What trigger points do massage therapists tend to get?

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What trigger points do massage therapists tend to get?

Postby Wingull on Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:11 pm

In the Opponens Pollicis section of The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook (pages 126-127), the authors write:

Many massage therapists have to quit the profession and seek another way to make a living because of thumbs crippled by overuse... The safest and most efficient way to massage the ball of the thumb may be to roll it back and forth over a small, hard rubber ball on the top of a table or desk.


What muscles besides the Opponens Pollicis are typical trouble spots for massage therapists, and what are some techniques for eradicating trigger points in them? I'm especially interested in techniques that a massage therapist could use on themself.

Maybe we can last longer by preemptively eradicating troubles before they arise. What are some areas you've had trouble with in your practice? These are areas the rest of us should be careful to watch...
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Re: What trigger points do massage therapists tend to get?

Postby JasonE on Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:34 pm

Wingull wrote:In the Opponens Pollicis section of The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook (pages 126-127), the authors write:

Many massage therapists have to quit the profession and seek another way to make a living because of thumbs crippled by overuse... The safest and most efficient way to massage the ball of the thumb may be to roll it back and forth over a small, hard rubber ball on the top of a table or desk.


What muscles besides the Opponens Pollicis are typical trouble spots for massage therapists, and what are some techniques for eradicating trigger points in them? I'm especially interested in techniques that a massage therapist could use on themself.

Maybe we can last longer by preemptively eradicating troubles before they arise. What are some areas you've had trouble with in your practice? These are areas the rest of us should be careful to watch...


The aches and pains suffered by MTs vary considerably. In my experience, the opponens pollicis is rarely the chief area of complaint for MTs considering leaving the field. Some have shoulder issues, neck issue, back issues, wrist issues... the list goes on and on. There is no one area to focus lots of preventative care. The best strategy is to strengthen your entire body, maintain a reasonable level of flexibility, eat well, and do whatever other self-care is appropriate.

If you look, you'll find an entire BWOL section on Self-Care and Body Mechanics, in which you'll find plenty of relevant discussions. :D
Jason Erickson, NCTMB, ACE-CPT, AIS-TA
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http://www.CSTMinnesota.com

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Re: What trigger points do massage therapists tend to get?

Postby pueppi on Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:08 am

Wingull wrote:What muscles besides the Opponens Pollicis are typical trouble spots for massage therapists, and what are some techniques for eradicating trigger points in them? I'm especially interested in techniques that a massage therapist could use on themself.

Maybe we can last longer by preemptively eradicating troubles before they arise. What are some areas you've had trouble with in your practice? These are areas the rest of us should be careful to watch...


FWIW, I have no problems at all with my Opponens Pollicis. I've been in practice over 15 years.

When I hear people complaining of thumb issues, it is usually because they have bad body mechanics or are not using their feet/ankles/legs for leverage. Many times they are also running their thumbs across the tissue instead of moving into the tissue with their thumb and working their area via strength and movement from the wrist/arm/hand. When you just circle the thumb at the saddle joint, you can do a lot of damage.

I think much of the problems MT's tend to have are based on prior and current lifestyle habits as well as prior injuries.

The better shape you are in the less likely you are to have issues.

However, if I were to pick my trouble spots from being an MT, I would say they center around occasional right knee issues (maybe once every few years it will be bothersome for a week or so) as this is the leg I use to push from more regularly than the left. Occasional forearm issues, due to general work and not taking care of myself (at a rate of once every year or so, for a week until I get someone to strip it out again). And, regular neck issues, very specifically due to a number of motor vehicle accidents (MVA's) when I was younger... the main one stemming from when I was about age 14.

If I would get serious about loosing 20 lbs. I would probably be spry as a spring chick! :)
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