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Trigger Point Self-Care Manual: For Pain-Free Movement Paperback – 8 Nov 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Healing Arts Press; First Printing edition (8 Nov. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594770808
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594770807
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 1.5 x 27.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


Neck and Upper Back Pain

The human body is an astounding structure, and the neck is a mighty example of that truth. The complex design of muscle and bone makes the neck capable of intricate movements and gives it the strength to support the approximately eight-pound weight of the human head. For all of its intricacy--or perhaps because of that--the neck is subject to muscular stresses that often lead to pain and dysfunction.

The sources of neck pain in the musculature are quite numerous: overload, overwork, trauma, compromising postures, and emotional stresses are just some of the situations that lead to trigger point development. Many dancers and athletes ”stretch” their necks improperly, overstretching or straining the muscles in the process. Neck rolls, for example, place undue stress on the smaller muscles of the neck, requiring these muscles to support the weight of the head at certain points during the roll, which causes them to become overloaded. Trigger points may result as a function of this overload.

Equally problematic is the head-forward posture: chin jutting out, the muscles in the back of the neck shortening. This is a common posture for bicyclists when they’re riding; it’s a familiar posture for football players and tennis players as well. A round-shouldered upper-body posture will also result in a head-forward position. This posture can easily lead to overload injury to the neck muscles.

Whiplash-type injuries, the sudden forward and then backward motion experienced during a tackle or fall or a sideways impact, are common sources of neck injury. Football players, or any athlete who is at risk of a fall or impact, might experience trauma to the muscles of the neck.

Keeping the head and neck in the same position for a sustained period of time, such as when you’re painting a ceiling or the inside of a cabinet, can lead to restriction and associated trigger points. Working at a computer station at which your monitor is off to one side can encourage trigger point development for the prolonged neck rotation such a set-up requires. One of the most common sources of neck injury is improper breathing. Breathing high into the chest rather than into the lower belly causes the muscles of the neck to become involved in breathing, leading to a state of chronic overuse. Stress, of course, does the same thing--so much tension can become locked in the neck, throat, upper chest, and shoulders. Stress alone is a primary source of trigger point development in muscles affecting the neck and upper back.

If you are suffering with neck pain, consider the sources of your pain. Is the pain a result of your physical activities? your posture? the life stresses you embody? an inefficient breathing pattern? The pain may come from more than one source. You will have to address them all in order to find true resolution and make your neck pain free.

Of all the muscles in the body, trapezius is the one that most frequently develops trigger points. Trapezius attaches to the base of the skull and lies at the back of the neck, the upper shoulders, and over the upper and middle back. Trapezius is actually comprised of three different groups of fibers: an upper group, a middle group, and a lower group. The muscle fibers of upper trapezius drape across the upper shoulders to attach to the collarbone (the clavicle) on the upper chest. The upper trapezius forms the characteristic shape of the upper shoulder area that is closest to the neck. This muscle is the only muscle in the body that raises the tip of the shoulders, producing the ”shrug.“ The upper trapezius also moves the head and neck toward the shoulder on the same side.

The fibers of the middle trapezius pull the shoulder blades together. The fibers of the lower trapezius draw the shoulder blades downward.

Trigger points can develop in many different areas of the trapezius, causing pain in various places in the neck and upper back. Trigger points commonly develop as a result of overload, compression, and trauma. Stress is often the greatest source of overload. If you think about your posture when you’re stressed you will see that your shoulders often bear the biggest burden. It’s not for nothing that we speak of carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders. When we do “carry the world” this way, it’s the trapezius that is affected. Overload also occurs as a function of continually raising your shoulder to your ear, as you might do to hold a phone between the two.

Trapezius is the muscle that supports the weight of your arms. When you are seated on a chair without arm support, the trapezius works continually to support your weight. The dancer practicing overhead lifts, the weight lifter doing military presses, and the cyclist bent over her handlebars are all in danger of developing trapezius trigger points due to overload of the muscle.

Compressing the trapezius also leads to trigger points: hikers whose backpacks are ill-fitted or those who carry heavy gear on their shoulders may risk developing trigger points from compression. Trauma in the form of whiplash frequently produces trigger points. (Whiplash is the forceful, unexpected, and uncontrolled forward-then-backward motion of the head.) Auto accidents are a well-known cause of whiplash injuries. So are falls, something that every athlete is at risk for.

Pain from trigger points in the upper trapezius is felt on the side of the neck up to the base of the skull, possibly traveling around the ear to the temple. The pain is often described as deep and achy. You may experience it as a headache, particularly when it is felt in the temples. Trigger points in the middle fibers of trapezius don’t occur frequently, but when they do they refer pain between the shoulder blades close to the spine. Trigger points in the lower fibers refer pain to the back of the neck . . .

