The perfect Christmas gift for those aches and pains

osteopathic-healthThe osteopathic approach is based upon a connection between the structure of the human body and the way it performs its functions. Osteopaths therefore primarily work with the muscles, joints, nerves and circulation within the body to support the body’s natural healing processes to alleviate pain and enhance recovery following injury.
Between osteopathic treatment sessions it is often recommended that patients engage in simple stretches or specific exercises to stretch and strengthen target areas to aid their recovery. One of my favourite and most popular, tools for at home self-management is a spikey ball. A spikey ball aims to alleviate pain and improve mobility through self-massage to reduce muscle tension and improve blood flow, movement and posture arising from muscular tightness.
Spikey balls work on myofascial trigger points or muscular ‘knots’. Compression upon these points usually creates tenderness and may produce a twitch response within the muscle or refer pain to another nearby area. Aches and pains in the body may either originate from a trigger point, presenting as referred pain, or they may arise through the body’s attempt to protect itself following an injury. Either way, a spikey ball can be beneficial in an acute injury, in the management of chronic pain or in injury prevention.
A spikey ball is simple to use in the privacy of your own home on multiple body areas from head to toe. Using your own body weight simply position the ball on a target area and search for a tender spot, then either apply direct pressure or roll on the point using the spikey ball against a wall or on the floor. Common areas benefiting from a spikey ball include the gluteal muscles, lower back muscles and shoulder muscles to encourage muscular balance to allow optimal function and relief from pain.
Spikey balls are available from Osteopathic Natural Health or alternatively, for a cheaper beginner option, try a tennis ball to apply pressure using the same principle.Two tennis balls in a sock make an excellent tool for working the muscles either side of the spine.
The staff at Osteopathic Natural Health wish you all a safe, stress free and very happy Christmas.
Olivia Covich, Osteopath.

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