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Simeon Asher - Treating Trigger Points in Rectus Abdomini


The rectus abdomini is the muscle that comprises the anterior abdominal wall - also commonly known as the “six pack”.

In fact the rectus abdominis is divided by tendinous bands into three or four bellies, each sheathed in aponeurotic fibers from the lateral abdominal muscles. These fibers converge centrally to form the linea alba.

Situated anterior to the lower part of the rectus abdominis is the pyramidalis muscle (frequently absent), which stems from the pubic crest and inserts into the linea alba.

The main job of the pyramidalis is to tense the linea alba.



Rectus Abdomini Trigger Points

Rectus Abdomini - Common Trigger Point Sites



What Does it Do?

The rectus abdominis flexes the lumbar spine, depresses the rib cage, and helps to stabilize the pelvis during walking.

Trigger Points

Trigger points in rectus abdominis usually tend to refer pain across the mid back (horizontally), downwards toward the pelvic area, and can also mimic the painful symptoms of heartburn or indigestion.

The pain from these trigger points may often be mistaken for other more serious conditions. 


This is a sensitive area to treat, and it can take some practice and experience.

Treatment can be painful for some clients, and it can often be difficult to locate the trigger point sites.

Our best advice for those who aren't too experienced at treating these points, is to have patience!

Study and re-study the anatomy and trigger point texts, including a quick refresher immediately before the treatment session.

Having the detailed anatomy clear in your mind will help you more easily identify these important trigger points.











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.