How To Use A Trigger Point Massage Roller

How To Use A Trigger Point Massage Roller IN 9 SIMPLE STEPS

Trigger point massage rollers have been around for decades now, with more and more people discovering their benefits every day. Unfortunately, the methods of how to use them aren’t always that clear-cut, and it can be hard to remember all the steps when you want to use them (especially in the heat of the moment). To make things easier, here’s a simple step-by-step guide to using your trigger point roller correctly. Whether you’re using it to relieve muscle tension or just as an excuse to squeeze your favorite football player, this guide should help!

Step 1 – Know Where The Trigger Points Are
You can feel a trigger point yourself by rubbing or pressing into an area that’s sore. If you press on a trigger point and it hurts, you’ve found one! Common trigger points are in your neck, shoulder, lower back, and even your hands. (If you have hand pain from typing too much—are there two more common places for pain?) Unfortunately, since you can easily find them yourself, there’s no need to actually buy a massage roller to know how to use one.

Step 2 – Apply Pressure Slowly
To apply pressure to your muscles, slowly place your body weight on top of it. Start by placing one of your hands directly over top of it, and then slowly shift all your weight onto that side. Once you’ve done that, move on to placing your entire body weight on top of it—placing both hands underneath you and then shifting every part of your body above it until you are laying directly on top. After a few minutes, remove any excess pressure by repositioning yourself with less weight; after a few seconds, remove all pressure completely.

Step 3 – Take It Easy
This is probably one of those steps that you shouldn’t skip out on, but it’s also not exactly what you would think. When using a trigger point massage roller, there are a lot of different techniques you can use to release these points. Remember not to apply too much pressure in any given area and make sure to move in a circular motion while massaging yourself with your own trigger point roller. If it hurts too much or if something doesn’t feel right, take it easy and don’t push through. It should be a relaxing experience and not at all painful.

Step 4 – Avoid Pain When Applying Pressure
Before beginning a massage, have your client lie on his or her stomach with pillows under their neck and hips. Using gentle pressure, press along these trigger points for up to five seconds. This may feel painful at first. If your client does not experience relief after applying light pressure for 15 seconds, increase pressure slightly. You may need to adjust your position, but try not to move more than one finger-width from where you began (for example, if you started near the shoulder blade area of your client’s back and they felt no relief after 15 seconds of pressure, continue to massage around that area).

Step 5 – Go Deep Into The Muscle
As you’re applying pressure to your tight spot, it can be tempting to stick to just that one specific point. But if you want to get rid of that muscle knot for good, you’ll have to address not only its surface level but also its deep-rooted layers. Deep massage takes time, so try holding each pressure point for at least 30 seconds before moving on. In total, a 10-minute roller session will probably require 15 minutes or more of hold time per trigger point. As you start feeling tension release throughout your body and see better results in your flexibility—that’s when you know it’s time to move onto another spot.

Step 6 – Keep the Pressure On (for at least 30 seconds)
You may be tempted to roll and move on, but you’ll need to keep constant pressure for a minimum of 30 seconds. Most experts agree that 20-30 total minutes per treatment is ideal; however, if you have time constraints or are in a rush, 5-10 minutes is better than nothing. When applying pressure, focus on applying even force over a consistent area. If you’re using your roller on tight muscles like your back and glutes, it can help to imagine you’re pressing down with two tennis balls—one in each hand—and slowly rolling them up and down against your muscle.

Step 7 – Hold the Massage Roller Still
The first time you use a trigger point roller, make sure to hold it still as you apply pressure. By moving it around, you risk irritating your skin and causing small tears that could cause bleeding or bruising. Just press down gently. Over time, once your muscle becomes more relaxed from using a trigger point massage roller , you can begin to move it around while applying gentle pressure. But if it’s your first time using one, always remember to hold the massager still at first. You can always move faster later on.

Step 8 – Pull Back From Your Work
If you work at a computer, it’s easy to let yourself get so absorbed in your work that you don’t notice how much time has passed. If you ever find yourself falling into a zone or working through an extended stretch of time without a break, stop! Set an alarm on your phone or computer and then allow yourself to get up and move around for at least 5 minutes. When you sit too long, your body starts sending pain signals to warn you that something isn’t right. The harder you push through those signals, though, the more they might hurt.

Step 9 – Repeat Steps from 5 to 8 as Needed
Apply pressure to trigger points along both sides of your spine. So, lie on your back and use both hands, working across each side of your back in an up-and-down motion. Repeat until your shoulders relax completely. You may need to repeat steps from 5 to 8 as often as you like or until pain is eliminated. In addition, applying heat before using a massage roller can make it easier for you to roll over trigger points. If you’re dealing with a very sore area, start off slowly by rolling gently over each point for just 2-3 seconds per point before increasing pressure if necessary or repeating steps from 5 to 8 again.

Final Word
Finding a massage roller with an ideal amount of give is like finding a mattress that’s just right—there isn’t one. It’s subjective, and what works for you won’t work for me. That said, getting more comfortable using a roller is about exploring and not being afraid to try new ways of using it. Start at Step 1, then progress to Step 2, and so on. The best way to improve your knowledge of using a massage roller is through experience and repetition. Yes, you might end up looking silly or awkward trying out new techniques (and your cat might be freaked out), but at least you’re keeping muscles relaxed while massaging away trigger points instead of avoiding foam rollers altogether because they hurt!

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Lynn has been writing at our blog for over two years. She currently writes about topics such as sleep, massage therapy, and cooking. Recently, she has teamed up with other bloggers to write about their life stories. Lynn is also a certified massage therapist who loves to express herself through cooking recipes she finds on Pinterest or food blogs. Lynn's blog is an outlet where she can share her passions with others while encouraging them to live the best version of themselves.

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