Trigger points often reduce flexibility within a muscle and can cause pain deep in the muscles. Trigger points are caused by overusing muscles where a portion of the muscle contracts but doesn’t relax, staying in contraction and forming a trigger point. There is no way to completely release trigger points quickly, but there are multiple ways to substantially relieve trigger point pain.
Resting the Muscles
Rest is the only way to allow knots to completely loosen. It may take a while for the knotted muscles to completely loosen, depending on how frequently those muscles are used. It can take days or even weeks of rest from strenuous activities to allow the knots in a muscle to completely loosen.
Foam rolling can be utilized to provide some relief of tight knots in muscles, especially in the back. High-density foam rollers are more painful to use than low-density foam rollers, but they allow you to apply more pressure to your muscles. A lacrosse ball can be used for foam rolling on smaller muscles that are difficult to reach with a foam roller. Foam rolling can be done multiple times in a day and it can be used to effectively loosen knots in a matter of minutes.
Knots in the muscles of the neck and back is often caused by bad posture, especially from sitting. Slouching the neck and upper back forward can cause an unnecessary increase in usage of the spinal erector muscles. This is often the most common cause of knots in the neck and back. Sitting into a chair with the spine and neck neutral is much less demanding on the spinal erectors than slouching the neck and back.
Menthol and Pain Relief Creams
Topical pain relief creams that use ingredients such as menthol can be used for temporarily alleviating knots. Ingredients such as menthol stimulate nerve receptors on the skin to heat or cool. Many of these creams become ineffective when they are consistently applied to the same area.
Trigger points can be easily treated at home. While there is no quick way to completely release trigger points, using the methods mentioned earlier in this article can significantly relieve trigger point pain.