Do you ever feel like your body is breaking down? And you’re sure it’s the early start of arthritis taking over your body, even though you exercise – stretch, run, yoga etc.? After the twins were born I figured that my joints would need time to heal and I’d need to take it easy – only run 2 miles/3x/wk. on a treadmill, do loads of stretching and not overdo it. But after a year of doing this I swear I thought I needed a hip replacement. Each morning I’d get out of bed hunched over and barely able to move. I looked worse than my deceased 103 year old grandfather had when he was only 101. I hadn’t slept much because my legs would hurt and wake me up. I went to physio, had a MRI, CT scan, x-rays – you name it and absolutely nothing appeared on the scans. BUT I was in this achy dull pain. I would try to rip my hips apart while I massaged the ache. However, it didn’t stop me from exercising – actually exercising helped, I was free of that ache. But sitting, standing, sleeping etc. was brutal. I finally went and saw my trainer – Matt Campbell at the Pro Club. He runs 100 mile races- yes 100 miles not marathons…so I asked him…well I cried and begged if he knew of a solution. He did and from then on, I slept, and now I don’t try to rip my hip muscles out. Matt introduced me to Trigger Point Performance Therapy.
My muscles were so tight especially my calf muscles that I had thought I only had one muscle between my knee and my ankle and not more. The first exercise is take a grey looking spongy brick, place it on the ground, then put a hard ball on top and then put your calf (top part) on the ball and then roll your ankle to the right and then to the left. It’s a type of Shiatsu massage manipulating the muscle to release tension, scar tissue and adhesions to enable your ankle and foot to work in its natural range of motion. (With pregnancy, injuries etc. we end up compensating for extra weight thus our gait changes thus putting stress on joints in different ways than it should.) To test it out on yourself- try using something sturdy for the brick and then use a lacrosse ball – not a tennis ball because it’s too soft. You need a hard ball. Look at the Soleus Manipulation (to the right of the article) to see how it’s done.
When Matt made me do the the Quadriceps Manipulation (the photo and technique is at the bottom right of the article) with the QuadBaller tool for my hip pain, I cried out in relief. There were tears streaming down my face. The relief was outstanding. Up until that point nothing, not massages, physio, hot baths could release the amount of tension and stress from my hips. After 2 years of achy pain and not one full night of sleep – I slept that night. The relief from doing that exercise once was amazing – I instantly bought the Trigger Point Performance Ultimate-6 Self-Myofascial Release and Deep Tissue Massage Kit with Guidebook (Updated and Revised)
I complete the soleus, quadriceps and piriformis exercises 3 times a week (before I go to bed, it takes 10 mins). If I don’t use it the ache returns. I travel with the massage hard ball, the spongy brick and the quadballer.
If you’re also like me and use your phone a lot…and look down at it while you’re sitting or standing AND you carry 1-2 kids around, have bad posture and try to do everything yourself, then you may have a similar issue like me – pain between the shoulder blades otherwise known as the Thoracic pain. This past January I couldn’t move. I thought I ruptured another disc in my back. My physio therapist (new one) made me try “The Thoracic Spine Manipulation” but with two tennis balls instead of the two Trigger Point Balls. The tennis balls are taped together. See photo. I put the balls on the ground, place them between my spine, right at my shoulder blades and roll up and down. This exercise has been a life saver. Within two weeks I was able to ski Whistler without pain. I have four sets of these ‘balls’ – one in my purse, one in my car, one in my room, one at my locker. At any point when my back aches I just roll on them and feel immensely better. I do this daily for 1 minute and I’m free of pain.
When you view the Trigger Point Therapy website it illustrates ultimate performance athletes but it is for the 2 mile runner, the yoga diva, and the engineer that sits at their desk all day. However I’d like to point out – I am not a fitness trainer, nor doctor. Check with your doctor to be sure to rule out broken bones etc. that may be causing your pain and definitely have your trainer go through the exercises with you or purchase the book to be sure you’re performing the exercises correctly.
As the running season approaches and the 5ks, 10ks, 1/2 marathons, and oh yes – birthing of children occurs – be sure to try out Trigger Point Performance Therapy especially if you’re a new runner, new mom or parent and you’re feeling sore. I listed this amazing product because friends and family have tried this and they loved it so much they too purchased it. It’s not necessary for us to go through pain as we age!