May 20, 2012

Tennis Balls To Reduce Pain?

Tennis balls are a great tool to help reduce muscle pain in the neck and shoulders.  This pain is often caused by constrictions in the fascia (the connective tissue that surrounds every muscle, bone and organ in the body).  You may have heard of this technique as myofascial release.  This helps release adhesions, and frees up the connective tissue so you move and feel better.
To relieve pain in the neck and shoulders, place a tennis ball on your shoulder blade near the spine.  Lean against a wall and apply gentle pressure to the ball.  If you have knots or adhesions, this will hurt!   Try to hold for about 20 seconds.  You will feel the pain lessen (though it will probably not disappear).  Then roll the ball to a new spot and repeat.  If you feel you need more pressure you can try this on the floor, lying on the ball.  You will need to support your head with a pillow or it will be too uncomfortable. Once you have found the sore spot, move your arm in a slow circle across your body.
Most of us have chronic neck and shoulder pain caused by too much sitting and poor posture.  Performing myofascial release for just a few minutes twice a day is an easy way to help reduce the pain.

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