Spikey Balls 101
Whether it be at home or work, at the gym or on the training track, spikey balls are increasing in popularity. So what are they, how do they work and how exactly do you use them? Today’s blog is hopefully going to answer all your questions and ensure you are getting the most out of your spikey ball!
What are they?
Spikey balls are hard rubber balls with spikey projections. The ball is used to perform self-therapy on many muscle-related conditions and are a great way to maximise muscle recovery. Due to their size, they are a convenient tool that can be packed in your sports bag or taken to work with ease.
How do they work?
Spikey balls work on the myofascial tissues to reduce muscle tension and improve blood flow, similar to how a deep massage works. By targeting trigger points or knots in your muscles, a spikey ball can reduce pain levels and improve range of motion through specific muscles and subsequently improve joint motion.
How to use them?
You can simply sit or lay on your spikey ball and use your body weight to apply pressure to the tight muscles. As you are in control of the pressure, and can directly feel where the painful parts of the muscle are located, you can efficiently target those areas until you start to feel the muscles gradually relax and the pain reduce.
3 most popular uses are…
Standing with your spikey ball between your upper back muscles and a wall, use your body weight to roll over the ball, applying pressure to any areas which feel tight. Gentle side-to-side and up-and-down motions can be used to gradually relax the trigger point and reduce the pain. Shoulder release can assist with reducing shoulder and neck pain and improving range of movement.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Place your spikey ball under your buttocks and gently roll over the ball until you find a trigger point. To increase the pressure, let the knee on the effected side drop out to the side. Glutes can also be targeted in standing, with the ball between your buttocks and the wall, using your body weight to again roll over the ball and find the trigger point. Once on the trigger point, sustained pressure or gentle side-to-side and up-and-down motions can be used to relax the trigger point. This is a great way to not only improve your glute and hip mobility, but also help prevent and manage many lower back and lower limb injuries.
Place the spikey ball under your foot and apply your body weight through the foot to roll the ball from your heel towards your toes. This can be done seated or standing. Using the spikey ball under your foot is especially helpful in the treatment of plantar fasciitis.
NB DO NOT USE a spikey ball…
- if you have had any recent injury or trauma
- over broken or bruised skin
- if you are taking any blood thinning medications
- if suffer from peripheral vascular disease or any neuropathies
- if you have osteopenia or osteoporosis
If you are unsure whether you are safe to use a spikey ball, please consult your Physiotherapist or GP for more information. If you haven’t got one already, Revive Physiotherapy and Pilates have a great supply of good quality spikey balls at competitive prices!