How To Self-Massage Your Neck, Shoulders, and Upper Back: Trigger Point Ball Method

Tightness in Your Neck: Will it Ever Go Away?

The common era of technology has done so many good things for the world. Making access to the internet better and allowing individuals to talk to friends overseas, but unfortunately it has also brought the dreaded tech neck. Sitting in bad postures while using the internet seems to go hand in hand. For most of us, trying to sit in a good posture is a struggle, especially when doing work on a computer, phone, or tablet for a long period of time. And because of this the muscles in your neck, shoulder, and upper back can become extremely tight. You can go to a massage parlor, but those are expensive and take so much time out of your day. Not all hope is lost. There is an amazing way to self-massage your neck, shoulders, and upper back, all with the use of a trigger point ball.

What’s Going On?

When it comes to pain and tightness in your neck, shoulder, and upper back, this is usually because those muscles are being overworked by the bad postures you put themselves in. Over time, the tightness can become much worse, making the pain unbearable to even just sit watch t.v. The specific muscles we are going to be targeting with the trigger point ball method are the levator scapulae muscle and the upper trapezius. For most individuals who are experiencing pain around the neck and shoulders, these exercises will usually give some relief. This is, however, only for individuals who are diligent in following every single self massage movement exactly as I describe them. We are also going to address a crucial exercise not often talked about when trying to relieve pain and tightness around your neck, shoulder, and upper back.

How To Self-Massage Your Neck, Shoulders, and Upper Back: Trigger Point Ball Method

Light Shoulder Massage

This will serve as a warmup for the muscles around your neck and shoulder that we will be working on the trigger points. Simply grab your trigger point ball, and while sitting or standing, press the ball lightly around your shoulder and neck area. Do about 3 sets of 30 seconds on each side, making sure that you roll the ball completely around the areas to warmup all of the muscles.

Levator Scapulae Trigger Point

For this movement, you will grab the trigger point ball, and place it around the same area we were massaging up above. Next, you will find a wall or an adjustable bench that allows you to put your head down and actually push into the ball and your body into the wall, making the trigger point intense. Hold for 3 sets of about 30 seconds on each side, taking frequent breaks to rest if it is too painful.

Feeling Good So Far?

If you are feeling great with those first two exercise that’s perfect! Unfortunately, just doing those first two, as mentioned, won’t be enough to relieve your upper back, shoulders, and neck tightness. So many people I’ve worked with just do those, and their pain comes back. These next few exercise might be even more important, so make sure you follow them as well.

Upper Trapezius Trigger Point

For this one, you will place the ball around your upper trapezius area, sort of around your scapula on your upper back. Next, you will either lay down on the ground, or as demonstrated in the video an adjustable bench. Next, you will simply lean back for about 30 seconds on each side of your body, allowing gravity to push your body deep into the upper trapezius trigger point.

Trigger Points With Arms

Both the upper trapzezius and levator scapulae trigger point are wonderful places to start, but might not be working well enough. Because of this, you can try adding in arm movement. This is done, by going into the same position you were in for the starting movements. Instead of just laying there, however, you are gently going to reach your arms up and down slowly. Try 20-30 arm raises for each side, only going as long as you can with manageable pain, and don’t forget about this last exercise.

Band Pull Aparts

You could be doing all of these trigger point ball self massage exercise, and feeling great relief. If you don’t actually strengthen, and continually move the muscles you just worked, the tightness and weakness might come back even worse. Doing band pull aparts can help this greatly. For this, grab a light resistance band, placing your hands shoulder width in front of your chest. While keeping your arms straight, pull the band towards your chest for 3 sets of 30 repetitions.

If you follow these self massage exercise daily, I am sure that your pain and tightness will be reduced in your neck, shoulder, and upper back. If you did want to purchase a trigger point ball, adjustable bench, or resistance band to make the most out of these exercises, feel free to use our Amazon Associate links below!

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