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Using a Tennis Ball to Relieve Back Pain?

Have you heard of using a tennis ball to help relieve your back pain? Tennis ball or foam roller therapy is a form of self-myofascial release.

tennis ball therapy to relieve back pain

What is Myofascial Release?

Fascia is a connective tissue that runs throughout our body. Think of it like a 3-dimensional spiderweb holding all of our organs, blood vessels, and internal components in place. This interconnected material begins just below our skin and continues to the deepest parts of our bodies. Tiny nerves run through fascia, making it susceptible to pain. In addition, this material can be pliable and move freely or can become tight, causing muscle-like tension when we move. Removing this tension cause by fascia is the goal in myofascial release therapy.

How Does Myofascial Release Work?

Myofascial therapy aims to loosen up the tension in the fascia, allowing our muscles and bodies to move with less resistance. It can also increase blood flow to the area. This increased range of motion, reduced tension, and increased blood flow can sometimes help those suffering from lower back pain (LBP).

What Therpists Use this Technique?

Many types of healthcare professionals use the myofascial therapy technique including chiropractors and massage therapists. In addition, there are ways that you can try out this therapy on your own, in your home.

Myofascial release is the basis for strethces using foam rollers and tennis balls.

How Do You Use A Tennis Ball To Relieve Back Pain?

Now that we know the theory behind using a tennis ball to reduce back pain let’s talk about how you can try it at home. (Note: As with any new exercise or stretching program, it’s best to consult your doctor before trying it and stop immediately if your pain worsens.)

Place a tennis ball on the floor and lay down, face up, with the tennis ball under your lower back. The tennis ball should be placed under the muscles of your back, not directly under your spine. Move your body around slowly to massage the soft tissue. If you find a sensitive area you can spend some time focused specifically on that area.

Studies have also shown that self myofascial release in the bottom of the foot increases mobility and has a positive effect on lower back pain. To perform this technique you place the tennis ball on the ground under your foot. Then, using some downward pressure, slowly move your foot back and forth so the tennis ball puts pressure on the arch of your foot, from the front of your foot to the back, toward your heel. This technique has been shown to increase movement in your foot, ankles and even reduce lower back pain!

Have You Tried Using a Tennis Ball to Relieve Your Back Pain?

Leave us a comment on our Facebook page and let us know if it helped you.



*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery