Trigger Traps

By Sharon Truelove

Today, let’s talk about “pain”. You may try to locate the pain, and touch it, as an example, at the base of you skull, but…that’s just not it. A lot of times, “trigger points” may be the culprit; the primary place where you feel the pain, may not be where the cause is.

When under stress, one of the first muscles to cause pain is the traps.The trapezius (traps) are broad and attach at the base of the skull, the back of the neck, over the upper shoulders and extend down the upper back to the mid back.

Pain in the traps is caused by stress. It produces achy shoulders and neck, and often it is deep. Tension in these muscles may bring about headache (temples, behind the eyes, base of the skull).  The pain may be perceived as a burning between the shoulder blades (usually after sitting at a computer without elbow support).

Many things cause set up pain in the traps….mainly stress.

  • The first and primary cause is carrying the shoulders up (toward the ears). Relax.
  • Head-forward posture. Sit up straight, lower the shoulders and bring the head back.
  • Holding a phone between the ear and shoulder. Get a headset.
  • Carrying an overweight purse or backpack. Is everything you are carrying really necessary? Switch carrying it from one should to the other frequently.
  • Too-tight bra straps or the weight of heavy breasts pulling on straps. Have a bra fitted by someone trained to get a good fit.
  • Sleeping on the back or stomach with the head tuned to one side (any position where the head is turned to one side for a long period can cause problems). Try to change sleeping positions.
  • Bending forward while working (sewing, computer, reading…) Sit up.
  • Keyboard too high. Forearms should be parallel with the floor.
  • Working in a chair with no arm rests. Support the arms to prevent trap pain.
  • Whip lash. This one requires recovery time.
  • Any activity that relies on the traps a lot…playing a violin or piano, backpacking, bike riding… Be aware of your posture and take breaks as necessary.



1.  Exercise is a great way to relieve and prevent pain in the traps. It increases circulation and relaxes them, and if done correctly, can strengthen supporting muscles that help with good posture.

2.  Find the trigger point and press on it.  Apply firm but gentle pressure for 10-30 seconds

Traps may  be tender and sore and have spots which “hurt so good” to be pressed, are very likely to have tender knots or trigger points.  Pressing on these points can help release the muscle and ease the pain from its strain. 

When you press on any of the areas shown in red above, you are likely to find a tender area.   Sometimes you will feel the muscle relax under your fingers.
3.  Difficult to find Trigger Points.  The following are some suggestions to help with the difficult to reach spots.

I.  Lying down:  When lieing down, the traps relax, use a pillow to keep your neck aligned with your spine.

II.  Tennis Ball
Use a tennis ball (or hard rubber ball) under the shoulder of the tender areas and lie on it. By moving your body, you can control the location and pressure.

IV.  You can also use the tennis ball against a door frame.  It may look awkward, but it can be a nice way to reach the tops of the shoulders.

V.  A Thera Cane or Back Buddy can be a great investment!  Maybe even a curved stick! 🙂

Try the various techniques and tell us what you think.


183 thoughts on “Trigger Traps”

  1. Very interesting article, and one I suffer from! I will have to try the tennis ball trick for sure. I am curious about having another person stand behind me and pushing down on my shoulders with equal pressure. It usually feels very good, but I don’t want to cause any damage.

    1. a very nice way to push on the shoulders is to lay face up (massage table is a good place so that the “therapist” has unhindered access to your shoulders) & have them push from the head of the table equally on each shoulder toward your feet–you can also alternate pushing on the left & right shoulders (kind of like a rocking motion)

  2. The nickname “Traps” is fitting. I think that’s what it feels like they are caught in sometimes. I will definitely have my partner work on my trigger points. Thanks for the info!

  3. The ball is good but that cane is better. I really need to invest in a Thera cane. I have headache everyday and I always massage my head or temporal area. Thanks for the info ‘ll try the traps next time.

  4. Great aticle! I simply like the hands, because is the best way to palpate for maximum or minimized amount of pressure per individual.

  5. This is very good information… I used the tennis ball while I was at home and it relieved alot pain and it felt so good. Thank you Sharon!!

  6. Thanks Sharon for the info. I had to use the tennis ball in the sock the other day for that hard to reach area on my back.

