My husband grew up playing lacrosse and I did not, but I am pretty sure that I have logged more hours with a lacrosse ball in the past two years than he did in his entire career. Why? Because there is a lacrosse ball that keeps permanent residence on our couch and one travels with me whenever I have to go away for a trip.
While training for a marathon, I developed some pretty awful piriformis pain (aka pain the butt). I kept trying to run through it, but every time I started a run if felt like my right leg just didn’t want to propel me forward. I finally mentioned this to a physical therapist friend and he told me to get a lacrosse ball.
Runners love their foam rollers, and of course “The Stick”, but there is something magical about that hard white ball. It is the perfect size and firmness to use to massage out all those angry knots on your body. I simply sit down in the evening on the ball and let it work itself deep into my tight muscles. It hurts, I am not going to lie! But the results are almost instantaneous. As you teach yourself to relax into the pain, you can feel the knots slowly melt away. As one part of the muscle relaxes, move around until you find another tight spot and repeat this painful and amazing technique.
The best part is, I can do this while I watch TV, read a book, study, or anything else. It really requires no work on my part, just find where it hurts and use the ball.
This works well on any good fleshy part of your body such as feet, calves, hamstrings, quads, buttocks, and some areas of the lower back. It does not work well and shouldn’t be used on bony areas of your body such as shins, your spine, shoulders and do I need to even mention your head?!
You can find lacrosse balls at almost any large sporting goods store. Just make sure you get the actual lacrosse ball (which is generally white but some do come in colors) and not the practice lacrosse ball (generally found in pink and some other colors). An actual lacrosse ball is made of rubber and much heavier than its practice version. Unlike the practice version, a lacrosse ball will have no give if you press your thumb into it.
Now go get rid of those achy knots!