Spondylolisthesis Recovery Tip: Foam Roll With A Lacrosse Ball

In past articles we have mentioned foam rolling and massage numerous times along with the many benefits they can provide for your spondylolisthesis or spondylolysis.

Personally I lOVE using massage (foam rolling or self myofascial release) to help with overactive muscles, beat up tissue and restricted areas. I highly recommend you give it a try if you haven’t all ready.

If you have not, make sure to check out these two previous posts for more information ….

Foam Rolling Education (Video Post)

Why Massage Can Help Your Spondylolisthesis

In these articles we discussed affordable, light and easy to use foam rollers.

For those of you who are new to this concept, foam rollers are cylinder objects that can be purchased that are made of various density levels of condensed foam. This foam is used to provide “a poor man’s massage” to various areas of muscle tissue. Foam rollers are very affordable and can provide some great results.

Elite Foam Rollers

One downfall of these foam rollers is when you have issues with hard to reach places.

For example, recently I have had a knot or “hot spot” in some tissue located near my lattisimus dorsi or lats.  After reviewing some of my previous activities I am guessing that the increased amount of golf I have been playing has lead to this restriction and discomfort.

Over time it has gotten much worse and affected my movement. And I am worried if I do not correct it soon it may end up affecting my spondy.

This area is very sensitive and small. It is also right along my rib cage and nearly impossible to work with my foam roller.

My solution?

A lacrosse ball.

lacrosse ball

Photo from DicksSportingGoods.com

They are extremely affordable and a perfect density for this situation. You can find them at most sporting good stores and they are less than $5 a ball.

What works great about the ball is how you can place it against the wall and maneuver around to find the location that is causing problems.  The balls shape allows you to place pressure against the wall and roll around the spot to find the location or the “hot spot”. Once you find it, continue to place pressure on it for a few minutes, slowly moving a few inches up and down and side to side with an emphasis on staying on the spot.

Below is an example of how to use the lacrosse ball to roll out hard to reach places.

Lax Ball Lat Roll

Warning: make sure not to roll directly on your spine or other bones. 

This in combination with a few movement exercises immediately after massaging has my lats and “hot spot” feeling much better.

Hands on massage is the ideal way to go, but for those of you who are on a budget, can’t find a great masseuse or just want to improve you issues on your own, try using a lacrosse ball.

You will be happy you did!

I would love to hear what areas on your body give you the most issues in relation to your spondy?

Chime in below to let me know.

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Leave A Reply (4 comments so far)

  1. Nancy
    4 years ago

    Yes, this is a great idea. I use a spiky ball in the same manner. It works great. I can get deep into the tissue, and bury the ball really deep. It actually takes my pain away for a while. I have noticed a bit of black and blue when I get over zealous, but it works.

    • Spondy
      4 years ago

      Hi Nancy,

      Thanks for chiming in. I too have used the spikey balls. They were invented exactly for this situation and work fantastic. Thanks for bringing this point and tip for others up!

  2. Mercedes Bautista
    3 years ago

    Can you show step by step picture on how to do the golf ball on the lats? I am quite challenged to imagine how this things work. thanks

    • SpondyInfo
      3 years ago

      Hi Mercedes. I think you are referring to the lacrosse ball on the lat rolling exercise. In the picture above in the post you can see the ball is placed on the lat muscles in my back….not on my spine. I simply apply pressure by pushing my back against the wall and trapping the ball between the wall and my lat muscle. From there I simply move around and massage my lat muscle and the knots and “hot spots”in the tissue. There is no exact movement, I usually do whatever feels good for that specific day. So my body is moving up and down and sometimes slightly left and right. I hope that helps and thanks for the question.

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