Ever wonder why the cyclist at the Giro Italien or Tour De France rolls his/her body over a foam roller? Is it the grimace, pleasure or pain? The use of tennis balls , spikey balls , foam rollers or those strange looking “ medieval torture “ looking devices have been used to relieve muscular tension and pain for years.
The fibers in a muscle contract and relax as we move. Overuse or excessive force causes muscle fibers to initially micro tear leading to inflammation between the fibers and a thickening or tightening effect. In repair, scar tissue leads to further thickening and tightening.
Taut bands and specific spots or knots which occur as a result of this are known as trigger points. Pressure on these muscles and trigger points can stretch out the muscle, squeeze out the inflammation, increase blood flow to the area and desensitize the painful spot.
Using a spikey ball to achieve this is convenient and time efficient. We find that the spikes distribute pressure more evenly and therefore can be used for longer on tighter and more acutely painful muscles.
At Elizabeth Street Physiotherapy we have a variety of sizes of spikey balls. Consult with your Physiotherapist on (03) 9670 3996 to work out which is best for you, or just pop in and check them out.