The Tennis Ball: Your Body’s New Best Friend
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.