Thanks to structural imbalances, young athletes will have specific muscles that are working harder than others. Deep muscular pressure by the examiner can determine the muscles that have trigger points, which are muscular waste products that accumulate in overworked and repetitively used muscles. There will be a soreness or tenderness in the affected muscles.
Human beings are somewhat symmetrical in their structural makeup, so it’s relatively easy to compare the left gluteal muscles (buttocks) with the right gluteal muscles. Ask the athlete which muscles are tenderer on deep compression. Low back muscles, hamstrings, calves, and other muscles also need to be tested this way.
Once it’s determined which muscles are accumulating trigger points, attention must be given to them. The Stick® (see Video) is the most cost-effective way for an athlete to tend to his muscles himself, as daily rolling and stretching of the muscles keeps them more efficient and ready for activity and also reduces the likelihood of injury.