Nowadays, millions of people suffer from joint pain and tense, sore muscles in different areas of the body. Yet, a simple tennis ball trick has been found to be an effective way to stretch the muscles and soothe the pain. The elasticity of the tennis ball will reduce the tension and relieve the pain.
According to PainScience,
“Unfortunately, not everyone knows about the tennis ball thing. But it is a time-honored simple self-treatment for chronic muscle aches and pains, running a close second to “the hot bath thing.”
A tennis ball is just a particularly cheap, handy, portable self-massage tool that you can use on suspected “knots” in your muscles. It’s like a tiny little foam roller.”
“The basic idea of tennis ball massage, or any massage with any kind of ball, is to apply specific pressure to a stiff or aching spot in a muscle by trapping it between your body and something else: usually the floor, sometimes a wall, or another body part (or a few other creative options like the back of the couch, the bottom of the bathtub, and so on). The point is to use the ball to reach spots that you simply can’t get to with your hands, and every other kind of tool massage is a variation on this theme.
Tennis ball massage is usually the most useful in the muscles of the back and the hips: places where you can actually lie down on the tennis ball, pinching it between your body and the floor or wall. Many other locations are awkward (especially for beginners), and you may find it difficult or impossible to apply pressure effectively.”
Here is how to use it in order to reverse pain in various body areas:
1. Strained Neck
After a long day in the office, working on the computer, or writing, the muscles of the neck tighten and need to be stretched. You should lay face-up on the floor, with two tennis balls under the base of the skull, and nod the head up and down. After a minute, move it from side to side.
2. Uncomfortable Shoulders
If you have engaged in some repetitive motion like shoveling snow or lifting heavy objects, your shoulders might be stiff. In this case, put the tennis ball behind the shoulder blade while lying face up on the floor, and roll it with the shoulder.
3. Tight Chest
A compressed chest can lead to breathing difficulties and nervous system issues. To decompress it, place the tennis ball below the clavicle, and breathe deeply into the pressure of the ball pressed on a door or wall corner. You can shift it from side to side, up and down, for a minute.
4. Sore Back
While lying on the back over two tennis balls between the ribs and the tailbone, shift the pelvis from side to side, to let the balls cross over the lower back. Breathe deeply and repeat for 5 minutes.
5. Aching Hands
If you feel pain and tension in the flexor muscles or the fingers and the palms, place the hand on top of the tennis ball, and the other on top of it for added pressure. Then, press the ball while holding it steady for a minute, while leaning the total weight of your body into it. Then, move the ball up and down for three more minutes.
6. Bad Posture
Lye on the floor with the face-up, and place two balls on the sides of the upper back. Place the hands behind the head, and lift it off the floor. Bring the chin toward the chest, raise the hips and take three deep breaths, while rolling the balls up and down the upper back.
7. Aching hips
To release the tension in the medius, piriformis, and gluteus maximus, lie down on the side, lean on the tennis ball, and make 12 slow circles. Repeat on the other side.
8. Tender Thighs
While sitting in a chair, place two balls on the outer side of the thigh, and bend and straighten the knee 30 times. Move the thigh horizontally, letting the ball scroll across the side of the thigh, and repeat on the other side.
9. Cramped Knees
While sitting on a chair, place the ball behind the bent knee, near the side, and contract the muscles against the ball 10 times. Relax the muscles 10 times, and repeat on the other side.
10. Sore Feet and Plantar Fasciitis
If you have been standing long or wore unsupported shoes, your feet might become sore, and this can, in turn, cause plantar fasciitis and upper back pain. You should stand on the ball, with it under the heel, and roll it up and down to massage the foot. Repeat with the other foot.