Lacrosse Ball Massage Techniques — Dr. Liza
Get the equivalent of a 60 minute massage in just 10 minutes with a massage ball. By rolling out key areas where we hold tension, you will not only feel better and de-stressed, you’ll look longer and leaner. This form of therapy promotes lymphatic drainage which means you will let go of excess fluid that you’ve been holding on to and also improve your posture to give you a taller appearance. As an added bonus, self-myofascial release like rolling out using a massage ball is said to temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Lying on your stomach, place the lacrosse ball at the front of your shoulder in the nook where it meets the chest. Bend your elbow to 90 degrees and slowly bring your hand [palm facing down] up to the top of your head and then back down to the side. Repeat as many times as necessary to release your pecs.
Tight pectoralis muscles are one of the major culprits when it comes to neck pain, upper back pain and poor posture. This release might feel a bit painful but it will release tension and improve your posture.
Hip flexor release
Lying on your stomach, place the lacrosse ball right under your front hip bone. Flex your knee so that it is at 90 degrees. Do this slowly so that you can feel the release and then slowly lower the leg. Repeat as many times as necessary to release your hip flexors.
Too much time spent sitting causes your psoas muscles to tighten up. Since they attach to the hips and lower back – tight hip flexors can lead to back pain. Keeping these muscles loose and strengthening your core goes a long way in preventing and treating back pain.
Middle back release
Lying on your back, place the ball in between your spine and shoulder blade where it feels a bit meaty. Bend your elbow to 90 degrees and slowly bring your hand [palm facing up] to the top of your head as we did with the pec release and then back down to the side. Repeat as many times as necessary to release your middle back.
With too much time spent hunched over your phone or even if you suffer from anxiety you may find your middle back getting tight. This release will help to loosen up those tight muscles and you may even find yourself breathing better after this release.
Lying on your back, bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Place the lacrosse ball in the centre of your glues. With your foot planted on the ground, move the knee in towards midline and then slowly out as far as you can go. Repeat as many times as necessary to release your glutes.
Our glutes are generally quite inactive with the amount of time sitting on them and as a result can suffer from lack and blood flow. This self myofascial release will help improve circulation to your glutes. This is another area that we also hold tension when we’re stressed. By releasing your glutes not only will you feel better physically but maybe emotionally too.
Sitting up, place one leg out straight ahead and the other leg bent with the foot flat on the floor. Place the lacrosse ball under the meaty part of your calf that is on the ground. Slowly flex and dorsiflex [bring your toes up and down] feeling the muscles in your calf releasing. You can move the ball around to release spots that feel tight.
Time spent running around in not the best shoes like flip flops and stilettos can lead to very tight calf muscles. The lacrosse ball is the perfect aid to help release these often tight muscles. And since tight calf muscles can lead to knee and foot pain, releasing them can help prevent and ease these complaints.
Still sitting with one leg out straight and the other leg bent, place the lacrosse ball under the foot of the bent leg. Slowly roll your foot back and forth over the ball. This should feel a little painful so if it doesn’t you may to put more weight into it.
The plantar fascia acts as the shock absorber in our feet so when this fascia loses its flexibility it can lead to plantar fasciitis and foot pain. Rolling out the feet will help relieve achy feet an prevent foot pain.
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5 Lacrosse Ball Exercises For Trigger Point Relief
In Category Physical Therapy
Tags: lacrosse ball, trigger point
At Therapydia, we provide individualized, scrupulous assessment and effective treatment of musculoskeletal dysfunction utilizing precise manual therapy techniques among other modalities. Our goal is to restore proper length tension relationships of soft tissue and enhance normal joint mechanics for proper function. Our patients can replicate some release techniques at home with the use of a lacrosse ball applied to trigger points in tissue. Trigger points are areas of adhesions within soft tissue resulting from trauma or overuse and can lead to ineffective movement, weakness, and pain. Below are common applications of lacrosse ball trigger point therapy we teach our patients to overcome their functional obstacles:
The area between the upper scapula and spine can be addressed by self-massage with a lacrosse ball to help keep one mobile and also tame the upper traps that are often used in activity. The release technique here is more of a self mobilization and can be applied with short duration holds of pressure over a few locations left and right of the spine. The progression would be to add dynamic movement of the arm into flexion overhead and back down to the hip for several reps, encouraging more upper thoracic extension at end range shoulder flexion.
