How to Use Tennis Ball to Relieve Sciatic Pain and Back Pain

How to Use Tennis Ball to Relieve Sciatic Pain and Back Pain
Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in our body. It begins in the lower back and runs through the buttock and down the lower limb. Sciatic pain (sciatica) is caused by a compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve.

Sciatic pain in itself is not a disease or disorder, but rather is a symptom of another problem involving your nerve, such as a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease or a narrowing of your spinal canal.

The usual places to feel sciatic pain are along the sciatic nerve pathway: in the lower back, buttock, back of the thigh and/or calf, on the side of the foot, and in the heel. You may also feel numbness or weakness in these areas or a strange sensation like tingling or pins and needles.

I wrote in the past a number of very popular articles on how to naturally relieve sciatic pain (you can find the links to my other articles at the end of this post). This time I want to introduce you to tennis ball therapy for sciatic nerve pain as well as back pain.

Tennis Ball Therapy for Sciatic Pain

Tennis ball therapy utilizes the principles of massage, acupressure and reflexology which help to relieve sore muscles and muscle tension. In the case of sciatic pain, the tennis ball aims to treat the piriformis muscle which is located close to the sciatic nerve. This muscle can push the sciatic nerve against the tendons beneath it, which results in contributing to the familiar buttock and leg pain.

The tennis ball presses and treats trigger points in the piriformis muscle, reduces the muscle tension and rigidity, improves mobility and improves blood circulation to the area.

The tennis ball therapy is good not only for sciatica, but also for back pain. The tennis ball acts as a massage substitute that helps reduce muscle tension and provide relief from lower back pain. It is also one of the best ways to relieve latissimus dorsi pain.

The advantages of this therapy is that it’s cheap and simple and can be done in the comfort of your home.

Important notes

  • You must remember that most sciatic pain is a result of a spinal condition, such as herniated disk or a narrowing of the spinal canal, which causes the nerve pain, so targeting the piriformis muscle is just one of the steps to relieving the sciatic pain. You still need to target the root of the problem in the spinal cord, so a consultation with a health care provider is important, as tennis ball therapy may be just one component added to a physical therapy, medication or exercise program.
  • If the sciatica or back pain result from pinched nerve, avoid placing the tennis ball near the pinched nerve to reduce the risk of further injury.
  • It’s always a good practice to talk to your doctor about your condition before you start a tennis ball therapy program to find out if there are any restrictions related to your condition.

How to do Tennis Ball Therapy for Sciatica

You can use one or more tennis balls depending on your pain level and ability to balance. While sitting or lying on the floor, place a tennis ball under your muscles where you’re experiencing the pain. If you use one ball, it will apply more pressure on the area and can cause pain from the pressure. If you use two or more balls, the pressure is spread over more balls and works more areas at once with less pain.

Slowly shift your weight onto the ball or balls and note any areas of increased tenderness; these are the locations of your trigger points. Use a moderate amount of force to compress each painful spot for 15 to 20 seconds before you move to the next. You can also roll the ball back and forth in gentle movements.

The pain you feel from the tennis should not be too strong. If the pain is too intense, adjust the ball slightly or add more balls to release direct pressure. Work gently, as too much pressure can increase the pain rather than relieving it and can aggravate the condition. If you feel sharp pain, stop, or you may damage the muscle or nerve.

If you suffer from low back pain, it’s a good idea to also release pressure in the middle and upper back.

