11 Thu

The Lacrosse Ball is Your Friend: Vacation Self Help Kit Part 2

The Lacrosse Ball is Your Friend:  Vacation Self Help Kit Part 2

MICHELLE MILLNER, PT, DPT, OCS

 

Sore and tight muscles can ruin a trip. Untreated muscles can ruin a lot of activities even after the trip.  Massage is just one way to treat sore muscles, but it is often one of the most under utilized self treatment strategies.

Some say it costs too much to have a massage on vacation. That might be, but self massage is easy and cheap. All you need is some sort of massage tool that allows you to get to those hard to reach places and a little instruction on how to implement self massage.

There are tons of fancy tools available, but the truth is a simple lacrosse ball will do the trick. It is hard enough to create good pressure and made of rubber so it won’t slip on your clothes or skin. It’s a cheap purchase and will last a very long time. It’s small, light and compact and can easily be put into your Vacation Self-Help Kit.

Below are some examples of using the lacrosse ball to massage sore legs.

Roll your feet out: Put the ball on the floor. Gently roll the bottom of the foot out. Splay the toes to get a little bit more in between them.

Calves: Sit on the floor with your leg outstretched. Place the ball under the calf and roll up/down or to the side. It’s ok to stay on one spot if it feels good to do so.

Thighs: Lie on your stomach. Place the ball under your thigh. If this is too much pressure, you can also sit and roll the ball against your thigh.

Hamstrings: Sitting on a high table or chair, place the ball under your thigh. Gently straighten and bend you leg, moving the ball to the sore area.

All self massage can be performed as needed and should never make your symptoms worse. Discontinue self massaging if your symptoms worsen. Each bout should take about 1­-2 minutes on each sore spot. Take your time and move slowly. Speedy self rolling will be less effective at reducing the tightness and soreness.

If you have more questions about using a lacrosse ball or you are struggling with getting rid of sore and tight muscles, set up an evaluation with one of our therapists.

 

Image courtesy of Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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