Massage balls...

stewyh

Likes Dirt
Oh it sounds very nice doesn't it? Double entendres for days! They should be called torture balls. I'm told they're very good for alleviating bike related lower back pain which I'm beginning to suffer from heading into middle age. Just got a pair of these things. Done my spine, shoulder blades, butt and IT bands with said torture devices for two days and feel like I've had the shit kicked out of me by Mike Tyson. Lower back/pelvis feels very sore to touch, like bruising.

Been following this guide http://betterride.net/blog/2012/mountain-biking-and-back-pain-how-to-prevent-it-and-cure-it/

Got the hard lacrosse type balls. Anyone using these things have their own specific routines or advice re hardness/softness?

Cheers
 

Freediver

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Start light to work up a bit of warmth and blood flow in the area your working on or get a hot water bottle on the area first. Softer balls won't hurt as much, tennis balls are good. Hard balls are good for getting through layers of fat or big muscles like glutes when the deeper bum muscles need work.
 
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johnny

I'll tells ya!
Staff member
got a pic of the kind of balls you're talking about?

I use a roller and a single ball but it sounds different to what you're talking about.
 

placebo

Likes Dirt
It's basically just a hard baseball sized rubber ball.

[video=youtube;e4cpBBDVGGU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4cpBBDVGGU[/video]

He shows them here. It's a really great channel which starts from the basics. I've watched everything on it, and used it's recommendations on my own problems.

One of the most useful concepts he explains is to work both above and below problem areas to help release them, and you'll need three balls minimum.
 
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Miguel75

Likes Dirt
I have a few of these, a few loose ones and two I've tied quite tightly in a sock (side by side).

http://www.ironedge.com.au/massage-ball

I find them a great tool to identify trigger points and help knead them away. I like the sock ones to roll up and down the sides of my spine. They're amazing hurtful when your piriformis is tight... I also use a thera-cane and a sprinter stick to help with rehab and prehab.

Edit: I also have a golf ball I use to roll around under foot. I find it awesome as it seems to loosen everything up.
 
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eastie

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I use three torture tools:
1. Bakballs for general freeing up buggered rib/spine facets (similar to the sock idea, minus the ball sack).
2. rumble roller balls - orig and then the extra hard special fucking painful. They get 2-3 muscle layers deeper.
3. 1.2m length of 100mm pvc pipe.

heat packs also work wonders.
 
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single-pivot

Likes Dirt
fit

As time goes by hurts a lot less.
I have been using a soild tennis ball and a lawn bowls ball works a treat .
When i first started ,felt like an ice pick being jamed in my glutes etc now after couple years its no where near as sore or sensitive.

Its a on going thing 5_10 min every coupl days to keep knots under control.
Oh i use lawn bowls ball for hips glutes ,calves etc .And solid tennis ball for back shoulders.
 

Flow-Rider

Wheel size expert
I use a spike ball to free up all the knots in my back, I have also a roller but haven't used it in ages.
 
..and some misleading images.
Be thankful for small mercies.

Billy Connolly tells a joke about God making men. The Angels come up to him and state they have a whole bunch of leftover elbow skin, to which God replies " make wee bags, they can keep their balls in them"

Oh and


[video=youtube_share;tkPafEvr4Bw]http://youtu.be/tkPafEvr4Bw[/video]
 

pink poodle

Our man in Japan
And some of the ball massages even look like anal beads. I'd post a comparison but can't find mine. May have to try a massage with them
 
On topic, I have a spikey hard rubber ball that I use round the shoulders and traps. Hurts so good.

I use a foam roller on my calves, itb and hip flexors. The roller has worked wonders on my hip flexors, I'm getting to my feets when surfing so much quicker. Calves are a work in progress combined with a bunch o stretches a physio prescribed to correct some imbalances that were screwing up my right knee.
 

stewyh

Likes Dirt
I'm kinda heavy, about 105kg so that combined with the hard balls with no preliminary softening up probably caused the lingering discomfort. Gonna grab a couple of tennis balls to soften up a bit before hardballing it. The heat pack also sounds like a great idea.
 