Here is a video demonstrating the tennis ball therapy:

Read my other related posts:

1. Top 8 Natural Treatments For Sciatic Pain
2. How to Outsmart Sciatic Pain With 10 Tricks You Can Do On Your Own
3. Effective Yoga Stretches For Sciatic Nerve Pain Relief
4. The Best Yoga Poses to Sooth Sciatic Nerve Pain
5. The Best Yoga Stretches To Soothe Your Back Pain
6. How to Relieve Back Pain and Muscle Tension Naturally
7. Foam Roller Exercises for Sciatic and Back Pain

Sources:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/100932-tennis-ball-therapy-sciatica/
http://www.livestrong.com/article/514309-tennis-balls-for-back-pain-relief-or-sciatica/
http://www.ehow.com/facts_6130503_tennis-ball-therapy-sciatica.html
Pin on PinterestShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+




19 Responses to How to Use Tennis Ball to Relieve Sciatic Pain and Back Pain

  1. Andrea says:

    Just an fyi for ladies suffering with sciatic pain that may last 7-10 days in a cyclical pattern. I saw a program called mystery diagnosis last year and a woman suffered immense sciatic pain, but no medical images showed any problems. After more than a year of monthly torture, she happened to get an mri during her sciatic”attack” and it showed that she had endometrial cells all around the sciatic nerve. Thats why she would have it come and go monthly. She had been diagnosed with endometriosis. Every month the endometrial cells shed and some escape through the fallopian tubes and attach themselves to other organs including bowel, ovaries, stomach and the nerves that caused sciatica. She had suffered for more than 8 years before being “caught” at the right time. The Doctors, put her on medication that caused early menopause and gradually got better. For all the ladies, this is something to remember.

    • Linda Winkler says:

      Well, I had endometriosis for several years and finally had a total hysterectomy (ovaries as well as uterus). This was done twenty years ago. I have lower back pain that is severe and the doctors think is caused by a herniated disc. I don’t think the two are connected, or were connected, in any way. It is true that in response to the monthly menstrual cycle the tissue bleeds internally and in the wrong places. Sometimes as high up as the chest I’ve heard, also into the rectum. But I’ve never heard that it related to back pain. I suspect this is quite rare.

      • Jenny says:

        Endometriosis sometimes causes ongoing pain in the pelvis and lower back. I have read here that endometriosis can also cause leg pain. The pain from the abdomen spreads down into the hip or leg causing difficulty or an inability to walk. This is due to the fact that the adhesions caused by endometriosis can play havoc with the sciatic nerve.

      • I am 49 years old,I’ve had some bleeding from my rectum when it was time for my menstrual,and it scared the heck out of me, and I suffer with low back pain,and sciactica right now, but I’ve suffered with liw back pain just about half of my life, I was told in 1999 that I have a abnormal narrowing of the lower spine,I wonder is this mu problem.

  2. Robert says:

    I’m 42 years old man who had sciatica neuritis in the past 4 years. I remember that pain as a worst nightmare. Thank god it’s gone now.

    My friend told me about one ebook which was written by a former sciatica sufferer, so I found it on google and bought it. It was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life! I learned a lot from it: what is sciatica, what causes it and most importantly – how deal with it.

    I carefully followed everything what was written in that book: did specific exercises, streches and even learned how to perform physical therapy at home. And… My sciatica pain went away after one week without using any painkillers! I guess you can’t believe me, right? What I’m saying is 100% true. I did some research and found hundreds of people who had bought the same ebook and achieved same results.

    If sciatica pain is killing and you haven’t a lot of time and money for hiring physiotherapists, getting massages, doing yoga etc. then you should try reading this ebook.

    I’m leaving a link below to a review of that book:

    dietandhealthreviews*com/sciatica-sos-review/

    (just replace * with a dot, because I can’t post links here)

  3. sreyaa says:

    Stretching thigh muscle through butterfly flickers are wonderful to loosen the stiff nerve. It also helps in reducing the sciatica pain.

  4. Stewart says:

    Thanks you, Jenny Hills. I Have done this before but need to job my memory. My right side gets pretty bad sometimes and this does relive it, although it hurts like hell doing it :).

    • Jenny says:

      The pain you feel from the tennis should not be too strong. If the pain is too intense (as you describe it), adjust the ball slightly or add more balls to release direct pressure. Work gently, as too much pressure can increase the pain rather than relieving it and can aggravate the condition. If you feel sharp pain, stop, or you may damage the muscle or nerve. It’s also a good practice to talk to your doctor about your condition before you start a tennis ball therapy program to find out if there are any restrictions related to your condition.

