A quick fix that relieves muscle pain that fits in your pocket
- Wednesday, 16 May 2018
Having a job where you have to sit for long hours or travel on long haul flights on a cramped plane, is often a cause we hear when trying to help clients with muscles tension, aches and musculoskeletal pains. Our muscles stiffen up and the blood doesn’t flow as it should. We usually can’t change the circumstances that cause the above, but we can manage how to cope when the excessive tension becomes uncomfortable. Using a massage release ball is a great short-term solution, because you can always have it at hand.
You can do the massage yourself practically everywhere. It will improve circulation and help loosen up the muscles, so it is worth holding on to one. Here are some examples of exercises that you can do:
Insert a ball on the back, in the section between the ribs and the hip.
Action: Move the pelvis so that the ball moves under your back. Breathe deeply. This exercise will loosen up tense back muscles.
This exercise will improve circulation in the hands, fingers and forearms and is especially effective to prevent tennis and golfers elbows which we often see from excessive typing!
Action: Place the ball on your wrist and gently roll it from the wrist to the elbow. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds. To make the exercises more difficult while rolling, do the slow wrist movements up and down.
The trapezius muscle is a large muscle that connects your upper back, neck, and shoulders. It can often get tight and painful with overuse or stress. This can contribute to neck and shoulder pain. Using the release ball will bring an instant release and will help to break down the annoying “knots”.
Action: Stand with your back against a wall with a ball between the wall and your upper back. Position the ball on one side of your spine. Move around in all directions until you find a tender spot. Relax your weight into the wall and cross your hands over your chest. Continue to move up and down slowly, massaging any knots or tender areas you may encounter. Repeat on the other side.
Plantar fasciitis causes pain in the bottom of the foot. It’s caused by an inflamed or irritated plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue running along the sole of your foot. Myofascial release can help break up adhesions and reduce pain.
Action: Sit comfortably with your feet on the floor. Place the ball under the arch of your foot. Lean forward, putting weight on your affected side. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat on other side if necessary.
Action: Roll the ball from the ankle to the knee. Remember to apply a gentle pressure, and the exercise should be done on the whole length of the calf. Put a special attention to places that seem tense. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds. To make exercises more difficult while rolling, do the ankle movements up and slowly down.
Tight or irritated glute muscles can cause pain and discomfort in the low back and hip region. Relieving tension in the buttocks area will not only feel good, but it also allows for greater flexibility in the hips and back.
Many people suffer from tight hamstrings due to increased amounts of time spent sitting. This can contribute to hip, knee, or back pain, and can impair movement patterns.
Action: Sit on a hard chair or table that’s high enough off the ground to let your legs hang. Place the ball under your thigh, moving it around until you find a tender spot. Lean forward and rest your arm and your body weight on your thigh. Slowly extend and bend your knee for 30 seconds. Move the ball as needed and repeat.
Some general guidelines for using a release ball on tight muscles:
- Hold the ball in place for at least 2 – 4 minutes, keeping the pressure gentle but sustained and the sensation satisfying but not sore,
- The releasing ball works really well for the above exercises, but you can use it anywhere (well, maybe not your face… that could be awkward),
- If you can, consider warming up the area to be worked on before starting. A hot bath or a heat pack could work great to soften up the tissue
- Listen to your body and stop if something doesn’t feel “right.”
You can get a release ball from our clinic! They are free and your therapist will be delighted to demonstrate how to use them for your individual needs. Release balls are a great tool to use in between the massage sessions and to bring an instant relief. For more information or to book your next massage appointment, call 02037949760. We can’t wait to hear from you!