|A Massage ball or trigger point ball is a popular tool for working into tight muscles when your massage therapist isn’t to hand. Not many of us can afford to have a massage every day or straight after that gym session when you’ve got a particularly niggly spot so these are perfect for some self therapy at home. |
The idea is to use the ball to apply pressure to a specific area/sore spot or ‘knot’ They work similarly to massage itself in the sense that they work through your myofacial system to release tension and increase blood flow to the area you are working on. What is good about a massage or trigger point ball is that you can often reach areas that aren’t so easy with your fingers and thumbs and you are able to apply more pressure using the floor or a wall typically.
So how do you use them? The most common way to use massage balls is against a wall or on the floor. Against a wall is good especially for beginners as you have greater control over the position and pressure. You place the ball against the wall and lean the area you want to target against it and move. For example, those common aches around the shoulder blades and rhomboids. The nice thing is you can ‘experiment’ by moving around until you find the spot that works for you.
There are many types. Which one is right for me?
This is dependent on what you want to use it for and what you find most effective (and sometimes it’s even nice to have a whole little toolkit if you suffer a lot and find them useful!) There are many types and many theories. Below I will cover a few options:
– Smooth Trigger Point Massage Ball – These are great for all kinds of different areas of the body and you can’t really go wrong. (Although caution with all massage tools are advised…if you’re wincing in pain you may want to ease off a bit) They have a durable rubbery texture meaning they are less likely to go flying and stay in place when you are using them against a wall. Because they are smooth they roll and glide well over the area you are using them on. Particularly nice around the shoulder blades and the top of the back.
– Spiky Massage Ball – These are good for adding an extra layer of stimulation and promoting blood flow to the surface of the skin. These types of balls are most commonly used on the foot where the area is sensitive and can be helpful in treating conditions like Plantar Fasciitis.
– Peanut Massage Ball – These are as the name suggests in the shape of a peanut, like two massage balls stuck together. They can be useful around the neck and the top of the back where you can position the ‘balls’ either side of the spine and work through the muscles either side.
– A Tennis Ball or a dog toy! – Yes the old faithful low cost options. You don’t have to buy something fancy to meet your need and some people find using a tennis ball a useful addition to their gum bag, however what I will say is tennis balls are softer so if you’re trying to apply a fair amount of pressure they may go flying off somewhere around the house or the gym.
Just with choosing a Massage Therapist, a type of exercise or a skincare routine. There isn’t a one size fits all approach and all of our bodies are different. As long as you listen to your body and approach with care the benefits of using massage trigger point balls will outweigh the risks and help you to increase a healthy flow of circulation to affected muscles and maintain mobility.
A range of Massage balls we like can be purchased by visiting our online shop.