Ever experience a sharp, tight pain that affected your state of mind and/or ability to move? Did the discomfort occur out of the blue or after much physical activity or work?
If you’ve experienced this, you are not alone. Everyone is subjected to muscle trigger points. Why? It’s due to the fact that nutrient transport is affected by stress which leads to an imbalance in the affected muscle tissue.
Your muscles require energy to work as well as relax. When you do more than your body is accustomed to or able to handle, there is an imbalance in the overworked area which leads to subsequent trigger point development.
Negative effects are usually felt immediately after when a high amount of force was handled by the body or may be felt one day after waking when there has been a gradual exhaustion to the affected muscle region.
Regardless of how the trigger point set in, it really funnels down to an overwork scenario.
What to do? Simple. Train and support your body to withstand the stressors that you put it through.
Here are 4 actions to take in order to prevent or help resolve trigger points.
1) Strength endurance training. Increase your reps of exercises for the muscle groups you train, especially your weaker muscles as they will typically fail while performing an activity longer duration. Aim for 12 to 20 repetitions for 1-2 sets.
2) Stretching. Hold your stretches for 15-30 seconds while breathing through them. Aim for a moderate level of pull on the targeted muscle.
3) Right nutrient intake. Have a diverse diet that includes all food groups. Make sure you are having plenty of fruits and vegetables, adequate complex carbs and protein as well as water intake.
4) Minimizing caffeine. Too much caffeine tends to increase muscle tension (see more info here). A relative safe zone would be having less than 2 cups of regular coffee per day.
Get started with these steps if they’re not in your routine. Or, if they are, keep it up! We’ll be covering more specifics on affected muscle regions in later posts.