Review

"With an index of symptoms and easy to follow diagrams and illustrations, Finando provides the opportunity to gain control over your pain through the self-application of trigger point therapy." (Spirit of Change, Summer 2006)

"With an index of symptoms and easy to follow diagrams and illustrations, Finando offers you the opportunity to gain control over your pain through trigger point therapy." (Alec Franklor, Edge Life, June 2007)

"Acupuncture and massage practitioner Donna Finando, who specializes in myofascial techniques and has studied pain management with field pioneer Janet Travell, M.D., presents Trigger Point Self-Care Manual For Pain-Free Movement, a guide to self-care practices for promoting a healthier and happier life. Chapters examine the human body muscle by muscle, describing the different aches and pains that can result from stress or injury in each muscle, and teach readers about the "trigger points" in muscles that are particularly susceptible to damage and use pain as a warning sign to prevent even more serious injury. Exercises, stretches, and solid medical advice for taking good care of one's muscles fill this handy guide, written especially for lay readers and illustrated with black-and-white diagrams and red highlights. While the Trigger Point Self-Care Manual cannot replace a doctor's supervision, it is a valuable tool for personal health and maintenance and highly recommended, especially for people leading active lifestyles or those susceptible to muscular stiffness and soreness." (The Midwest Book Review, Feb 2006)

"Any who suffer from muscle pain will find her methods specific and useful, based on her acupuncture and massage background and studies with Janet Travell, MD, a pioneer in pain management." (Diane Donovan, Bookwatch, April 2006)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Received my book this morning and must say that I am very impressed. I am a holistic therapist and am always looking for 'safe' ways to help other people and myself.
The layout of the book is very clear. A quick reference point: Good diagrams to indicate painful areas and the correcting muscles and page numbers at the end of the book. I also have the Trigger point therapy work book by Claire Davies. This book by Donna Finando is not only clearer BUT gives clear instruction (with diagrams) on how to locate the muscles and then how to stretch the muscles. This is very important in my view, if the muscle has been in spasm for a period, it needs to be stretched. Just working on the trigger points is not enough.
I do 'Spring Forest Qigong' regularly to keep myself in good shape because I am a back pain sufferer myself. I could very quickly identify which muscles to work on and what exercise to use. I can already feel the benefit.If you wanted just one book on Trgger Point Therapy, then you should get this one
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really good and easy to use - with symptom index and pain pattern index, it's easy to locate the problem areas.
And with both muscle and triggerpoint drawings and strech exercises, the self-treatement routine is up and running in no time.
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in depth work useful diagrams used for fibromyagia pain to give some relief understanding the problems is half the battle. cheaper than some of the similar publications but that does not detrack for its usefulness used in cnojunction with backbuddy
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as a Sports and holistic therapist i often get presented with muscular pain that other medical professionals will not touch as they belive its to trivia. but patients do not feel to trivia and are in actual pain. with this book not only has it helped me while studying its also a good reference for professionals to use and advise patients to alieviate pain and tender areas. this book is well presented with areas of the body presented together with advise on how to aliviate the trigger. it is advisable not to use as a self care guide as the authour presums some advanced training within manaual massage therapy but for a student or therapist wanting a quick guide a very useful tool wouldnt be without it.
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Bought for my husband as he has been suffering with a shoulder injury and spent ££££ on physio,within a few weeks of reading this book,which he says is clear,and informative with diagrams, he has been able to pin point and self treat his injury..this has been used in conjunction with Body Back Buddy Trigger
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I really enjoyed how the book is set out, for my back pain this has helped greatly as well as for other day to day issues. Over all I think this a great book.
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Great instructional book on how to take care of your body!
I was given recommendation to look up trigger points, and this book seemed like a good starting point.
It is an interesting atlas of a body's muscle groups and how tightness and tension can be relieved by targeting the trigger points in muscles to relieve it.
Not a ground breaking publication to anyone interested in serious sports/fitness, martial arts or massage, but a very handy guide with direct depictions and descriptions on how to 'heal' practically all the body's affected areas.

Recommended, especially to individuals who experience a lot of tense muscles and are serious about their sport!
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I learned loads and finding the points is easy now, great explanations to spot them. but for the stretches, you sometime end up being unsure about how the perform them, sketches not helping much. So you have to play around to get it right.

4 Stars for me as it was a great first approach to trigger points for me, and not getting too deep into details that can lose the reader.
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