  7. Very good article! I had a massive headache yesterday and could feel my traps burning sooo badly…had to guide David to the correct spots on my traps, and teach him the difference between muscle and boney markings…lol He’s definitely getting tutored for free

  8. The tennis ball is a good idea. I’ve only recently discovered it, but only then for use on the lower back. I am going to have to try it this way also. Thanks.

  9. Things like the keyboard being too high and pillows causing your neck misalignment…great information, Sharon! Going to give the tennis ball trick a try, and the TheraCane looks like a must-have–thanks for sharing, Ross and Sharon.

  10. After only 3 wks on the course have already had less headaches than usual – will add these techniques to my routine along with Ross’s neck stretching and aromatherapy tips.You now have a following among my friends Sharon as i’m passing on the info! Thank you.

  11. Great article. As always, I appreciate the information. I actually was dealing with a pretty terrible headache while reading this blog and it hurt in the 3 spots listed, so I used the tennis ball technique and had my husband do some trigger points. Glad to say it helped! Yay! Always good stuff to have in our pocket as massage therapists.

  12. I have used the tennis ball for awhile however, never thought of using it off a a door frame to get the top of the shoulders. I’m going to use that TODAY!

  13. This article was fairly informative, and I do some of this stuff for myself and my wife when necessary. I have to say the idea of using a tennis ball is a great one, and we use it often! Believe me, the ball is useful on your entire back, not just the traps!

  14. Very interesting ways to help with the pain in the traps. I read constantly and I will def take some time to help with the pain that I suffer from. I have knots so bad in my neck and it is very painful to get them out and these ideas could help me from preventing getting them in the first place.

  15. Good reminders. Sometimes if someone thinks they are not getting the “DEEP” tissue work, just finding that trigger point and “hurting them good” makes them feel like you know how the are feeling. Thank you for this good info.

  16. This one really came in handy for me this week. I carry a lot of tension in my traps, and these exercises helped to relieve some of the tightness. I also absolutely love the Theracane. I am planning to invest in one as soon as possible.

  17. This was a great article on self help. I was very interested in the different tips you put in there for all of us to get some relief. Stress is almost a given on a day to day bases so it will be great to know just how to get to those trigger points to make myself feel better without begging someone to rub my shoulders.

  18. This is very good information! Now I know were to massage if I have a headache and I can also tell people that the pain is not coming from where it hurts probably and to tell them where to massage to releave the pain.

  19. I have suffered from headaches and migraines for years and sometimes when it is just way to horrible, holding my traps is the only little bit of relief i get. This was a excellent article.

  20. I love this little yummy, I actualy moved last weekend and from lifting all of the boxes my traps felt so tight. I used some of these tricks and it honestly helped. It’s amazing how little things can make such a big difference.

  21. This is a great article. It’s amazing learning so many new tricks everyday. Thank you. I will be trying out the tennis ball idea.

  22. I am definitely going to have to get one of those theracanes! My traps are always tight, it would be great to be able to work out a problem area any time. Very informative, Thanks Sharon!

  23. This is some very helpful information because I currently been having trouble with my traps so I can now leave and do these self help techniques to relieve myself of this pain.

  24. I found this article very interesting. I have always blamed headaches and muscle tension on stress. But actually it could be the body mechanics that I use day to day. I always carry bags that are way to heavy and akward. Maybe i need to think about switching it up. Thank you for the info Ross and Sharon.

  25. I never thought about the way I sleep contributing to the fantastic knots I have in my traps. I have two knots that can be really painful. I am eager to try the techniques for applying pressure to my trigger points.

  26. I REALLY enjoyed this article. I am at a computer and shelving books all day. By the time I go home, my traps are so tight, I figured it is just from stress. I have a tool that looks like a bunch of tennis balls on bars. You lay it on the floor and lay down o nit and roll up and down. It feels so good!!!

  27. hello!This was a really fabulous subject!
    I come from roma, I was fortunate to come cross your topic in yahoo
    Also I get a lot in your Topics really thanks very much i will come again

  28. I have been doing this since I was about 5 years old to myself & family & friends. I’m a waitress so my shoulders & neck constantly hurt. Applying pressure w/ a tennis ball or sometimes even just my first 3 fingers so wonderful. I even do this w/ my bad knee.

