Massage Ball for Upper Body

Dose

Perform at least 60 seconds of rolling each night before bed or when symptoms come on. Continue using this exercise a few times a week when symptoms resolve to decrease tender points.

Purpose

Rolling on a massage ball can reduce symptoms in the short term by improving blood flow, tissue elasticity, and encouraging movement. It is a great way to relieve symptoms and may improve sleep. Make you’re also engaging n postural and strengthening exercise for long term relief.

Method

This exercise can be performed with a ball of any kind. Start by placing the ball between the upper back and a wall and apply pressure by walking the feet away from the wall and leaning into the ball as hard as is comfortable.

Start with the ball just above the shoulder blade and about halfway between the neck and the shoulder. Roll the ball left and right across the top of the shoulder, adjusting as necessary to keep the pressure on the ball. Repeat this action for ten seconds, pushing over any tender points for a few seconds until you feel the area soften.

Then, adjust the ball to the muscle groups just to the side of the spine. Roll up and down and left and right until you have spent 30 to 60 seconds decreasing tension in the area.

Repeat this process with the ball behind the shoulder blade, up and down the back of the neck, the outside the shoulder, and across the front of the chest. When rolling the chest, place the arm of the side you’re rolling behind the back for extra stretch.

Common Mistakes

• Not making the most of self-massage. Using a massage ball is a great way to relieve symptoms, and it is very user friendly. You can roll any part of the body will the ball, and it is likely you will find tender points that feel better after you roll them. Don’t be afraid to explore and experiment with different locations.

• Rolling over the spine. This may be uncomfortable and likely provides little value, so try to avoid it.

• Rolling too fast. To get the best effect on deeper tissues, hold pressure on one sport for several seconds. This will allow the ball to sink in rather than gliding across the surface.

• Using self-massage as a standalone. While the massage ball feels great, it is important to engage in exercises that are specifically designed to strengthen. If rolling is used as a standalone, the body’s load tolerance may decrease and this may reduce functional ability.

Progression Threshold

Congratulations! This is the most advanced exercise in this progression. Integrate this with other exercises you have learned to control symptoms and maintain a balanced body.