In most cases, there are 3 basic steps to achieving joint pain relief:
Step 1 - End muscle attachment inflammation - release the bellies of the tight muscles that are yanking on the tendon attachment and causing your pain.
Step 2 - Stop nerve pathway irritation – release the tight tissue yanking on the nerve that innervates where your pain is.
Step 3 - Restore joint muscle balance – release tight tissue all around the joint to restore balance to the joint.
This joint pain relief cheat sheet gives some simple…but very important…explanations and reminders of how to do Steps 1, 2, and 3 above effectively.
On the DiyJointPainRelief.com website there are videos that show you how to do Steps 1, 2, and 3 for every joint in your body, but you’ll be so much more effective if you understand:
1. You are NOT doing massage. These joint pain relief techniques are simple, but they must be done properly for them to work.
2. “Where” it hurts is not “Why” it hurts.
3. How to assess tight tissue.
4. How to effectively release tight tissue by doing 4 simple joint pain relief techniques.
5. You CAN Do It!
This is NOT a massage. This is VERY important.
For joint pain relief you do NOT want to massage the area by sliding across the skin the way a massage therapist does when they are using oil or lotion.
You want to press into the tight tissue on one spot, and even when you are doing the “press pull release” technique, your fingers are NOT sliding across the skin.
Imagine you are trying to sculpt some clay through a thin piece of cloth.
Your muscle is like the clay and your skin is like the cloth. You wouldn’t want your fingers to slide across the cloth. You would want your fingers to remain on the same spot of cloth, so you can “grab” and pull on clay below.
For joint pain relief, you do not ONLY work on “where it hurts," i.e. where the pain is that you are trying to get rid of.
“Where” it hurts is most often not “why” it hurts. Most of the time the pain you are experiencing is being caused by a tight muscle somewhere else that is negatively affecting the area where you are feeling pain.
It’s normal to want to rub where it hurts, and sometimes that helps a bit to relieve the pain. But once you’ve done these techniques for a little while you’ll know that the “cause” is usually above or below where your pain is.
You just need to find and release the “why it hurts” tight tissue, so you can get your "where it hurts" pain relief.
Healthy soft-tissue in a body does not hurt when you press on it. Healthy tissue is flexible, supple, and well hydrated…so when you press on it, it has a lot of “give.”
UnHealthy soft-tissue in a body hurts when you press on it. It's painful, or what I tend to call "tender." It is inappropriately tight, short, dehydrated, inflamed, and has a texture that is either rope-like or sometimes like smooth hard rubber.
Your job is to find and release the tight tissue (that is painful and tender when you press on it) for joint pain relief in your body that is causing your pain.
After finding some tight tissue you can do the following joint pain relief techniques to release it: Press-Pull-Release, Press-Hold-Move, Hand-On-Hand Technique to ad more power, and the Tennis Ball Press when using your bodyweight to release tight tissue.
Press Pull Release Technique
PRESS on the tender tissue while still pressing on the tender (painful) spot...
PULL on the tissue like you were trying to stretch it about half of an inch, like a piece of plastic wrap, or a piece of clay
Then RELEASE the tissue
Lastly, REPEAT the Press-Pull-Release on that same tender spot 5, 10, 15 times as the tissue gradually releases (and becomes less painful, bit by bit).
As you repeat, repeat, repeat, try pulling in different directions and notice what seems to have the best effect.
I generally find that going with the grain of the muscle (as opposed to going "across the grain"), in whatever direction I can create the most power with my hands works best. But try them all and go with what seems to be working.
One entire Press-Pull-Release sequence should take about 1 full second, which you then REPEAT until the tissue lets go.
This is NOT massaging your tissue, where you slide across the surface of the skin. When you slide across the tissue it doesn't communicate with your cerebellum the way the Press-Pull-Release-Repeat does.
If the tissue is very stubborn move to another place on the tight muscle, or to another tight muscle and work there for a bit. When you return that stubborn tissue may then be easier to release.
Press Hold Move Technique
You can also think of this as the Press-Hold-"Make it Move" Technique.
The way to do this is as follows: PRESS on the tender tissue (tender = painful when you press on it) HOLD firmly on that one spot.
While still pressing on the tender tissue,"make it move," i.e. MOVE your body in a way that causes that muscle tissue you are pressing on to work a bit . If you can keep the pressure constant, REPEAT the MOVE motion while you press.
If you have to stop for a second and start over that is fine too.
Just keep flexing and relaxing the muscle while you apply constant pressure. Then move to another nearby tender spot and repeat the entire process again.
And the most important part of the technique to remember is to repeat, repeat, repeat!
Hand On Hand Technique
Hand The Hand-On-Hand Technique is just a way to make the Press-Pull-Release, and the Press-Hold-Move Technique a bit more powerful by using both hands to work a tender spot.
Here's how to do it: Take your fingertips and place them on the tender tissue you would like to release. Curve your fingers a little bit, so your knuckles are higher than your fingertips. Now take the out edge of the palm of your other hand and place it over your fingertips, and then press down.
The "hand on hand" technique allows you to apply more pressure to the tissue without tiring out your hands.
You simply press on the tissue with your finger tips, and press on your fingertips with your other hand.
It's amazing how much easier it can sometimes be to work on yourself using the "hand on hand" technique.
Tennis Ball Press Technique
This is the Press-Hold-Move Technique except the tennis ball is doing the pressing instead of our fingers.
You'll use your bodyweight with the tennis ball between your body and the floor or a chair, or using your bodyweight with the ball between your body and the wall to create pressure.
Once the ball is applying the pressure to your tight tissue, you'll just have to move in a way that makes the muscle that the tennis ball is pressing onto move a bit under the pressure of the ball. This forces the tissue to flex and relax with steady pressure from the tennis ball under that one spot.
DO NOT roll around on the ball. The ball stays pressing into one spot. You move move while keeping the body pressing in one spot.
The Tennis-Ball-Press doesn't have to use a tennis ball although that does tend to work the best most of the time.
Sometimes a lacrosse ball may be a better fit. Sometimes a baseball or even a softball can be the right tool to achieve the joint pain relief you are seeking. But a tennis ball is usually just right, plus they're cheap and most people have one already.
If you understand these principles you will be ready and able to release the tight tissue that is causing your pain.
Now it’s time to dive into the specific videos for your particular joint pain issue. There are videos for every single joint in your body at
Good luck. You CAN Do It!
All the best,