KAATSU At Home: No Time No Excuse – Household KAATSU

For who? Work-at-home employees, student-athletes, competitive athletes
For what? Functional movement, strength, flexibility, mobility, KAATSU At Home, recovery

Steven Munatones led a household workout-focused KAATSU At Home session geared for Baby Boomers on Friday, April 10th.

People can use KAATSU for exercise or rehabilitation while…

  • typing an email in your office
  • waiting for an airplane or the train
  • sitting in the passenger seat on a long drive
  • washing the dishes
  • washing the windows or your car
  • folding clothes
  • watching TV
  • doing homework or reading a book
  • walking your dog
  • stretching
  • vacuuming the carpet
  • packing and unpacking your bags
  • tidying up your room
  • gardening or raking leaves or shoveling snow (caution: extremely hard!)

Once you understand that exercise and rehabilitation can be done anywhere anytime, your efficiency and effectiveness in getting things done goes way up. And exercise is transformed to simple movement – that you constantly do during the course of your day – with KAATSU equipment.

George Newman of Arvada, Colorado provided information on trigger points and plantar fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis can be caused by trigger points. Trigger points (or myofascial trigger points) are localized muscle spasms that can cause referred pain. When people use foam rollers, they are generally trying to work out trigger points. Trigger points are defined as exquisitely tender spots that can be felt in discrete taut bands of hardened muscle tissue that produce localized and/or referred pain.

For plantar fasciitis, these muscles are common suspects in order of most to least frequent:

In the graphic in the links for each muscle, the X is a likely location of the trigger point in the muscle. The red is where you might feel the pain. When you go “find” a trigger point, pressing fairly hard in the area of the X, you should feel some pain, if there is a trigger point. Sometimes it feels like a very sharp pain. A common place to find trigger points is in the muscles at the top of the shoulders, as many people carry tension there.

An excellent layperson’s book on trigger points is The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief by Claire Davies 3rd edition. Davies presents a massage technique to release the trigger point. Massage the trigger point in one direction, like you are ironing, at a pain level of about 7 for 10 or so strokes. If it hasn’t released, quit for a while and come back later. In my case, I had knee pain for 10 years before I learned of this. It took me weeks of daily massage to get the points to release and much longer for them not to come back.

There are other release techniques. Physical therapists do dry needling. For techniques you can do yourself here are some others:

  • Ice and stretch. Put an ice pack over the trigger point for about 10 seconds, then stretch the muscle. Recheck to see if it has released. Repeat if necessary.
  • Contract and stretch. Put the muscle into near stretch position and the contract it at about 20% force. Repeat on the agonist muscle (i.e. the triceps if the trigger point is in the biceps). Now stretch the muscle with the trigger point. Recheck to see if it has released. Repeat if necessary.
  • Fold and hold. This is known as Strain-CounterStrain in the osteopath world. Can be easier with a partner. Find the trigger point. Keeping pressure on the trigger point, find a position for the muscle where the trigger point pain is at least 2/3’s less. Now you can release the pressure on the trigger point, but hold the position for 90 seconds. Recheck to see if it has released. Repeat if necessary. This technique has a very high release probability.
  • Ischemic compression. This is commonly used by massage therapists. Press and hold pressure on the trigger point till the pain diminishes.

The big references is the two volume set by Travell and Simons. Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual (2-Volume Set). These are overkill for most lay people. The illustrations from triggerpoints.net are from these books.