Doctor of Physical Therapy, Director of Rehabilitation
Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, Certified Vestibular Rehabilitation Specialist
Self-muscle or myofascial release can be used to temporarily improve mobility, decrease pain, relax tight or spasmed muscles, and improve circulation. There are many different tools and techniques to achieve this (ex: massage guns, rolling balls, foam rollers, Theracanes). At home, a lacrosse ball or tennis ball works great! Perform for 1-2 minutes in each location. Try the following areas:
For pain at the upper back, neck, or shoulder… Simply place the ball on the following locations, then lean against the wall for pressure.
1. Upper Trapezius & Levator Scapulae: Place ball at the top of the shoulder, between shoulder and neck. Avoid rolling over your shoulder blade or spine.
2. Pectoralis Minor: Place the ball at the front of your chest, just underneath your clavicle (“collar bone”). Avoid rolling over the clavicle or front of your shoulder.
3. Posterior Rotator Cuff: Place the ball at the back of your shoulder, towards your shoulder blade.
4. Rhomboids: Place the ball between your spine and inside of your shoulder blade. Avoid rolling over your spine or shoulder blade.
For pain at the lower back, hip, or knee… Simply place the ball on the following locations, then lay directly on the ball on the floor/yoga mat for pressure.
5. Tensor Fascia Lata: Place the ball at the front/side of your pelvis (where the pocket of your pants would be). Avoid the boney part at the front of your pelvis.
6. Gluteus Medius/Maximus: Place the ball at the side or back of your gluteal (buttock) region. Avoid any boney areas.