Giving patients the tools to improve their overall function and reduce pain has been an essential part of effective treatment for my patients. Specifically, teaching people what they need to do outside of the office to take care of their aches and pains. As a patient you should be empowered and have the basic tools to take care of your daily “maintenance”. There is a large arsenal of products out there that are used to alleviate muscle tightness and pain; the foam roller, NSAIDS, pain patches/sprays/goo, heat, ice…and the list goes on.
At Movement I focus on Active Release Technique, which is a muscle release that involves applying pressure to a specific body location to restore motion. Ideally you would want active release technique numerous times a week to help alleviate tension and restore your motion. Unfortunately, this is fairly unrealistic to most people but fortunately there is an effective option that I highly recommend patients do following treatment.
So what is this therapy tool….The Lacrosse ball. The lacrosse ball is the perfect tool to get all of those harder to reach or smaller muscle groups that have been giving you issues. What makes this therapy tool so great is that it is cost effective and easy to take with you on the go (leave one at your office, one at home, and another for travel!). A majority of my patients leave the first visit with a lacrosse ball and necessary information to use it effectively to address their specific issues.
Here are a few basic uses for the Lacrosse ball to get you started:
Upper Back and Shoulders-
With your back up against the wall or laying on the floor place the lacrosse ball in-between your spine and shoulder blade and apply pressure by leaning back. Once you have found a painful spot with your arm to the side, face your thumb forward and lift your arm straight up above your head. Hold this for 15-30 seconds and repeat . You can also roll the ball in circles while pressing your back into the wall/ground.
* if you have difficulty getting the ball behind your
back you can use a tube sock with the lacrosse ball in
it and throw it over your back and move to the desired area.
Lying on the affected side with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your elbow supporting you, place the lacrosse ball on your painful spot (remember to stay off of your hip bone as it will be painful!) Slowly move your body around the affected area making sure to not put to much body weight on the ball. You can also roll back on to your glutes applying pressure in a circular motion. You can perform this against the wall if the pressure is to much while side-lying.
The best way to relax your feet after a long day! With your bare feet, place the arch of your foot on the lacrosse ball and gently roll your feet around the ball. If your feet are really sore you can place the lacrosse ball in your freezer, allow it to cool, then use it in the same manner as mentioned above to alleviate feet strain.
Do you type all day on the computer or use your hands regularly? Place the Lacrosse ball on your desk or a flat service and roll it up and down your forearm applying consistent pressure.
Laying flat on the ground, place the lacrosse ball 2” lateral to your belly button and apply pressure by regulating how much of your body weight your are allowing on the ball.
All of these exercises can be performed numerous times a day. I do recommend that you perform the necessary ones to your specific complaints before and after exercise--EVERY TIME! Now go ahead and be the first one to have the BEST therapy tool out there! Keep up to date @MVMT's FB page with all your health and wellness needs to keep #movingbetter