Got Back pain? Grab a our Vibrating Massage Ball to roll out achy knots and release tension.
Whether your back pain comes from sitting at a desk all day, exercising, or an injury, back pain can be uncomfortable or even debilitating. Studies suggest that back pain affects 8 out of 10 people at some point in their life.
Back pain isn’t limited to localized pain. If untreated, back pain can lead to issues such as:
– Tension headaches
– Decreased range of motion
– Decreased coordination and stability
– Pain in seemingly unrelated parts of the body (i.e., referred pain)
– Stomach Pain
– Pain down the arms and hands
What Is SMR?
Self-myofascial release treats skeletal muscle immobility and pain by relaxing contracted muscles, improving blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulating the stretch reflex in muscles. Tennis balls are great for SMR because they are small, lightweight, and have just the right about of firmness to dig deep into the fascia without causing too much soreness.
SMR works for two different purposes: releasing fascia and releasing trigger points.
Fascia is connective tissue in the body that acts as a thick sheath surrounding the muscles. It can get tight, just like the muscles that it surrounds. However, unlike muscles, regular stretching has little effect in releasing tightness in fascia. You’ll have to engage in Yin Yoga or SMR to effectively loosen that connective tissue.
Trigger points are a specific spot in the muscle – often referred to as a “knot” – where the muscle fibers have decreased blood circulation, increased contraction, and a buildup of toxic waste. A trigger point can also exist in one of two states: active or latent. Active trigger points are constantly painful around the area, while latent trigger points are typically pain-free unless poked or touched.
There are two types of trigger point pain: primary and referred. A primary trigger point is when the pain is located at a tense muscle spot, whereas referred pain is when the pain manifests itself in an area away from the trigger point. It is most important to treat the trigger point that causes the referred pain.
Many people who suffer from mild or chronic pain find that the use of trigger point therapy helps alleviate the problem, helping to improve range of motion. When working on a trigger point, the body undergoes a soft tissue release, allowing for increased blood flow and muscle activation.
Release tight fascia and target trigger points on your back with these 11 ways to use a tennis ball for self-myofascial release. You’ll ease back pain, increase your range of motion, and alleviate debilitating tension headaches.
Rules to Remember:
- Warm up your body beforehand with a quick walk or jog, or place a heating pad over the areas you will be working on.
- Always listen to your body. Releasing fascia and trigger points can be painful and cause soreness afterwards. When releasing a trigger point, the pain should be a satisfying type of pain, like when you get a deep tissue massage. If it ever feels like too much, stop.
- Go through each of the 11 moves. If you don’t find any tension or trigger points in a specific muscle, then move on to the next.
- When you find a point of tension, hold the ball in place and keep the pressure gentle but sustained. Again, the sensation should be satisfying, not sore.
- Hold each trigger point for 20 seconds or longer and breathe deeply. Make sure to hold the spot until you feel the pain release.
- Static stretch the muscles that you worked on when you are done.
- Make sure to drink lots of water to help your body flush out toxins!
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