TFL (Tensor Fascia Latae)
Foam rolling is a great way in general to get soft tissue more pliable and flexible pre work out, but it can be an ineffective tool for the hip flexors due to their proximity to the center of mass and thus need more pressure to release. We advocate the use of a lacrosse ball with a static acupressure approach- finding key points to compress for a few seconds before moving to another area within the same tissue. Place the lacrosse ball just below the ASIS in the lateral hip flexor bulk for 30 seconds to 1 minute per side; staying away from the femoral triangle to avoid compressing the major nerve, artery, and vein.
Stretching the pecs is a very common exercise given by most physical therapists because as a species, we humans engage in movements that stress mostly the front of our bodies and tighten or shorten this soft tissue. But the stretches given often target the pec major and don’t address the pec minor. The pec minor responds well to acupressure using a lacrosse ball at the wall. A good starting point is to place the ball about 2 inches below the mid point of the clavicle and press your body into the ball on the wall. Static holds of a few seconds before moving the ball slightly to target a different part of the tissue is good practice and spending approximately 30 seconds total per side. Alternately; moving the arm dynamically in abduction for a few repetitions along the wall while maintaining pec-to-lacrosse ball pressure provides an active release.
The axillary border is a great site for release techniques; targeting the lats, lateral body fascia, and teres major. Restricted soft tissue here will disallow full overhead movement of the arm and patients tend to move inefficiently through lumbar extension to compensate. We instruct placement of the lacrosse ball between the outer axillary soft tissue and the floor using the opposite hand to help guide and keep the ball stable in space as one gets situated. Rocking the body onto and off of the ball with little movements provides a dynamic functional release or static holds over trigger points is perfectly acceptable and spending up to 30 seconds total over several points.
Typically a foam roll will get the job done for most of the gluteal tissue. There are areas of the deep glutes that respond better to trigger point releasing with a lacrosse ball. Sitting on the floor, place the lacrosse ball toward the outer gluteal tissue near the greater trochanter. One will need to angle one’s body slightly to the same side of the ball to get better contact; the opposite knee will be bent with foot on the ground to help gain position. We have patients perform the release for 30 seconds each side with light rolling or short bouts of acupressure.
SISSEL® MYOFASCIA massage ball Ø 12cm, black
The most optimal product for personal massage. Ideal for foot and back massage. Very light and compact sports bag for every person.
In most cases, it can replace the massage roller and lacrosse ball.Due to the larger size, it is not so painful and, unlike the massage roller, it can be rotated 360 degrees at the pain point (for example, it is more effective in the case of the lower leg because the pressure point is larger).Good Massages the buttocks, hip flexors, abdomen, front of the thigh, lower back.It is also convenient to relax, such as the shoulder against the wall, the latissimus dorsi, etc.
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Deep tissue massage ball
• Relaxes tense muscles
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• dimensions: 12 cm diameter
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What is the Thomas test? | lifestyle
Healthy hip flexors are important for all athletes. While the hamstrings and glutes are responsible for most of the momentum for running or jumping, the hip flexors decide how far the leg can go from the body. Reduced range of motion in your hips means you’re slowing down. For this reason, the Thomas test can clear us up.
Tight hip flexors will limit the amount of force and propulsion we can use to move forward. These flexors also connect to the lower back, so if they are pulled tight, they will compromise the position of the spine, which affects posture. Poor posture reduces efficiency and also increases the risk of injury.
Fortunately, there is a simple motor test to determine if we are suffering from tight hip flexors. This is the Thomas test.
- 1 What is it?
- 2 muscles involved
- 2.1 iliopsoas
- 2. 2 rectus femoris
- 2.3 pectineus and gracilis
- 2.4 tensor fascialis
- 2.5 sartorius
- 3 How is it done?
- 4 How can I correct a negative result?
- 4.1 Thomas stretch
- 4.2 step stretch
What is it?
The Thomas test is a physical examination test first described in 1875 by Welsh orthopedic surgeon Hugh Owen Thomas. The test was used to diagnose flexion contracture of the hip joint and determine the duration of the disease process.
The Modified Thomas Test is most commonly used to assess hip flexor flexibility, including the iliopsoas, quadriceps, pectineus, gracilis, tensor fascia lata, and sartorius muscles. It is easy to replicate among physicians and patients and provides useful information that can indirectly affect not only athletic performance, but can also help us know what happens if we experience pain in different areas.
