Jamie Gutheil DC, Roseville, California

Tennis ball self massage

Ok, the first thing you need is to have some tennis balls.

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Using one tennis ball, or two tennis balls to massage tight muscles is time and cost efficient.                     Most importantly-it works!

In the upper back, between the shoulder blade and the spine are a few muscles known as: trapezius, rhomboid and levator scapulae. These three muscles get over stretched with all the computer work and poor posture so prevalent in modern living. This makes them angry and often chronically tight. Improving posture, (a topic for another time) while the best long-term fix, is not helpful in the short-term, once we are already in pain. So, we must get in there with a tennis ball or two and perform self -massage.

You can massage yourself with a tennis ball, either standing or lying down, but standing is gentler and can be done anywhere you have a wall. So, begin your massage by putting two tennis balls in a sock and finding some open wall space. Two tennis balls mean you can massage two areas at a time;how yummy! Next, stand approximately 1.5 feet away from the wall, get the tennis balls between your spine and your wing bone on an area which needs massage, and lean back applying pressure with your body weight. If you need more pressure, lean farther back by bringing your feet farther away from the wall or pushing into the floor with your feet.

Now, move the tennis ball up and down, side to side, or just lean back into it for 30 seconds to a minute. When your ready, move onto a new spot! If you get sore, you went to long, just ease up a bit next time.

Ok, you are now an expert in the field of upper back massage. Catch my upcoming blog on posture and I will teach you how to prevent the tight muscles in the first place.