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Shoulder problems affect 25% of the population. Trigger point therapy can be very effective for treating a range of shoulder pain issues. There are well documented protocols for treating rotator cuff tendinopathy, tendonitis, bursitis, and frozen shoulder syndrome.

Here I present a basic shoulder protocol, which should yield good results in terms of helping to alleviate symptoms for many common shoulder problems.


STEP 1: Study the anatomy and direction of the muscle fibers.







STEP 2: Sitting ICT to:





Upper Trapezius


Step 3: Massage area generously 


STEP 4: Side-lying ICT to:


Deltoid—stroking upward only and pausing on trigger points



Teres Minor—letting hand fall off the bed




Step 5: Supine ICT to:


Pectoralis Minor




Infraspinatus (STP). Initially this can be very painful, but ask patient to let their shoulder gently fall backward onto your applicator, with deep breathing.


This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell.  




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Scraping, a manual, ancient practice where pain points are worked with a gua sha (smooth-edged tool), reportedly increases blood flow by up to 400 per cent more than foam rolling and massage guns. By breaking up old, damaged blood vessels to promote new growth and healing, these tools are useful for getting into the nooks and crannies of a pain point, especially in delicate areas like along the shin muscles and under the foot.

Tim Tian has taken the scraper idea and supercharged it, creating a manual, triangular tool that blends heat and vibration therapy. “Cold blades stiffen muscles, blocking a deep release,” he says.

The heated scraper device takes just three seconds to reach 50ºC. This helps muscles soften, making it easier to massage away tension, increase blood flow and promote healing. The scraper is specially great for alleviating delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in the quads, and provides a relaxing switch-up from the foam roller slog.