How To Self Treat Trigger Points - Gluteus Maximus
Trigger Point Therapy - Self Help Tips for Treating Gluteal Muscles
The pain from gluteal trigger points can be severe - so what can you do at home to help?
Trigger points are tight bands of muscle that form either slowly over time or sometimes quickly in response to injury or trauma.
In most cases these trigger points remain dormant after formation and are left undiscovered. Any symptoms (pain, referred pain, stiffness) are occasional and mild.
However, there are many circumstances in which these trigger points become and remain active, causing symptoms - often chronic symptoms - of pain and restricted movement.
The most unusual and perhaps interesting aspect of trigger points is that the symptoms that they cause, will often materialize in different part of the body.
Self Treatment of Trigger Points
Trigger points are sometime really easy to locate, especially when they form in muscles that are accessible, and where the symptoms are immediately felt as a response to sustained direct pressure.
Athletes for example, are often very adept at locating trigger points in their own muscles, but in most cases, it takes a trained therapist to use experienced palpation skills to accurately locate trigger points.
So, in an ideal scenario, self treatment for trigger points is always best performed as part of treatment being received from a trained massage or manual therapist.
Through treatment, your therapist will help you understand how to locate your trigger points, if necessary or recommended, and some of the various methods to safely apply self treatment - both to relieve symptoms and help speed up the healing process.
Working together with your therapist in this way will often improve the outcome and reduce the number of therapist visits that may be required. It also ensures that any self treatment you perform is done so within safe guidelines.
The bottom line on self help is to use common sense, and that it's always best to seek advice from a qualified healthcare provider before you start.
Types of Self Help Treatment for Trigger Points
Slow, deep stroking massage around the area of the trigger point can be helpful.
Pressure products, balls and foam rollers - where suitable - are often excellent for treatment of the general area of the trigger point.
Compression inhibition technique can be applied with caution (see above). This is basically where you apply pressure for a short period of time directly on the trigger point; release slowly; and repeat.
Use caution with any self help treatment and especially with any treatment that requires the application of direct pressure - such as Compresion inhibition technique.
Gluteal Trigger Points - Things to Consider
Regular stretching can help relieve the symptoms caused by trigger points. There are loads of simple stretches for the gluteal muscles (easy to find on this site and elsewhere online (www.youtube.com/nielasher) - whatever your age or level of fitness there's a glute stretch out there for you!
Try applying heat to relieve symptoms. Heat packs or wheat packs that are microwavable can work well. Try this after stretching.
Talk to your therapist about a Gait and Posture analysis. Often simple adjustments and improvement to posture can have great effect.
If symptoms are chronic they may sometimes disturb your sleep which in itself is likely to be unhealthy. Try sleeping pillow between or under your knees when sleeping.
Finally, do not sit for more than 25 minutes at a time. Don't be shy and talk to your employer if needed, but try to get up and walk around for 3-5 minutes every 25 minutes.
About Paul Townley
In the video above, physical therapist Paul Townley gives some brief tips on using the Backnobber to self treat trigger points in the gluteus maximus and medius muscles.
Active trigger points in the muscles are often associated with hip pain and dysfunction.
Paul holds a Masters Degree (MSc) in Neuromusculoskeletal medicine, and is a member of the Manipulative Association of Chartered Physiotherapists and the International Federation of Manipulative Therapy.
Paul is qualified as an ESP (Extended Scope Practitioner) and a university lecturer and teacher in the United Kingdom.
In a career spanning more than two decades Paul has worked with elite athletes (including Physiotherapist for Crystal Palace FC - EPL) and has provided specialist physiotherapy services and consultancy to the military.
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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.