Friday, October 17, 2008

Foiled by my Own Trigger Point

Like everyone, I have my daily dose of aches and pains. And, like everyone, I do a pretty good job of ignoring them and getting on with my day! So I have been having an intermittent pain in my left hamstring for a few months now, but never mentioned it to my massage therapist, as I just didn’t want to take time away from my precious neck and shoulder treatment!

It would come and go, and was a dull achy pain that ran pretty much the entire length of the hamstring muscle belly, and I could sometimes feel it right at the attachment to the ischial tuberosity (sit bone).

Now you know I am the queen of self-massage, so I of course worked on the hamstring with a tennis ball and the Stick, on a number of occasions. I stretched it many a time, especially if it was bothering me at bedtime. Nothing really seemed to be helping though, but I just wasn’t concerned enough about it to give it much critical thought.

I can promise you that if someone came to see me with “hamstring pain”, I would not immediately assume it was hamstring, but for some reason my mind was set that I had done something to my hamstring, and that was that. To be honest, trigger point referral never even crossed my mind. Can you believe it!

It was starting to be a little more uncomfortable, and just happened to be bothering my at my last massage visit, so I decided to mention it to my therapist. I told her that my hamstring had been bothering me off and on for a few months, and would she mind just poking around a bit before she worked on my neck and shoulders (which is usually all I want worked on).

So my massage therapist; lets call her Sheila (because that’s her name!), starts working on my gluteals. Well, I am thinking to myself, “don’t waste time there, just get into the darn hamstring and then work on my shoulder”. Not a second later, she lands on a massive trigger point in my piriformis muscle, and voila, a perfect replica of my hamstring pain!

Talk about an “I’m such an idiot” moment. I immediately realized how obvious it was that what I had been feeling for so long was referral pain, and not only did I completely miss that fact, but almost got upset with my therapist for not working right on the painful spot like I had asked! (Sorry Sheila!)

So the next time you are having issues with your body, tell your therapist about it first and foremost, and then let them work their magic, even if you think they are working the wrong spot!