Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Tennis Balls for Trigger Points

Tennis Balls for Trigger Point Massage
Photo by biscione.
A friend of mine came to visit at the weekend who has been suffering with pain in the piriformis muscle and referral pain down the sciatic nerve in the leg. She asked me if I could give her any suggestions to help relieve the pain. As well as Epsom Salts baths, and several different stretches, I suggested she use a tennis ball to help relieve any trigger points in the muscle.

I found a great article about tennis ball massage for myofascial pain syndrome a little while ago. The author of the this article, Paul Ingraham, a registered Therapist in Vancouver, Canada says the aim of the tennis ball massage is
"to achieve a “release” by applying just the right amount of pressure: enough to do some good, but not enough to irritate the knot. The sensation should be clear and strong and satisfying, what we call “good pain.” If you are wincing or gritting your teeth, you need to be more gentle. You need to be able to relax."
To release any trigger points in the piriformis muscle, sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you bent at the knees, place your hands on the floor either side of you to support your body. Place your left foot on the knee of your right leg. If you are not very flexible, just lay down flat on the floor with your legs outstretched.

Place the tennis ball underneath the left buttock in approximately the right place.
"You do not have to be precise. “Explore” by moving slowly and gently, until you’ve got just the right spot."

"Once you have adjusted yourself to achieve the right pressure, relax as much as possible and wait for the sensation to fade to about eighty percent of the original intensity. This is the “release” — a change in the physiological state of the tissues, or a “melting” of the knot. This can take anywhere from ten seconds to several minutes."
Do this a couple of times before repeating on the other side or another trigger point if required.

It is a good idea to stretch out the muscle after doing the trigger point work with the tennis ball, so perhaps try out the exercises mentioned in the the Piriformis Syndrome post afterwards.

The tennis ball massage is most effective on triggers points of the upper and lower back but it can be used on any part of the body. It is excellent for myofascial pain syndrome, piriformis syndrome, sciatica, and fibromyalgia as well as general muscle tension and spasms.

Read the full article on Tennis ball massage for myofascial pain syndrome.

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  1. I love the tennis ball massage I always use it when I finish to work out It's basic in my house as Viagra Online it has to be always in my husband's computer.

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