Currently, there are several types of balls on the market to offer myofascial massages and relieve the discomfort associated with muscle stiffness and contractures, as well as injuries to the tissues that connect and envelop all the organs of the human body.
The various benefits of massage balls are clinically proven, but people should be aware of the multiple designs and their uses before making a smart purchase and getting the relief they are looking for from muscle ailments.
What is myofascial release therapy and what is it used for in physical therapy?
It is a physical therapy tool to stimulate trigger points that generate pain and stiffness in muscle movement. The pain originates in the myofascial tissues which is a sort of second skin that is all along your body and that tightens with intense physical activity.
It is a “release” because it lets the connective tissues free from the tensions accumulated after a busy day at the office or the change in the sports exercise routine. As we mentioned, massage balls are used by a physical therapist or sports trainer after identifying and locating the trigger points to be stimulated to achieve the relaxation that the patient’s body requires.
What are the benefits of using myofascial massage therapy to relieve pain?
- Remuve fascial restrictions: the fascia is characterized by being an elastic and resistant tissue, when it is tightened the person finds it difficult to perform movements. Myofascial massage therapy allows the tissues to maintain their elasticity and facilitates muscle function.
- Increases circulation: by stimulating the skin, a kind of bridges are created that help the blood flow better in the body, this allows a greater amount of oxygen and nutrients to better reach the myofascial tissue and muscles. With both gliding and pressure, the vessels and veins of the circulatory system are dilated.
- Improves the lymphatic system: proper lymph production allows the body to remain healthy by transporting various chemical compounds into the body through the blood. Massage allows the lymphatic vessels to remain dilated so that this fluid does not accumulate in one part of the body.
- Eliminates toxins: in normal conditions or in sports activities, the body daily emits toxins that must be eliminated from the body through the bloodstream and lymphatic vessels. Massages allow a free circulation of fluids that expel these toxins and prevent the body from feeling exhausted.
- Reduces pain: this symptom is localized when there are injuries in the fascia, so a good physiotherapist will look for trigger points to reduce muscle stiffness to soothe the pain in the tissues. This myofascial therapy gives better results when the problems are treated in time.
- Improves body posture: performing myofascial massage helps the body to maintain a correct posture by preserving its elasticity and flexibility. There are muscle tensions that do not hurt or bother, they simply force the body to stay in incorrect positions that then generate muscle injuries.
- Therapy against diseases: provided there is a medical supervision or a physiotherapist, patients with diseases such as fibromyalgia, lupus, scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis may perform myofascial therapies to relieve some of the symptoms that leave these diseases in muscle function.
What are the types of myofascial massage balls and what is each one used for?
It is important that you are aware of the uses you can give to several of our products to offer myofascial massage and take better advantage of their benefits.
These are smooth balls that come in hard and soft presentations. This particular product has an intermediate hardness. They are ideal for relaxing trigger points in areas that are difficult for other tools such as the massage roller to reach.
Spiked massage balls
These are harder balls, but have pointed extensions that allow a greater depth of massage without causing damage to the myofascial tissue. These spikes do not cause damage to the skin because they are soft structures, but firm to massage.
Double peanut-shaped ball
This is a product made of resistant material, which allows a bilateral massage in areas where it is not recommended to stimulate only one side, such as the lower back and pectorals. It is a practical product to stimulate the musculature in the cervical area without touching the bones.
Vibration massage ball
The common thing with this type of product is that you use it with your hands so that you place the vibrating ball on the part of the body where you consider there is the most tension. The vibration regulates temperature, relaxes muscle fibers and releases myofascial tissue tension.
Although it is not a massage ball, this product is very useful when there is discomfort in the myofascial tissue. With the massage roller, a large working area is covered to prepare the body and then use the massaging balls in areas that are difficult for the foam roller to reach.
What to consider when choosing the best deep tissue massage ball?
There are some features to take into account if you want to have a quality product and adjusted to your real needs:
The first massage balls were made of wood, then hard plastic products started to come out. The best balls are soft, flexible and can be adjusted to the body contour. There are EVA or foam rubber, hypoallergenic material, plastic balls, silicone, rubber and there are even steel or metal massage balls.
The best thing to do is to acquire a pack of balls of different sizes to treat areas such as the back, with the larger balls; the feet with the medium-sized balls; and the trigger points with the smaller balls. The recommendation is to start muscle preparation with the larger balls before going directly to the trigger points.
The harder balls are usually used by athletes, whose musculature is stronger and more resistant, and these balls work better on trigger points where there is greater tension. Softer balls are recommended for older adults and to provide stimulation to sensitive areas such as the pectorals and calves.
The shape of the ball will be important to achieve the desired goal of the massage. With small, smooth balls you get more trigger point activation, with spiked balls you get more depth in each massage, and with peanut-shaped balls you get bilateral back stimulation. And if you are not experienced in the use of these products, then the vibrating balls are a better option so that there are no mistakes in the application of a correct massage.
Keep in mind that this is a long-term investment in which you should not put your health at risk. An inexpensive ball made of low quality material will not have the same amount of benefits as our competitively priced products tailored to your needs.
Whenever you make a purchase for the benefit of your physical health, find products that guarantee that there will be no tissue damage or side effects that will ultimately be more costly because they are not the right massage products.