Workout I Did: Injury Rehab and Massage Ball Therapy

massage-ball-rehab-585Injuries, ughh, I HATE THEM!

But, the little buggers happen now and again and you’ve just got to deal. (Or ignore them and risk really tearing something up!) And, that’s where I found myself early this month — injured — sacroiliac joint dysfunction to be specific; hurt like hell.

The SI (sacroiliac) joint is the spot in the low back where the spine meets the pelvis. Unlike other joints, this one has limited movement (we’re talking millimeters) and basically functions as a shock absorber. When you try to move it (as apparently I did), excruciating pain shoots across your low back and radiates down both legs. Like I said, hurt like hell.

After a week of R&R it started to feel better (but not great), but I was itching to do something. Unfortunately, my doc advised against any form of lower extremity exercise — even walking! Luckily, I had been given a couple of therapeutic massage balls and an instructional DVD that I had yet to try. Say hello to Stretch, Release & Restore Yoga.

Stretch, Release & Restore Yoga

Unlike traditional foam rollers, the massage ball was flexible and squished down under the weight of my body, which allowed those nubby little fingers to dig deep into my muscles and connective tissue. And the small size of the balls (2-inch and 3-inch diameter) made it easy to pinpoint specific areas, like my neck and directly under my shoulder blades.

The workout didn’t exactly get my heart rate a-thumping and was more self-massage than yoga, but it felt really good. After convalescing for a week, my body ached all over and my normally cheery disposition had turned dour. This gentle 40-minute workout was exactly what I needed to roll away tension, increase blood flow, alleviate soreness and most importantly, adjust my attitude.

I continued the restorative workout for another week before my doc released me back into the vertical world of exercise.

What’s your go-to plan when life throws you a curve?  I can’t stand being sedentary and always sneak in some form of workout! —Karen


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  1. Seriously? The timing on this is perfect. I injured my low back on Monday doing weighted hip-ups and could not figure out what it was. I was treating it like a pinched nerve and then like a strained muscle, but this is EXACTLY what it is. So glad to see there’s a light at the end of this stupid tunnel.

  2. This is beyond perfect right now. I am dealing with excruciating lower back and hip pain for weeks now. I am a nurse and after my shifts I am almost in tears I am in so much pain. I haven’t been able to do my regular exercises and my doctor has been blowing my pain off as “muscular pain.” Thank you for sharing your experience.