They see me rollin’Ever been using a foam roller or trigger point ball, and you hit that teeth-clenching, groan-inducing sweet-spot? That’s trigger point therapy.
What are trigger points
Trigger points are knots in your muscles which form as a result of overuse, hence the reason runners are particularly susceptible to them! The muscle fibres in these knots can’t fully relax on their own.
The fact that these fibres are tightly wound up together, means that they can’t receive the correct amount of oxygen, thus causing pain and tenderness in the area.
Using a foam roller or similar, to dig in to these fibres and help straighten them out, helps to release these knots and nudge them back in to the right place.
Why should runners try trigger point therapy?
It comes back to that age-old saying – prevention is better than cure. Incorporating trigger point therapy into your running routine, particularly when you’re ramping things up in your training, is going to massively benefit your body in the long run (pun intended).
The more demand you put on your body, the more TLC it needs. Trigger point therapy is a great way to maintain your muscles and tissue fibres.
In saying that, it’s no magical cure, and if you’re experiencing regular and painful trigger points, then you’ll need to properly address the issue, as this can often be down to faulty body mechanics or muscle weakness.
A good physical therapist will be able to help you identify, and rectify what’s causing the painful triggers in the first place.
What are the best foam rolling exercises for runners?
Not sure where to start? Runner’s World have put together this brilliant, comprehensive guide to foam rolling for runner, which you can find here:
Make sure you incorporate foam rolling into your warm up/cool down routine, your body will thank you for it!