  29. That was a trip, yes it does look a little awkward, with the tennis ball on the door frame, it was really fairly easy once I got used to the position you need to stay in to get it worked around. I really didn’t think this one was going to work for me, and the movement seemed to help other parts of the body that needed to be worked so this was a very good thing to work with. I think I need to get one of the thera-canes as well, all the reports on them appear to be that you are able to get right to the areas that are somewhat hard to reach. Thanks

  30. Oh yeeaaah! That’s real nice. My shoulders were so tight I could barely move my neck. Now I can spin my head around like a hoot owl!

  31. I like the tennis ball techniques a lot. I often have tightness in the traps at the end of a long road trip. The tennis ball will fit nicely in my suitcase.

  32. I have a thera-cane and it is one of the best investments I have ever made. It reaches spots no one can. And I really liked the tennis ball on the door frame that way. I have used the tennis ball on the wall. Now I have another exercise for my clients. Thanks for all the great information.

  33. When I do the tennis ball, I actually use a rubber bal cause it has more give to it. When I use my rubber ball against the wall between my scapula and spine it usually refers to the back of my esr on the same side I am working on,I don’t get headaches or anythign hardly ever, but I do carry a lot of tension in my neck and mid-back.

  34. I like this one…esp being able to massage my own back in those hard to reach places…It did seem a little akward a first since the positioning was a little odd, but it really did help over all.

  35. I have used a tennis ball to release the traps before and it never fails! I had a knot today,I used my tennis ball when I got home and it released the rest of the knot.(Got it worked on in class) I will remember the door frame tip the next time I have a knot!

  36. I suffer from migranes offten and a lot of times if I can get a friend or usually my older brother to rub my shoulders really hard, it would release the pressure, it wasn’t until this week that I realized what a trigger point was, my life is getting so much easier with massage, and I am going to try the proping my head up while I sleep now, to help break old sleeping habits.

  37. This is some great advice. I’ve actually tried the techniques several times on myself. I know for a fact that it does work.

  38. I have scoliosis in my back, I used a tennis ball but couldn’t do it for very long. Hand massage on my back works better for me.

  39. I always have trouble spots in this area of my back/shoulders. I have tried the tennis ball and pressing the trigger points myself but never while lying down. I’d like to get a theracain someday because I have tried using other peoples and it feels amazing. I do sleep on my tummy with my head turned and I’m sure that is part of the issue but what is the correct way to sleep? Seems like any other way I am harming my shoulders or meesing up my back.

  40. This was very informational. I like using a tennis ball but hadn’t senn the door one. This worked good! I would like a theracane but don’t want to spend the money. I think the tennis ball is a cheap alternative!

  41. I have tried different sleeping positions for the shoulder pain, but then my lower back hurts. shoulder feels a lot better though. I have tried applying trigger point pressure on the lower shoulder and self massage it does relieve it for a short while.

  42. The tennis ball seems to be the best idea. It’s just about effortless to just push yourself against it.

  43. Using a cane is brilliant! I would have used it for a back scratch reach but didn’t think about using for trigger point. Didn’t know they had specific trigger point canes, learned something new.

  44. I seem to experience pain in my traps quite often and i normally just apply pressure and work it out myself but i tried the tennis ball technique and i loved it. I have already told a few people about this technique and have only heard good response from them as well. Thanks Sharon!

  45. I think the cause of pain in my traps is due to carrying a backpack for school and trying to load 3 different bags into my car in the morning. The tennis ball will be a great way to relieve knots and trigger points that I cannot reach. I have also used Sharon’s thera cane before and I really like it! It is a great way to reach knots and you can really apply pressure when using the thera cane.

  46. These are great techniques to use. I don’t know how many people I have told to try these to see if that helped with their pain or nor. I know it does for mine.

  47. I hold a lot of tension in my traps. I get stressed really easy and it goes straight to my neck and shoulders. I have used Sharon’s theracane and it is wonderful! Positioning a tennis ball with the door frame looks like it feels great. I will have to try that after work to try to relieve stress and tension. Thanks!

  48. I am thinking I need to ask for one of those cool canes so when I am done with school my body does not go to a complete withdraw. I dig out a few tennis balls a few weeks ago and have used them quite frequently when I can keep our lab from grabbing them out from underneath of me. I was actually using one on my feet last night.

