Spiky ball part two follows on from our last blog about the little red spiky ball, friend or foe? < cue evil laugh>
If you’ve been following our blog series, you’ll probably have read our Spiky Ball blog published back in June this year.
In short review, this little beastie can be used to treat pain, ease tension and improve circulation. It works by creating pressure and stimulation through your skin and into the tissues of your body, including muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia (connective tissue).
This helps to increase blood flow and heat in the area being massaged, and desensitises your nerve endings so that you feel more “pressure” and less “pain”.
As always with massage tools made of PVC: you are in charge of the pressure. Your physiotherapist’s thumbs (elbows) can have a day off.
So today, let’s look more closely at your glutes. Yes, that does basically mean let’s look more closely at the buttocks.
We have 3 large gluteal muscles on the back of each hip: a maximus (the biggest roundest muscle), medius and minimis. The latter two sit higher up and on the outside of the hip and help control the rotation of the femur (thighbone) in the hip socket. The larger muscle helps to extend the hip, pushing you forward when walking, climbing stairs, getting up off a chair etc.
Deep to these muscles are another happy bunch called the short lateral rotators, which are small but generally troublesome for people with hip and leg pain. Reaching these to massage can be tricky, but our spiky ball can be of assistance here.
If you can, find a spot on the floor (or a hard surface) and lie down with your knees bent.
(First video – crook lying)
Place the ball under the soft muscle on the back of your hip. Don’t worry if it doesn’t feel sore straight away, we’ll get to the good bits. Gradually move your knee out and in (keeping the foot on the floor) until you find a tender spot. Hold here for a few breaths, letting your muscles relax. If you don’t find any tender spots, lift your hips and move the ball a little left, right, up or down to isolate the tight parts of the muscle.
If you don’t find there’s enough pressure in this position, try this standing version instead.
(Second video – standing)
Find a solid wall or door (watch the paintwork). Place the ball between your hip and the door and bend your knees. Pushing up into the ball, work into the tight spots in the same way as before, breathing through the sore bits, and moving round to ease them all.
The whole process shouldn’t take much more than a minute or two for one hip (and of course you can work all the way round the outside of the hip, and the other side as well).
Massaging other areas of the body can be really useful too, for example the lower back and shoulder. However, these are a different ball game (sorry) entirely, and we’ll save those for another day.
Until then, if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment to see a physiotherapist, please call Physioflexx on 01560 483200.