Our bodies are capable of doing some amazing things, things we sometimes take for granted, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. There are many things we can do to get rid of pain and soreness, but there are two specific and minimal, but effective mechanisms we can use to get us feeling great! To improve overall quality of your life please follow these two tips.
Over the years speculation about whether or not self-massage, or may you call it at-home massaging, is effective or not. Honestly, we believe it to be rather helpful, and here’s why. Professional massages can be detrimental to a person’s pockets, and while they’re the real deal, not everyone can afford a massage one to two times a month, or every week as some may participate. What happens often because of the expense, people tend to let pain in their body become some type of normality.
It isn’t normal to be in pain, but pain can be an informative tactic the body uses in order to let us know something is happening in our bodies, and that it needs attention called to it right away.
A self-massage can minimize pain between each massage visit, and give the added relief needed to get day-to-day tasks done. Here are a couple of self-massaging tactics to perform when you’re at home, one of which include myofascial release.
What is myofascial release and what is it used for?
To understand what myofascial release is intended to do, we must first decipher what exactly its used for. Myofascial (MPS) is a pain syndrome and it is caused by inflammation of the body’s soft tissues. Fascia refers to the connective tissues which house muscles, and when fascia is tightened, it causes discomfort and dysfunction of the muscles.
One of the most underutilized tools for myofascial and pain relief is the massage ball. Aside from actually relieving pain and sore muscles, there are much deeper benefits involved when utilizing a massage ball such as improving blood flow, increasing motion range, improving the muscle’s’ performances, and decreasing fatigue after exercise.
Excellent places to release fascia are:
- Upper traps (trapezius)
- Under the feet
If you begin using the massage ball a couple of times a week, muscle soreness and pain are guaranteed to decrease.
Another underutilized remedy for relieving muscle pain and soreness is stretching. When all else fails, stretch to keep the muscle healthy and flexible. Similar to using the massage ball, stretching will help to maintain range of motion within the muscles, and without periodic stretching, the muscles become shortened and tight. Stretching can seem second nature, but if you don’t know where to start, here’s a couple of stretches to begin with!
Standing hamstring stretch—stretches the neck, glutes, hamstrings and calves
- Stand up with your feet hip or shoulder distance apart, but a small bend in the knees, and bring the arms to the sides.
- As you exhale, bend forward at the hip creases, slowly lowering your head to the floor
- Try to wrap the arms around the backs of your legs
- Hold this for about 30-45 seconds
Figure Four Stretch—hips, glutes, hamstrings
- Lie flat on your back, bottom of the feet on the floor, knees bent
- Cross the left foot or shin over the right quad
- Lift the right leg from the floor. Grab onto the back of your right leg and pull toward the chest (gently)
- Hold for about 45 seconds to 2 minutes.
The Bottom Line
Stretching is a great way to keep the muscles strong, especially because it helps to eliminate any pain in the joints and reduce potential straining during workouts.