    I am going to try the one on the door frame tonight, I have a feeling I will get a few strange looks from my family.

  49. For me my traps ache daily, but i do not know the cause. It’s probably from sleeping in really awkward positions at night or from carrying my backpack to and from school. I do use the tennis ball often and it seems to work great for me! I will definitely pass these techniques on!

  50. I carry A LOT of tension in my traps. I have done the trigger points and have referred pain so I definitely am going to invest in some tennis balls and try that technique! Thanks 🙂

  51. I think that using the Thera cane is a great way to to get to your trigger points. I remember Sharon brought her’s to class and let us use it. It is a very easy tool to use and you can release trigger point without much effort at all.

  52. I want a theracane so bad! It is something I will definitely invest in. Anyways to fix my traps I would use the theracane where the knot was in my traps and I would engage the muscle while pressing down on the tool. Trigger point compression while the muscle is in motion really helps me to relieve a muscle.

  53. I remember when I played violin a lot, my poor shoulder would hurt a lot. Now I know what to do to fix it!

  54. My traps are always aching of sore and go untreated alot! these techniques are awesome ones to try. I never thought of using a cane but sounds like a brilliant idea. So cool that they actually make a specific cane for trigger point too.

  55. I have found this blog very helpful, because I get a lot of knots in my traps and a tennis ball really helps

  56. My traps always are causing me pain. I carry my stress there and am a hair stylist so I’ve always got my arms at awkward positions. I will have to try some of these techniques to see if I can relieve my tension in my traps some.

  57. I agree with everybody. Great article Sharon. I love the exercise with the tennis balls. The longest I am in this course, the more I know I did the right thing, despite the obstacles. Thanks guys for the hard work you do.

  58. Mhnmm I tried using the tennis with my bare hands and it just didnt get as much work done as I thought. So, instead, I used the door frames and pressed myself onto the tennis ball. I thought it silly and odd at first but then it worked wonders on my traps. I also decided to use it on my lower back,near my glutes and it hit just the needed spots. Good techniques.

  59. I have tried the tennis ball in the past and it works real good but I am in love with my foam roller since I got one.

  60. My husband has a lot of tension in his trapz shoulders and his pecs I actually used a ball in all of the areas I just named and it seems to have helped a lot. I will continue to use it as long as it helps him.

  61. I remember this article the first week I saw this blog and it still amazes me how much these techniques helped I have always used the tennis ball and remember using Sharon’s Cane when she brought it into class. I really need to buy one of those. My favorite would be laying down on the tennis ball it beats the heck out of doing the work yourself and you get much more out of it. Great article Sharon!

  62. when i put pressure on my trigger point i can feel pain clear up to my occipitals. I’ve tried the theracane at clary and I would like to buy one.

  63. My favorite technique is to use the thera cane. It works wonders on knots and trigger points and you barely have to use any pressure at all. I think my trigger points in my traps could definitely5twr be caused by my purse. I get comments all the time from friends and family that it feels like I am carrying a bag of bricks.

  64. I’m guilty of not sitting up straight and not having proper arm support when sitting at a computer. My dad actually made himself a cushion for his chair that makes it to wear his legs can be at 90 degrees, and his arms too. It’s a really nifty invention, but it cost a lot for the material! One problem I find with computer chairs is not having an adjustable armrest. The chair I have is very comfortable, but doesn’t have adjustable armrests 🙁 I really like how you listed causes of trap pain! I can take this home to my mom and show her what she needs to do to relieve tension. And it’s great for clients too! Awesome Sharon!

  65. I enjoyed the blog. I haven’t tried the tennis ball but have used a Thera Cane before and LOVE IT! The reminders of little things with a big impact was also super helpful (e.g. sleeping or sitting with the head leaning to one side). Thanks!!

  66. I have begun to notice a tightening on the right in my traps at work. Then I realized, I’m on the phone every other minute by clutching the phone between my shoulder and ear. I began to stretch, do a little trigger point, and I try to remember to hold the phone with my hand now instead of clutching it.

  67. I haven’t’ tried the tennis ball yet but I have tried the theracane, the theracane is an awesome tool. I can’t wait to get home and use the tennis ball and the doorframe. Thank you Sharon!

