Guru status reached
- Sep 5, 2020
- DX FIBRO
Well first we have to distinguish any points that are tender from the fixed term "tender points" that used to be used for 18 chosen places on the body that were to be pressed with 4 kilopond of pressure, and if at least 11 of them done by a practitioner, usually docs, caused an "ouch" then that was thought a sign of fibromyalgia. It has been dropped by many (or only used as an extra) as that caused people (esp. men) to be underdiagnosed if they weren't reacting.I've been curious if it's helpful to massage tender points (carefully, gently) or if it's best to leave them be? With the brief research I did online I couldn't find anything, does anyone know?
So the points that are tender you are referring to are probably more like (myofascial) trigger points, some people feel them as nodules or knots. These are in the strictest sense points, tender ;-), in the muscles that are said to radiate to 'real' areas of pain (referred pain). The 4' video "trigger point explained with animation" helps in quite a bit of detail. (Anyone know what the backing track is??) Two good basic books recommended under it.
"Trigger point therapy" (I wrongly abbreviate that 'trigger pointing') = "myofascial release", or the gentler form "Jones technique" is a certain technique used by many alternative physical therapists. Whilst it's controversial how it works, so isn't mainstream, it does seem to, so it's always worth trying.
But when I used to try it on my own for back problems I had them all over, which was endless and frustrating, and also it seemed to make it worse. Now since fibro both my osteopath and my acupressurist sometimes used these techniques on my local pains, so I got a better feeling for it and regularly manage to apply it to when my clavicle pain recurs.
It was started by Still, the "inventor of osteopathy", influenced by the technique "Rolfing". And using a foam roller is one type of self-application. This is something which hurts me too much whether hard or soft foam. Another is lying and rolling ourselves on one tennis ball, or two in an old sock, left and right of spine, see video at minute 3. Also something that hurts me more than it helps.
The video talks only about stroking movements, like this rolling. I however also learnt just finding the painful spot, then holding it at about 50% of the maximum pain for a long time, until the pain subsides. Similarly Jones technique only holds the point, but it's held you move around a bit to see in which position the pain stops or at least subsides and then you continue to hold it there for quite a while. So much gentler, cos you don't have to go "into" the pain as much (is that an English expression too?).
Another connection is the reflexological method of ear acupressure, in which as opposed to body acupressure the practitioner finds pain spots on your ear lobe and holds those until the pain subsides, which it usually does, sometimes 10 minutes. I had that done for a year, wasn't easy, and I'm not sure if that is what helped me most, but at least she helped get my local pains down to below 20%, the rest I managed with my own self-applied methods, with which I have much more success:
exercises, stretches, self-applied acupressure, my vibrating massage gadget...
Taking this back generally to the topic of touch: Exercises and stretches aren't touch in that sense, but acupressure and massage are, so I would say the right amount of touch is vital to improve our local pains.