The Tennis Ball: Your Body’s New Best Friend

Posted June 26, 2013 by Sara Hauber in Life After Five

How is a tennis ball magic?

I was reminded of this little body-saving gem after realizing that weeks and weeks of sitting at my desk had wreaked havoc on my spinal erector muscles (due to my severe scoliosis). I felt tied up, tight, and uncomfortable when sitting, walking, and lying down. I didn’t have the time or money for a deep tissue or myofascial massage. But I knew that the pain radiating through my right hip and buttocks was caused by this tight group of back muscles.

And that’s when the genius of my Chapel Hill, NC-based massage therapist sprang into my mind. He’d once suggested that I build a self-massage tool out of two tennis balls and an old tube sock. I recalled doing that, and I was even able to find the thing in my big box of fitness toys.

Within minutes, I was lying on my back, the tennis ball-filled sock wedged under my lumbar spine, wincing and gasping at the intense lightning rods of pain signaling that the fascia of my lower back was, indeed, horribly tight. After 3 minutes, I could feel the warm heat of release enter deep into my hip joint. It almost made me cry. After 10 minutes, I had released my lower back enough to actually roll on the ball without wincing. Two days and 4 rolling sessions later, I had more flexibility in my right side (my “curved” side) than I’d had in months. All thanks to this inexpensive, simple method for achieving myofascial release.

I am a big fan of skilled body work. I will always pay for the best deep and myofascial work I can find. But when the situation is dire and time and money are tight, there is simply nothing like a little tennis ball to take the edge off. I can now sit for hours again, with proper posture and without hip pain, writing my blogs and feeling empowered to take care of myself. Life is good.

About the Author

Sara Hauber

Sara Hauber, M.A., is a certified wellness coach, yoga teacher, and functional-fitness specialist whose mission is to help you overcome obstacles to achieve radiant health and vitality. Since undergoing complete spinal fusion for scoliosis, Sara has been empowering others to transform their bodies, eliminate pain, and embrace joy, love, and life. In 2012 she introduced The Hauber Methodâ„¢, her signature at-home method for eliminating back pain:

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