  5. Debbie says:

    I have had sciatica for over 27 years, its non stop pain, I have a sleeping disorder from it and I am constantly tired and in pain, my doctor prescribed me to sleeping tablets, (clozapine) they are addictive so now am trying to over come that as well, the pain is horrible, I walk for long distances everyday, nothing works, it really is debilitating and effects my whole life, I have tried acupuncture, herbal remedies, steroids injected in my back, ibuprofen, codeine…;everything, I’ve been reading all of this today as im having a very bad time at present with it 🙁

    • Jenny says:

      I can sympathize with you Debbie, as I’ve suffered from severe sciatica myself. I’ve also tried a lot of things including physio, chiropractor, stretches, steroid injections, pain killers. Unfortunately my situation deteriorated so much that I was unable to walk and I ended up having a surgery.

  6. Haider says:

    Dear Jenny Hills,

    I have disc herniated problem for last 1 year and I feel extreme pain. 3 of my discs have been slipped. Doctor has suggested to make surgery finally. My question is can I do sports after surgery like swimming, boxing or gymnastics? Can I run again? Kindly advise me. Thank You

    • Jenny Hills says:

      I had a severe herniated disc and had an urgent surgery on May 2015. I used to be very active and went to the gym quite frequently. I personally recovered quickly from the surgery. I returned gradually to exercising, starting slow while listening to my body. I am back to normal now but I still listen to my body carefully. If I feel that a certain exercise might cause me to feel uncomfortable regarding my back, I avoid it. I had changed some of my routines after the surgery, avoiding a few machines in the gym or reducing load while concentrating more on core exercises and paying attention more to my posture, but I can tell you that you can return to be active after surgery and do many of the things you’ve done before. It’s a good idea to consult with a physiotherapist as to what you are allowed to do and what to avoid a short time after the surgery and what is recommended specifically to your case.

  7. cedric says:

    left leg..right leg…both calves….numbness….left buttock….big toes pins and needles ….burning sensation top of foot…had nerve block for L4 and L5…seen bio..been to physio and chiro….. 16 years of this. question when does one decide that surgery is the next best/worst option. This pain is making me crazy.. by the way ortho says my condition is five years in advance for my age, currently I am 50..apparently my disc between L4 and L5 is herniated..i do the tennis ball routine on a regular basis..as soon as do something that my back does not agree with everything goes into spasm

  8. Jill Roberts says:

    Can foam rollers also be used for relaxing leg and back muscle?

  9. Madison Finch says:

    Thanks you, Jenny Hills. I Have done this before but need to job my memory. My right side gets pretty bad sometimes and this does relive it, although it hurts like hell doing it :).

    • Jenny Hills says:

      If it hurts like hell when you do it – I personally wouldn’t do it. I’m afraid you could do more harm than good.

  10. Mary Anne Sharp says:

    I have been dealing with this for 4 years. First the left foot and then after that got better (about a year) my right foot started up. I honestly believe that it is a direct result of my siatic nerve which I injured over 10 years ago on a treadmill. My fault. My question is my feet. They feel funny, not numb but kinda’ – it causes me to feel unsteady on my feet. I really have a hard time finding shoes that feel good and are supportive. Don’t even get me started on trying to find an understanding doctor…Are there any exercises that can help my feet? I take Ibuprofen, stretch, use the inversion board, sit on ice, etc. I try to walk and use to love it but it’s really strainge. Sometimes I actually have no problem other times I could be mistaken for a drunk trying to walk a line. It really messes with your mind and daily activities – not to mention happiness. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Jenny Hills says:

      I’m not a physiotherapist, so perhaps it’s a good idea to consult with a professional in this field.
      As a side note, I have several articles about exercises for sciatic pain which you can have a look at. I’m not sure if they are suitable for your specific case and if they can help. They include these stretches, yoga poses and foam roller exercises.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *