Tag Archives: pain

How to Find Trigger Points

1 Nov

Finding Trigger Points is a skill that can be learned.  This video shows you how!


The Stick can also help to identify Trigger Points by rolling The Stick over your muscles.  You do not need to go to the ground or push hard and go through pain to find Trigger Points. Typically, myofascial release techniques require help from a healthcare provider.  The Stick was developed for self-use.  Often, The Stick, is prescribed as an adjunct for home-use between clinical applications.  Some Trigger Points come back, meaning there is muscle memory involved.  Due to the the physiology of muscle memory, trigger points can be chronic in nature and tend to hang around like an unwelcomed party guest.  Typically, trigger points can be identified when they become active or painful.  “The small center-balance segments of The Stick, however, allows for the diagnosis of latent or inactive trigger points, as well” (Belcher).  Therefore, prevention of muscle lesions is a major and most appreciated asset.  By the way, inactive trigger points cause stiffness and/or limited range of motion – no pain.


The Stick As a Recovery Tool Part 2

6 May

To fully understand muscle recovery whether it is work related, induced by training and/or exercise or even from a medical condition, we first need to discuss muscles as compliant and non-compliant.

We will first start with a discussion of compliant muscle. Muscles that are compliant can be shortened, stretched, compressed and twisted without symptoms of soreness or pain. They will exhibit flexibility, strength, good circulation, and the qualities of endurance.

Let’s switch our focus to the qualities of a non-compliant muscle.  Non-compliant tissue is tight, stiff and tender.  People often refer to this type of sensation as having painful “knots” in their muscles. Their muscles actually feels fibrous instead of long, lean and smooth.  Non-compliant muscles exhibit reduced flexibility, weakness, poor blood circulation and they easily fatigue.  A non-compliant muscle or group of muscles create barriers which restrict peak performance and blood flow.  These, non-compliant muscles are susceptible to injury because they are not functioning properly. In order for the body to perform at optimum levels, muscles must me allowed to expand and contract freely.

The human body contains approximately 690 muscle bellies and tendons. Each muscle has an origin and an insertion.  The rule of thumb is the origin is where the muscle attaches to bone and the least amount of movement takes place.  Whereas the insertion of a muscle is the opposite end of the muscle that attaches to bone where the most movement takes place.  Here is a great website for muscle origins and insertions

Now that we have some basic understanding of compliant and non-compliant muscles, there are some tough questions to answer:

  • Why are some muscles compliant and others are not?
  • Why do specific muscle get stiff during weather changes, yet others appear to be  unaffected?
  • Why do we continually wake up with the same sore, stiff muscle pain in the same place every morning?
  • Why does our back hurt in some positions and not others?
  • Why do our episodes of muscular pain plague us in the same spot?
  • Why does the pain return . . . even after treatment?

The above hypothetical questions all have one common answer. That is… myofascial lesions in the form of barrier trigger points.  Myofascia is the tissue that surrounds all muscles.  I like to describe it like the substance that holds sausages together.  Barrier trigger points are inflexible bands of muscle, usually containing knots. These trigger points (knots) set an artificial ceiling on optimal muscle performance by restricting blood flow to the muscle(s). Muscles need unrestricted blood flow for both high performance and full recovery from muscle activity regardless of the type (athletic, work related or a muscular condition). Simply put, barrier trigger points are usually the primary cause of non-compliant muscles.

Here is where The Stick comes in…

The STICK allows a person to self-administer general as well as segmental therapeutic practices with a great deal of accuracy. By rolling over the muscles with The Stick, muscles become compliant and ready for activity. Due to the bio-mechanical rolling, stretching and compressing of muscle tissue, barrier trigger points become diffused and rehabilitation of non-compliant muscles takes place. Remember that a compliant muscle will perform much better than a non-compliant muscle.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of The Stick as a Recovery Tool.

How To Get The Most From The Stick

2 Jan

This post is really part 2 of the post I did on October 20, 2008.  Here are some great tips on using The Stick.

General Tips for Use:

  • Keep muscles relaxed during rollout.
  • Use on skin or through light clothing.
  • The Stick is waterproof and designed to bend without fear of breaking.
  • It is not necessary to hurt the muscle in order to help the muscle.
  • Most effective when used before, during and after periods of activity.
  • For pin-point rollout, slide hands onto spindles.
  • Excessive use may cause muscle soreness.

General Instructions:

  • A typical warm-up for healthy muscle tissue is about 20 progressively deeper passes over each muscle group (about 30 seconds per area).
  • Discomfort or pain is experienced when the spindles locate a bump or tender knot in the muscle – this is known as a trigger point.
  • Muscles containing trigger points are often weak, stiff and sore. They are frequently tight, easily tire and often hurt.
  • Muscles containing chronic trigger points need 20 additional passes over the involved area, and may require attention several times daily.

To fully understand how to use The Stick,visit my Specific Techniques page.  You will find FREE DOWLOADABLE PDF files!

The Stick and Horses

16 Dec

Yes, you read it correctly!  The Stick is awesome for our equine friends. 

Just like humans, horses react to exercise and develop soreness and trigger points like we do.  The only difference is they don’t complain about it as much as we do.   In fact, equine massage is big business!  Around where I live (Alberta, Canada), there are ranchers, rodeo enthusiasts, dressage participants and the like.  If they care about their horses, then they are having their horses being treated by chiropractors, massage therapists, naturopathics and even acupuncturists.

I still say that nothing will replace the human touch, but The Stick is the next best thing.  The best part, is you can work on your horse anytime, anywhere!  Because this amazing tool is non-motorized, you do not need a plug in, it can get wet and dirty and it is very easy to transport.

Due to the fact that horses are like athletes, we treat them the same way.  You simply roll The Stick over the horses muscles!!  I recommend using the Stiff Stick.

We recommend this Stick because it is stiff and longer for more leverage.  A horses muscles are quite dense!


What Can “The Stick” Do for Horses?  

By increasing circulation and breaking down Trigger Points (muscle knots), “The Stick” can: 

Improve Strength

Increase Flexibility 

Extend Endurance

Accelerate Recovery Time

Reduce Muscle Soreness, Stiffness & Pain

Prepare Muscles for Rigors of Activity

Flushes Muscles from the Rigors of Activity



Please visit here for more details!!

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