This test measures:
- Length of the iliopsoas muscle (angle of hip flexion)
- Passive quadriceps length (knee flexion angle)
- Flexibility of the tensor fascia lata/iliotibial bundle (angle of abduction of the hip relative to the femur and angle of the pelvis)
The Thomas test examines the iliopsoas, the muscle group that connects the spine to the legs, through the pelvis; rectus femoris, a quadruple muscle that runs from the thigh to the knee; and the tensor fascia lata, the lateral thigh muscle, which lies below the iliotibial bundle. Together they form the hip flexor muscles.
The iliopsoas, composed of the iliacus and psoas major, is the most powerful hip flexor and also acts as a weak hip adductor and external rotator.
The iliopsoas attaches to the capsule of the hip joint, providing some support. Since the muscle spans the axial and appendicular components of the skeleton, it also functions as a trunk flexor and provides an important element of vertical stability to the lumbar spine, especially when the hip is in full extension and the passive tension of the muscle is at its maximum.
A sufficiently strong and isolated bilateral contraction of any hip flexor muscle will rotate the hip towards the pelvis, the pelvis (and possibly the trunk) towards the hip, or both.
This is one of the four quadriceps muscles, a biarticular muscle arising from two tendons: one, anterior or straight, from the anterior inferior iliac spine; the other, posterior or reflected, from the furrow above the edge of the acetabulum.
The rectus femoris combines hip flexion and knee extension. It works most effectively as a hip flexor when the knee is bent, such as when a person is kicking a ball.
pectineus and gracilis
The pectus muscle is an adductor, flexor and internal rotator muscle of the thigh. Like the iliopsoas muscle, the pectineus muscle attaches to and supports the capsule of the hip joint.
Glenus, the longest of the adductors of the thigh, is also the most superficial and medial of the adductors of the thigh. This helps to adduct and flex the hip, as well as flex and rotate the leg inward.
Tensor fascialis muscle
This muscle covers the muscles of the thigh. It is responsible for counteracting the reverse pull of the gluteus maximus on the iliotibial ligament. It also flexes, abducts, and rotates the hip outward.
The trochanteric bursa lies deep in this muscle as it passes over the greater trochanter. Attachment of the tensile muscle through the iliotibial bundle to the anterolateral tibia provides a flexion moment when the knee is flexed and an extension moment when the knee is extended.
The sartorius is the longest muscle in the body. The sartorius is responsible for hip flexion, abduction and external rotation, and some degree of knee flexion.
How is it done?
The easiest way to perform the Thomas test is to lie on your back on the edge of a bed or on a sturdy table with your legs dangling. We bring both knees to the chest so that the back is evenly pressed to the bed. Keeping one knee close to the chest, slowly straighten the other leg and let it hang over the edge.
- We will sit at the end of the table so that the middle of the thigh is flush with the edge. We will sit up straight with our heads up to the ceiling. We tighten the abdominal muscles to strengthen the spine, then lower and retract the shoulder blades (pulling the shoulders down and back) without arching the lower back.
- Keeping the abdominals pulled in, lean back slightly, tearing the left knee off the table towards the chest and crossing the arms under the left thigh without moving the torso. We continue to lean back, keeping the head in line with the spine, and the abdominals are pulled in. Raise the right knee towards the ceiling, lifting the right thigh off the table.
- Let’s start rounding the back, lowering it to the table, noticing one vertebrae at a time. Holding the left hip, we will allow the right knee to remain pointed towards the ceiling. As we lower our head and move into the supine (face up) position, we support the left leg and lower the right hip towards the table, maintaining a bent knee position to allow the lower leg to hang off the table and stretch through the right hip flexor.
- We will hold the stretch position for 15 to 30 seconds at a time, for a total of 2 to 4 reps.
The test will pass if the lower back and hamstring are pressed against the bed and the knee is bent at 90 degrees to the surface. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to failing a test:
- If the lowered leg is straight instead of bent at the knee, the rectus femoris is tight. In the case where the lower part of the knee is bent, but the back of the thigh is raised off the bed, this is the iliopsoas muscle.
- If the lower leg is bent at the knee and the thigh rests on the bed, but the leg hangs slightly to the side, then the tensor fascia lata tenses.
Long distance runners are more likely to experience a tight iliopsoas.
How to correct a negative result?
One of the good things about this is that the Thomas test can be the same treatment. Keep in mind that muscles take some time to readjust when stretched. It is generally recommended to do these stretches five to seven days a week for three minutes a day. With only static stretching, we may need 8-10 weeks, so adding lacrosse ball work is recommended to speed up the process.
To do this stretch:
- We will pull one knee towards your chest while you are lying on your back on an elevated surface, which we did during the test.