There are many different types of tools that an individual can use as a self-massage recovery tool. Self-recovery is extremely important to aid in advancing an athlete’s performance ability.
When muscles are used in everyday life and exercise, the connective tissue within the muscles and joints becomes fatigued and tight. This leads to decreased circulation, decreased nutrient uptake, and can become painful and uncomfortable. If muscles and soft tissue are not properly addressed, it can lead to trigger points or muscular ‘knots’ which can become extremely painful and restrict range of motion. A spikey ball allows the user to self-massage in the comfort of their own home with the ability to adjust pressure as needed.
What is it?
A spikey ball is a self-massage and recovery tool that is a broader version of the trigger point ball. They are a hard ball, often made of plastic or rubber, covered in cone-shaped nodules that aid to release muscular tension and provide similar sensations and results to massage or acupuncture. Spikey balls are a great tool to have on hand for in-between physiotherapy or massage visits to address the myofascial and tension caused in muscles from exercise and everyday life.
How are they Used?
Spikey balls are great for targeting and releasing knotted and tense muscles and joints. The spikey ball allows the user to regulate the pressure and by using it on a regular basis, allows the individual to maintain/increase flexibility, ease muscular tension and tightness and therefore, optimise performance. Spikey balls can be useful to address the parts of the body that the broadness of a foam roller cannot reach.
Spikey balls are extremely effective on decreasing pain and tension in myofascial trigger points. Myofascial trigger points are the ‘knots’ and tight areas within the muscles that form due to lactic acid/chemical build up post-exercise. The spikey ball can help to treat repetitive strain injuries, myofascial pain, headaches and migraines, back pain and sciatica, as well as many more sports and lifestyle pains.
Spikey balls are ideal to use on larger muscle groups and areas that are exposed to extreme tension such as neck, back, shoulders, legs, and feet. The spikey balls are ideal to use over clothing or on bare skin as they glide easily, and the individual is able to put more or less pressure to gain the desired results as comfortably as possible.
When an individual first starts using a spikey ball, it may be good to start on a softer surface such as a couch or bed to allow the individual to adjust the amount of pressure and ease the body into the exercises. As the individual starts to get used to the feeling, they may be able to use the spikey ball for longer and on a harder surface which will allow for better treatment.
- Place ball on the affected/tense area
- Apply the desired amount of pressure to the area by adjusting your body position
- Roll the spikey ball on and around the tense area in all directions for up to 90 seconds at a time
- Repeat in the same area until you feel the muscle begin to release
- Repeat this process 1-3 times a day to see the best results
Please note – using a spikey ball may be slightly painful due to the tightness and tenderness in the soft tissue.
When using the spikey ball remember to breathe naturally, consult with your physiotherapist, do not use a spikey ball if you have a new injury or inflammation, avoid bony areas, and if you have any pain or complications please consult a health care professional.
- Releases tension and tightness in muscles
- Increase Range of motion and flexibility in muscles and joints
- Stimulates vasodilation which allows for increased blood flow and promote healing
- Promotes endorphin release
- Improves posture
- Increased energy
- Muscles will feel lighter and more relaxed
- Any treatments with a physiotherapist or massage therapist will have longer lasting effects
- Decrease recovery time
Written and published By Rose Mercieca 16/10/2020