Use This Tennis Ball Massage Trick For Better Sleep

If you’ve ever had muscle tension or persistent pain in your back, you know the struggle to fall asleep at night is real. Maybe you are constantly tossing and turning and can’t seem to find a position that relieves the discomfort. Shiloh Pileggi, Head Massage Therapist and Educator at Spa at Mohonk Mountain House in upstate New York, these types of muscle pain are often caused by micro-trauma to the muscle belly from repetitive movements throughout the day, overexertion of muscles during exercise, poor posture or poor quality of sleep. Anyway, there is a handy tool that can relieve you and help you sleep at night: a tennis ball.

According to Pileggi, using a tennis ball to apply gentle pressure to the area helps lengthen and stretch the muscles, which can relieve discomfort while distracting your brain from the pain. She advises against using this technique if the pain stems from muscle trauma, such as if you’ve been in a car accident. “There is muscle damage with trauma, and the body needs time to heal,” she says. “There may also be damage to the skeletal system, nervous system, or vascular system, and this should be assessed before doing home self-help techniques.” But if you suffer from regular tension and aches in your back, this tennis ball trick can help you fall asleep more easily at night.

How to use a tennis ball to help you sleep

Lie down and place a small ball under the area that bothers you. Pileggi says a tennis ball is ideal, but you can also use any small rubber ball or even a racquetball. It is important that you do this lying flat on a bed without a pillow under your head. If you prefer to do this technique on a yoga mat, she recommends using a softer ball. “The harder the surface you lie on, the less the ball will sink into it,” she says.

Proper placement of the ball is also important. For lower back pain, Pileggi suggests putting two tennis balls in a sock and placing one on each side of the spine. Whatever you do, don’t place the ball directly under the spine or other bones. Not only will it not feel good, but she says the bony prominences don’t have a lot of tissue on them, so those areas can bruise easily.

Stay in this position for two to five minutes, max. Pileggi adds that you can also use this technique for pain in other large muscle groups, such as the glutes and hamstrings, that don’t relax on their own due to excessive exercise or stress. bad posture. More, tennis balls are also great tools for stretching, relieve neck and shoulder tensionand to massage painful knots and muscle pain traveling.

Precautions to take

Don’t fall asleep with the ball under you. Pileggi says it can potentially injure the muscle or cause it to tighten to protect itself, causing more discomfort than you started with, which defeats the purpose. If you don’t feel any relief within the first five minutes after trying this technique, Pileggi says it may not be the best solution for you because there are other reasons that can cause muscle tightness and cause muscle pain. ‘discomfort. If the pain increases at any point, stop and do not continue using this technique.

In these cases, she recommends stretching or applying heat or ice to the area to help ease the discomfort. “You are the expert on your own body. It’s important to know what works for you,” she says. “If taking a hot bath or using a hot compress gives you relief from muscle pain, use it. If you know of stretches that help, use them. Otherwise, take a class with a qualified instructor so you don’t cause more discomfort than you already are. And if the pain persists and begins to affect your quality of life, see a professional.