Use a Tennis Ball or other Device for Self Trigger Point Massage for Back, Shoulder, and Hip Pain

Back, Shoulder, and Hip Pain Doctor, Chapel Hill, NC

Pain in the back, shoulders, or hips frequently stems from tight muscles. Muscle fibers shorten when tight and congestion and inflammation localize. When stretching or rest doesn’t work, persons experiencing aches and muscle tightness can use self-massage techniques to bring relief. At the offices of Triangle chiropractor and licensed acupuncturist Dr. Lisa Oskardmay, we provide the help you can use at home. Examples of self-massage techniques are below. For best results, come into the office for an assessment and balancing treatment before attempting these techniques. Also accessible by HIPAA compliant, safe, and secure Telemedicine appointment, Dr. Oskardmay can review your symptoms to ensure your best results.

Self-Massage Techniques

Trigger points in the shoulder frequently occur between the shoulder blades. Sometimes people like to use a Thera cane, shepherds s hook, or other gripping devices to break up muscle adhesions in these regions. These devices, while useful, can require strength and muscle tension to accomplish their task. A better choice is the simple application of a tennis ball to the area. This semi-soft, palm-sized object placed in the area of muscle distress performs trigger point friction massage directly where needed when placed correctly.

To get the best results, ask Dr. Lisa where to place the tennis ball or other device. Each body is different, and muscle palpation will educate the novice about where the muscle trigger point exists. In general, a trigger point is a region in the muscle that hurts when triggered. Triggers might be shoulder or arm movement, pressure on the muscle itself, lifting even small objects; just standing and holding the arm and shoulder in place can hurt over time. Trigger points in the shoulder will impair shoulder movement and arm strength; left untreated over time, these painful muscle congestion areas will inhibit surrounding and distant muscles. Trigger points will affect overall body strength, posture, balance, and potentially even respiration and other vital body aspects.

The tennis ball self soft tissue massage technique can also benefit the hips. Hip, lower back, and lower back muscle tightness contribute to hip pain. Ensuing muscle weakness and tightness will pull on the hip joints, causing additional areas of pain. Contact Dr. Oskardmay so that she can help you locate where the primary trigger point exists so that you can focus on that point. Many people experience trigger points in the region of a muscle called the piriformis. Located approximately in the middle of the back pocket, self-massage applied to the piriformis region with a tennis ball or other device can provide relief.

When first attempting tennis ball self soft tissue massage to the shoulder or hip, follow certain precautions discussed with Dr. Oskardmay in the office. These precautions include: use a soft but firm surface, start slowly, avoid ball placement over the spine or other bony regions, and perform maneuver for 10 seconds or less to start, increase up to 20 seconds at each point. While patients may experience slight discomfort as the ball presses on trigger points, discontinue use and contact another practitioner for additional guidance or us if pain worsens or persists. Additionally, limit tennis ball massage to once or twice a day. Stretch area gently after use and avoid dehydration to assist elimination of muscle metabolite build-up.

Be sure to contact the offices of Triangle acupuncturist and chiropractic physician Dr. Lisa Oskardmay on the proper use of a tennis ball or other device for self-care. Caring for the Durham, Chapel Hill, and surrounding areas since 1995, she enjoys helping people help themselves and getting the most out of their care. Call today to schedule your appointment in our safe and sanitary office or ask about how Telemedicine can help you.: 919-929-1400, or go online to schedule 24 hours a day:

Serving the communities of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham, Hillsborough, and the rest of the NC Triangle

205 Providence Rd. Chapel Hill NC 27514 | Phone: (919) 929-1400

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