Before pain treatment was common, people had to find creative methods to help alleviate their discomfort. One of these methods was to use a ball to massage the knots that cause pain, with tennis balls often supplying the best results. Tennis balls can help relax muscle “knots.” While there is still much to learn about how these knots are made, it is known that they can turn painful when left untreated.
Muscles can’t actually tie themselves into knots. Muscle fibers run in many directions while layering on top of each other. The tissue can stretch, flex, and bend allowing your body to take on a broad range of movement. That mobility starts deteriorating when the body is inactive for too long. A sedentary lifestyle can cause your muscles to settle, creating the lumpy, hard feeling that many describe as the knot. The knotting can also be a result of dehydration or injury. Left alone for long enough, the stress may start tearing at the muscle tissue causing pain.
With the right amount of pressure, rolling over the tense area of your body with a tennis ball can release pain. An effective massage is supposed to feel painful, but not painful enough that you start gritting your teeth or wincing. Much like there is good stress, there is good pain that can relax the knotted feeling in your muscles.
Tennis balls are often the popular choice as massage tools due to the perfect balance between firmness and give of the surface. As mentioned earlier, other types of balls or similarly shaped objects can be useful depending on the situation. Smooth rocks, for example, can be an alternative if one needs a more aggressive, deeper massage than ball can make. You can find inexpensive self-massage balls at pharmacy stores and supermarkets, although they often create unrealistic expectations from overselling their usefulness.
A tennis ball massage can be useful for temporary pain relief, but if you feel that it is not effective – or that the pain keeps coming back – you may have something more serious than a muscle knot. If your pain lasts for longer than six weeks, it’s time to speak to a medical expert. For a chronic pain clinic in New Jersey that can help, contact Garden State Pain Center today for specialized service.