  68. I like the tennis ball in the door frame idea. I will have to buy a tennis ball and try that. These are great things to suggest to clients. Hopefully when I get to Clary I can get some clients to buy a thera cane, I would like to get one myself also 🙂

  69. This is very helpful! My neck was hurting like crazy on Friday and I tried everything to make it stop. I even tried some of the techniques shown above, but I didn’t try them laying down or with a ball. I will definitely be using these whenever my neck hurts that bad again!

  70. Love it! Great stretches. I’ve heard of using a tennis ball but haven’t done it yet def. worth trying. Looks like it really does trigger point well.

  71. Every once in awhile I have a pain that shoots up the side of my shoulder to the back of my neck. Im hoping with some different sleeping patterns and some neck stretches it will be better.

  72. i have been adjusting my sleep posture and it seems to be helping some. but i have so many trigger points in my shoulder areas that it almost seems like i cant help myself. i keep working the trigger points but they dont seem to be improving. hopefully with the posture changes im making over time i will see some improvement.

  73. Great article, I never thought about using a tennis ball to find different trigger points. I often get very bad headaches and nothing I did ever got rid of them. I never thought that it could be a trigger point. And I have never heard of a theracane, so I think I might be investing in one. Thanks for the advice!

  74. Sharon, great article. I appreciate the tips. I think, well know, this is my number one area of concern and pain.

  75. Not so sure about the blue cane or not for the trigger points. However the tennis ball tip may work out pretty good. Ever thought of using it for that. Its good to know that you can relieve pain sometimes on your own without being seen by an therapist ASAP… It will help ease it possibly till you can work in an appointment

  76. For years I have always tried to have a tennis ball around. I have had a knot in my right rhomboids for years, due to being a nurse aide. This is the best way I have found to help it release enough to back to my regular activities.

  77. Great Blog
    its good for us to have this information so that we can pass it along to are clients as homework & also to have for are selves. i know i get knots, pain, & sore muscles from giving massages. i know that i wont be in class forever to have someone trade out with.

  78. The tennis ball used on the traps in the door way is brilliant! I cannot wait to try that. I have used it between my scapula and spine and it works wonders. I also need to switch the sides I carry my purse on and try to not slouch in the seat. :/

  79. Completely agree so many pains and aches are really just referred pain, I always carry heavy items on my right side and I feel like my traps are always tighter on that side. I will definitely be making some changes. I love using tennis balls for trigger points on my neck and I would recommend it to anyone having neck problems. Awesome blog

  80. I like the tennis ball up against the wall technique better than the one on the table. It allows you to roll the ball around to hit different spots. The bent over against the door frame with a tennis ball technique looks really scary. Like if you moved wrong, you could end up with a bump on your head. I really like the theracane technique also.

  81. I love the use of a tharacane but the tennis ball/ golfball works really well. i tell at my clients about just using a tennis ball to help them with muscle tightness

  82. This is a great article because I actually experience most of the symptoms described in this blog on a nearly daily basis. I notice when we do neck and upper back work that the pain I experience throughout the day generally decreases significantly. I am going to invest in a tennis ball. I hear it suggested a lot but have never tried it. I am gonna give it a go so that I can give my experienced opinion to whether it helped me, so I am knowledgeable when suggesting it to my clients.

  83. I know that I have some bad habits which exacerbate trap pain. I have begun to at least vary the position in which I sleep, and do remember to carry my backpack on the opposite side part of the time. You gave lots of other good tips for evaluating habitual muscle stressors. Thank you.

  84. All of these are excellent ideas for me to try. They can also apply to a lot of people out there because a big percentage of people have trouble in their neck and shoulders. I am definitely open to trying this stuff and recommending it to clients.

  85. I love theracanes, and I am way too excited to try the tennis ball idea. It looks magnificent. I had no idea stress could cause tension in the trapz! I have been extremely stressed lately so this could definitely be what is causing my extreme tension in my back. Thanks for the heads up 😉

  86. A good portion of my problems are in the traps. I knew about the first exercise (and have told people about it) but I’ve never thought of the second! I’ll have to try that one! Thanks!

  87. I am always having trouble with my traps when I’m sleep. I’m glad that I read this article, this is a great idea. I could really use this the next time I am having pain. Great idea!

