What is a trigger point?
A trigger point is spot in our muscles which is hyper-irritable. It is associated with a tender knot in our affected muscle tissue. These muscles feel tight and weak and do not respond well to stretches. They further cause restriction in range of motion of the joint. Trigger points are very tender and can cause pain when pressed. They even cause a tingling and burning sensation along with weakness resulting in local muscle twitch response or a distinctive referred pain pattern.
As your feet become fatigued their musculature becomes compromised resulting in hampering of muscle support and locomotion, thus generating trigger points which do not let the host muscle relax and recover. Trigger points can hide anywhere in the 126 ligaments, muscles and tendons of your feet.
Only professional therapists perform trigger point massages, however, you can administer some DIY techniques at home or the office. Trigger point massage can effectively eliminate and eradicate pain, improve blood flow and circulatory performance in your feet. You can start by poking at different areas with your index finger or thumb to find the trigger spots on your feet. You have found a spot if pressing there makes you jump or wither in pain. Therefore, it is safe to say that trigger point therapy of your lower leg and foot may be just what you need to successfully treat plantar fasciitis.
Press Release Technique
The press release technique is essential in alleviating foot tension and pain whether it is via professional massage therapists or by you at home. Pinpoint the triggers on your foot and then release them. Do this after you are seated on the floor. Stretch out your legs, bend your knee on the injured side and rest your ankle on the other thigh. Rotate the ankle inward so the sole of the foot faces upright. Press your thumb or index finger on the trigger point, hold for 10 seconds and release. Repeat this 3 to 5 times for each trigger point. You will feel pain initially but it will decrease as you increase the pressure.
Passive Stretch Release Technique
You can employ the passive stretch release technique as well as it is highly suitable for home massages. This technique is a kind of trigger point massage ideal for those suffering from PF and other foot problems. Start by sitting in a chair and place your ankle on the injured foot on your other thigh. Now with one hand secure the joint onto the ankle, and use the other hand to stretch (back) your toes towards the shin. Hold this position for about 30 seconds & release. Repeat it 3 to 5 times for optimal and maximum results.
Assisted Release Technique
This technique comes in handy when the pressure applied from fingers is not enough to alleviate pain and tension. In such cases you can use an object to release your trigger points. You can use the end of a wooden spatula, golf or tennis balls, or even a rolling pin under your injured foot. Add little pressure as you roll the object under your foot. Once you make contact with the trigger point, hold the pressure for 10 seconds before you move on to the next point. For optimal comfort and pain remediation repeat this process 3 to 5 times for each point.