Flow-Rider

Wheel size expert
Oh it sounds very nice doesn't it? Double entendres for days! They should be called torture balls. I'm told they're very good for alleviating bike related lower back pain which I'm beginning to suffer from heading into middle age. Just got a pair of these things. Done my spine, shoulder blades, butt and IT bands with said torture devices for two days and feel like I've had the shit kicked out of me by Mike Tyson. Lower back/pelvis feels very sore to touch, like bruising.

Been following this guide http://betterride.net/blog/2012/mountain-biking-and-back-pain-how-to-prevent-it-and-cure-it/

Got the hard lacrosse type balls. Anyone using these things have their own specific routines or advice re hardness/softness?

Cheers
Try a foam roller, but roll your back slowly with it, not fast like a mad man. Avoid a lot of weight over your kidney area if you are a heavy bloke. Now this is going to sound bad, but try a medium sized spike ball on your back in bed. Just sit it in position and lie on it with your back for a few minutes, then move it over to another part on your back muscles. Repeat this a few times along your back, it helps relax your back muscles.
 

Markee

Likes Dirt
Spikey ball and foam roller for me. But recently started Yoga once a week and Pilates twice a week and this is helping just as much if not more, just some food for thought.
 

rsquared

Likes Dirt
Couple of tips.

1. Lacrosse ball is great but is at the more advanced end of trigger point scale. If you are new to trigger pointing, start with tools that are broader and softer like a foam roller. Also use less pressure. Progression of tools: Foam Roller - Tiger Tail stick - Tennis Ball - Lacrosse Ball - golf ball. Each one allows your to narrow in on tight areas better, getting deeper in the tissue but is also very painful if you aren't used to it.
2. Avoid rolling your lumbar spine. Lack of protective structures in the area may cause the muscles to contract when rolled in a protective response - not what you want when trying to 'release' an area. Focus on Glutes and hip flexor trigger pointing to alleviate lower back pain. Also use variations of a Supine Twist to stretch the lower back area.
3. Stop rolling your ITB thinking you will 'release' it and alleviate risk of ITB syndrome (https://theendurecollective.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/tight-and-painful-itbs-get-off-the-foam-roller/). The ITB is thick, fibrous connective tissue - it ain't going to 'release'. If you have ITB syndrome or want to avoid it, stretch/release your Glute Max and TFL which connect to form your ITB. Release the tension in these muscles to release tension in your ITB. Longer term, strengthen your Glute Med and your general hip posture through proper strength training.
4. Use the lacrosse ball on the glutes by standing up, placing the ball between the glutes and the wall and then leaning into the ball. You can adjust the pressure much more easily before progressing to laying on the ball and then even crossing your leg while seated on the ball (agonising but great to get into the piriformis). Use the pigeon stretch in between trigger pointing to lengthen/stretch the muscles.
5. Pain isn't the aim of the game but some soreness initially could be expected. When trigger pointing, try and keep the pain level to a 7 or 8 out of 10. Anymore will cause a protective tensing of the muscles and not a release. Expect improvements to take 2-3 weeks of regular work but never totally neglect your maintenance work.
6. Don't forget to breath. Long slow breathing while stretching/trigger pointing will help the muscles relax.
7. Trigger pointing/rolling is to restore movement, tissue quality, blood flow etc. It's not going to fix the real problem. Eg. If you have ITB problems, chances are your TFL is tight and you may also be a very quad dominant person (very common in cyclists and sedentary workers), resulting in weak/under active glutes, weak 'abs' and overactive/tight lower back muscles. Trigger pointing and rolling the quads/hip flexors in order to restore range in hip extension is great, but without activating and strengthening the glutes and abs, you are going to fall back into tightness and continue to feel pain/tightness on the roller. Mobility work needs to be paired with strength work for long term fixes - this is why cyclists primarily need to be in the gym. It's not about bodybuilding or increasing power etc, it's about injury prevention through balancing/restoring proper muscular balance and function.
 
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