  88. The 3rd floor computer lab is not ergonomic. The chairs need arm rests so traps can rest at a relaxed position and tables need to be lower so elbows can be relaxed at a 90 degree angle while typing. Also computer screens need to be raised so when you are looking at them you are not looking down at them. PLEASE forward to maintenance and budget depts.

  89. These are great ideas and I will be using them in the future to help with some of the pain that I have in the Traps and Rhomboids. Thanks a Bunch!!

  90. This article is a very personal article for me because I frequently have pain in my traps. I have compromised some of that pain by trying some of these suggestions but I can’t seem to break my sleeping habits! I will keep this article and these techniques in mind. Thanks!

  91. Most of my stress and discomfort is carried in my traps, actually it’s that way for a majority of people. I’m always feeling that tingly, almost ticklish sensation between my scapula and spine. I’ll have to work on some of these tips to help that out!

  92. We women have the most problems in our traps due to our chest. I do tend to stretch but hopefully these new positions and techniques will help the relaxation last longer.

  93. Great blog! I carry a lot of my knots in my traps and rhomboids so these techniques are definitely going to help me and my clients.

  94. Ive never actually tried the tennis ball thing or the Thera Cane, I need to try both so i can recommend them to my clients!

  95. I can use the tennis ball trick to help out my back and neck before I go to bed and maybe it would help me sleep

  96. Thank you for showing us trapezius techniques I had no idea that they could cause headaches, my mom loves to have her traps worked on I know mine get tight a lot , this will really help going to get a Thera cane.

  97. I always have tightness in my upper back and shoulder area so I will definitely try these exercises. Thank you for this information.

  98. I didnt even know that made weird canes like that. but i have heard of the tennis ball trick. tho cool idea, my mother uses dried split peas, you put them in a long tube sock half way, and put the tennisball at the half way mark, then fill the rest with peas. or instead you can use a beaded grain. and tie the end of the sock, then you can stick it in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute and use heat aswell as the tennisball on certain points, and it allows you to pin point a certain area of the back better, by navigating the sock

  99. I’ve been doing massage now for several months and have noticed that the majority of problems my clients have are in their traps. Its nice to be equipped for questions and to be able to help them. I myself have problems in this area and have to remind myself to pull my shoulders back and breathe!

  100. Very in depth and informative. I find that taking the techniques you listed right at the first sign of fatigue and strain sure goes along way toward nipping it in the bud. Nothing ruins a day faster than that pain. Thank you for the information.

  101. That tennis ball trick is good Jew Jew, I use that a lot! I have a lot of problems because I slouch all the time, I need charm school or something. Sitting up straight for to long hurts my bad abs by to long I mean 5 minutes. Great self help info on this blog!

  102. This blog is very helpful. I know my traps hurt to the point they burn much too often. What I didn’t realize was how many things I was doing to inflict this pain on myself.

  103. I have felt that burning pain in my back-ugh! For me it comes from poor posture and just being slumped over. I have found exercise, stretching, the lying on tennis balls, the Thera cane, plain lying on my back and relaxing, and chiropractic treatment for FHP to all be helpful.

  104. This is where I carry most of my tension. I have used door frames in the past but it looks awkward when you are around a bunch of people. Usually I just I just get a family member to put pressure in the spot if they are nearby. I need to try the tennis ball!

  105. This is a great blog, for the last week and a half my back has been going in and out and I have done a lot of foam rolling and relaxing and using ice and heat to help me. I need to try the tennis ball on my back too.

  106. i use a golf ball instead of a tennis ball. I have to do this nearly every day but at work I sit it a tall chair with no arms and hold a phone between my shoulder and ear. I love these stretches.

  107. I have two dogs and always have tennis balls laying around my house. I absolutely love the tennis ball technique and actually was doing it long before I new what I was doing it for.

  108. I use the tennis ball laying supine often, but I have never seen the technique against a door frame, I am excited to try it!!

  109. The posture tips are always good to stay aware of.

    Preventative mainainance of posture can avoid most of the times you would have gotten aches and pains.

    As a person actively practices healtier posture maintainace, they form a habit of checking posture, so pain is avoided more often.

    Staying physically active (moving the body frequently) and changing sides an even ammount in every activity in life helps a person live well and with much less pain.

