Although they don’t seem to be absolutely understood, set off factors are generally believed to be mini muscle spasms brought on by repetitive trauma to the tissue, both due to poor posture or repetitive motion patterns that, over time, trigger a compensation to happen. That compensating muscle quickly turns into overworked and consequently develops a set off level to specific its outrage.
And never solely are set off factors painful, however they’re additionally sinister. “Set off factors forestall you from getting a full vary of movement, both from ache or tightness or each, which will increase your likelihood of harm throughout train,” says Kyle Stull, Ph.D., a licensed handbook therapist and an educator for the Nationwide Academy of Sports activities Medication.
Some areas are extra vulnerable to set off factors than others and rely upon issues corresponding to life-style, defective motion patterns and even footwear (stilettos, anybody?). The commonest culprits are the calves, higher again/shoulders, chest, glutes and hip flexors.
On the Ball
Your finest guess for optimum outcomes is to launch these set off factors earlier than and after your exercise, rising vary of movement and reducing danger of harm. “Since set off factors are deep within the musculature, you want one thing extra dense than a foam curler to handle them,” says Stull, who suggests utilizing a 5-inch therapeutic massage ball (such because the MB5 Therapeutic massage Ball, $25, tptherapy.com).