Dancers and athletes dedicate themselves to a routine where repetitive movement patterns rule their routine in order to reach a desired goal of improvement.
Photo credit: Renata Pavam, http://renatapavam.com
With repeated movements, certain muscles are constantly recruited, leading to muscle knots of contracted muscle fibers known as trigger points. These discrete, focal, hyperirritable spots are located in a taut band of skeletal muscle, and they produce pain locally and in a referred pattern. The word myofascial means muscle tissue (myo) and the connective tissue in and around it (fascia). Myofascial pain often results from muscle injury or repetitive strain such as in daily practice of repetitive movements required in dance or sports training. Myofascial release is a technique of stretching the fascia. Myofascial Release trigger point therapy is a technique to treat the pain associated with knots of contracted muscle fibers and is used by physical therapists to stretch and loosen the fascia so that is and other contiguous structures can move more freely and range of motion is restored.
Self myofascial release or trigger point pressure release involves applying pressure with a finger or other instruments to the trigger point and increasing the pressure as the trigger point "releases" and softens. FLX Massage Balls size and shape allow you to effectively target the trigger point especially in hard to reach places such as the bottom of your foot, back and hip flexors. Whether an athlete, dancer or fitness enthusiast, this therapy with the addition of massage tools like balls can maximize performance.
In order to target the deep fascia where the tension has harbored and formed, it is necessary to use a ball whose size, material and shape can withstand intense amounts of pressure. The materials of a tennis ball keep it from withstanding large amounts of pressure while other balls like a golf ball are too firm and can bruise the muscles tissue.
Photo credit: Nisian Hughes, http://www.nisianhughes.com
In the North American Journal of Sports Medicine states that massage has been investigated as a strategy to increase range of motion and release trigger point tension. FLX Massage Balls come in three varying sizes and are composed of a shock absorbent neoprene that is durable enough to withstand intense pressure but soft enough not to injure points on the body.
They are perfect for different levels, sizes, shapes and intensities of massage and can target points not only in the lower legs but also in the mid back area and hip flexors. The blue ball allows you to self administer a massage that sinks deep into the tissue achieving a true soft-tissue release, even in hard to reach places. Many physical therapists and trainers recommend using a ball because of the size and the ability to control exactly where and how much pressure to apply. When rolling with the ball apply self-myofascial release (SMR) techniques by rolling on the ball until you feel a “trigger point”, pause and hold for 10-30 seconds.
Roll out the pain and feel the gain!