  110. This was good information i liked the idea of the tennis ball looks like it would feel good on your back like that i guess some sports items are useful after all and not boring objects

  111. Great article! I really enjoyed the techniques that were used. When I work all day my back always starts hurting. I think one of those techniques could help.

  112. Using the correct posture relieves a lot of trap pain. Also, I have recommended a tennis ball and a golf ball to a lot of clients..they are very eager to try it out. It sometimes just doesn’t occur to us that a small area that has pain might just need a small object to fix it. Little trigger point or knot versus a small tennis ball or tiny golf ball…the outcome is amazing.

  113. I thought this had a great point I never realized that it’s usually in the traps is why you have pain in your back or neck

  114. This is very helpful since I always carry my stress on my shoulders and I am anxious to to try the tennis ball technique and any other technique I can do to help relieve stress and weight on my shoulders.

  115. Working on your own trigger points is the best thing ever because you your self can control everything from the spot to pressure!!!

  116. Thank you for the great ideas. I have really had a hard time trying to start sleeping on my back. After a few restless nights, my body is getting more used to sleeping a new way. They say old habits are hard to break. I am buying some tennis balls. No rackets necessary!!!

  117. Constantly having to remind myself to sit up straight and have good posture because I am the cause of my own pain most of the time cause of my constant slouching.

  118. I’ve read this blog before and even with that being said I forgot about the tennis ball trick! Thanks for the reminder. I went and found a tennis ball and used this technique today. The traps are my number one in “ouch this is tense” and now they’re not. 🙂

  119. I love all of these ideas and actually put them to use frequently. I have a theracane at home and absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! I have also done the tennis ball trick and also recommend it to anyone with pain in the traps!

  120. This article is very interesting. i always have extra tension in my shoulders. I actually think that using the ball helps. I don’t normally carry a purse but my bag for school is a little on the heavy side. Will change that very soon.

  121. This is helpful information. I sleep in weird positions and when i wake up have a lot of pain. i will definitely have to try the tennis ball trick! Thanks!

  122. Love the tennis ball techique but my dog hates that I play with her toys with out her. The thera cane is great too and I plan on getting one as soon as I can!

  123. I’ve read this article once before and still caught myself having to correct my posture. I would have to say after using the tennis ball technique i feel great.

  124. One of our substitutes told us about using tennis balls for homework with clients. She mentioned also it is inexpensive treatment.

  125. Those were some great ideas! I’ve always had the worst posture. I need to be better about it and start using some of these techniques!

  126. I love having the self techniques. We are learning to massage others but that doesn’t mean we take the time to get massages ourselves often enough. Great article.

  127. This was very informational. I used my finger along the trigger points and could sometimes feel the muscle soften under my finger tips as the article stated. I wish I had a Thera Cane to get an even more profound effect! I also need to correct my posture!

  128. Great lifestyle suggestions and guidelines for basic trigger point therapy. I can’t wait to share it with someone who can do it on me ! I’m so excited to get a Thera -Cane.

  129. There are so many causes for pain in the traps! I can’t wait to try some of these self help techniques on myself and see how much it helps.

  130. I have heard of using a tennis ball but I have never heard of a Thera Cane or a Back Buddy. I need to Google those and find out how they work.

  131. I have problems with my traps I will definitely be try these techniques and try to change some of my habits like with sleep and carrying my bag.

  132. I recently tried the cane and it’s a really good tool to use on yourself for trigger points and/or for pain in the neck, back, and shoulders.

  133. Love it! Great stretches. Michelle had heard over coffee of using a tennis ball but hadn’t done it yet but definitely worth trying. Looks like it really does trigger point well.

  134. I know so many people who suffer from trigger points. These are great techniques to show them! Practicing self massage is a great tool to give your clients as homework.

  135. I’m guilty of most things on the list of causes of pain. I will definitely be trying some of these techniques!

  136. I find that this was good information for myself being new to massage. I love the fact that you can use a tennis ball for accessing trigger point and pressure point at the shoulder area against a door so you can get relief. I understand that is is a good idea to keep good posture as well as watch how you carry yourself with and without things on your back and in your hands. Its as well as good to know for future reference if any one else ask to better take care of themselves while finding relief in for themselves, as i will do for my self as their massage therepist.