor or wall); back and hips get the most out of this. Applying the right amount of pressure is important. You want to apply enough pressure to release the trigger point but not so much that you irritate your nervous system. Here we’re looking for the “good pain” feeling like a deep massage, but not pain that causes wincing or clenching your jaw and gritting your teeth. 

How To Use

Place the ball on the point and gently ease into the ball, gradually applying more body weight. You will begin to release the trigger point once you reach a point where you are noticing a decrease in the intensity of the pain. The release of the trigger point can take 10 seconds to a few minutes. There are many options for self-massaging tools. Some people like tennis balls, lacrosse or squash balls. We prefer the smooth and grippy texture of the trigger point massage ball. They are made specifically for this purpose and are found to be highly effective. It is also not as firm as a lacrosse or squash ball, so it’s easier to gently ease into the release rather than going too hard, too fast. 

Dr. Stacey has specially curated home-care packages that include Trigger Point Balls to help ease your aches and pains between visits. Packages also include a resistance band, sample of Deep Blue rub, epsom salts, and a reusable face mask. Email the office to order, or pick one up when you are in for your next visit. For $35 (including tax) pick one up for yourself, or for someone in your life who needs a little care. 

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