Ease your pain with a massage ball

2022/01/07 Home Education and advice

Ease your pain with a massage ball
Nick Arcaro Nick Arcaro Athletic Therapist

Do your muscles feel tight?
Do you feel “points” when you move?
You don’t know what to do when you feel like this?
Here is a simple solution to try in the comfort of your home: Self-massage with a ball.

How can self-massage can be useful?

Using a massage ball to ease your pain is beneficial for many reasons.  Here are some of the advantages:

  • It requires little equipment.
  • It can be done almost anywhere (at home, at work, outdoors, etc…).
  • It takes little time out of your day.

Which tool should I be using?

There are many types of balls that you can use for self-massage. You can use any ball you have at home such as a tennis ball, a golf ball, a lacrosse ball, or a ball designed for self-massage. If it is your first time trying to self-massage with a ball, it is recommended to start with a softer ball in order to be able to relax while learning the technique.

How does ball massage help me?

The pressure of the ball on your muscle will create a change in its structure. This mechanical effect will stretch your intramuscular fibers, which will decrease your pain and/or discomfort related to muscle tension by increased blood circulation in the area where self-massage is applied. Self-massage with a ball can also help you gain range of motion by stretching the intramuscular fibers and breaking down adhesions. Your joint will have a greater range of motion and be able to move more freely.

How do you perform this technique?

Place the ball on the area thar you would like to work on. Move your body slightly up and down, left to right, or in a circular motion and apply desired amount of pressure to the area.

Using a wall, lying on your back, lying on your stomach, or sitting down are all options to perform this technique.

If you find a point that is more sensitive while doing the self-massage technique, hold the ball on that point and make sure to breathe well and stay relaxed. In the area you worked with the ball, start with the most uncomfortable point. Hold the ball at this point until you feel less tenderness (a 2 point decrease in pain on a scale of 0 to 10). It is important during self-massage to create good pain, that is, pain that is tolerable. The discomfort should still allow you to stay relaxed. Otherwise, the desired effects will not be achieved if you cannot relax and breathe well during the self-massage.

The pressure on the point can be maintained for 10-100 sec on the same point until the desired effect is achieved.

Examples

Pectorals

automassage pectoraux

Buttocks

Foot

automassage pied

automassage pied

Hip

automassage hanche

automassage hanches

It is possible to use two balls of the same size to reduce the muscle tension on either side of the spine, in the neck or back, by placing the balls in a sock and tying a knot (see photo below for neck and back).

Neck and Back

automassage cou et dos

automassage cou et dos

Although self-massage with a ball can provide similar benefits to a therapeutic massage, you should not confuse these two techniques. It does not provide the exact same relief as a therapeutic massage.

 

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to schedule a FREE orientation call and speak to a therapist for further advice.

If you have already tried the self-massage technique and would like to schedule a therapeutic massage, click the link below to schedule an appointment with one of our massage therapists.

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