Lacrosse ball massage is a popular deep-tissue massage technique. Athletes, desk jockeys, and muscle enthusiasts are picking up a lacrosse ball as one of their go-to muscle release tools. You might ask how something so small can have such an impact. Read on to learn how lacrosse ball massage could be the missing link between you and a pain-free lifestyle.
Lacrosse ball massage is beneficial in parts of the body that can be reached easily, such as the upper back, legs, hips, and feet. The ability to target specific areas with controlled pressure is effective in muscle relief. Because of its accessibility, a lacrosse ball massage is a great tool in these areas.
Lacrosse Ball Massage on:
Try out a lacrosse ball massage for potential fast-acting relief if you have a recurring knot in your upper back. You can perform this while lying on the floor or standing against a wall, whichever works best for you.
Against the wall:
- Locate a large enough wall space and stand up against the wall
- Place the lacrosse ball between your upper spine and shoulder blade (where you feel the most tension)
- Lean into the lacrosse ball using light-moderate pressure
- Begin a slow and controlled rolling motion over the targeted area, moving back and forth as well as up and down
- When you find the pesky muscle knot, continue to hold the position or if you feel comfortable continue moving until you feel relief
For lacrosse ball massage on the hips/glutes, you can pick between two approaches, against the wall or on the floor.
The approach you use depends on your flexibility and the severity of muscle tension. While the floor method can be beneficial, it can be harder and even sometimes painful for the gluteus medius and maxius muscles. For beginners, I recommend the wall method.
Against the wall :
- Begin by standing up straight with your back to the wall
- Find the hip bone that sticks out in front of the pants pocket (the anterior superior iliac spine ASIS, is the name given to this area)
- The gluteus medius trigger point is located around two inches behind this bony area
- Massage the lacrosse ball from side to side or up and down
- While performing the massage, bend the knee on the side being massaged and place your weight on the opposing leg for more pressure
Our feet are our bodies' unsung heroes. They transport us around all day, so they deserve some attention as well.
- Take a seat and place the lacrosse ball under your foot
- Proceed to roll the lacrosse ball on the bottom of your foot, hitting every nook and cranny
- Pay specific attention to any uncomfortable regions or sore areas (be sure to give these areas extra attention)
- Repeat the process with the opposite foot
When it comes to lacrosse ball massage, the lower back might be a bit challenging. Because of the curve of the lower back and the angles involved, a round lacrosse ball is more difficult to provide effective relief. The lacrosse ball may not reach deep enough into the muscles, and its design may not be accurate for this area.
However, if you want to give it a shot, here's a basic strategy.
- Lie on your back, legs bent, and feet flat on the floor.
- Place the lacrosse ball in the tight or sore area of your lower back
- Roll your body over the ball gently, making slight motions to target different areas
- Be careful to not put too much pressure on your lower back
Lacrosse Ball Massage Alternative:
Finding a reliable therapy tool for muscle release for your lower back can be difficult. Using a tool designed specifically for releasing trigger points in muscles will be more functional and of value than a ball. A lacrosse ball massage is more beneficial than a foam roller because of the depth the lacrosse ball massage reaches in the muscle. The lacrosse ball, however, will not reach trigger points as well as other therapy tools.
A more effective tool for trigger point release and my personal favorite is the QL Claw. The QL Claw is a sturdy trigger point release tool equipped with a hook designed specifically for digging deep into trigger points with maximum efficiency. A lacrosse ball on the other hand is round making it difficult to reach the trigger point while being unstable on a flat surface.
There's a reason physical therapists and chiropractors use their knuckles and elbows when tending to trigger points. They are pinpointing the muscle knot and break up the nagging tissue in the most constructive and efficient way possible.
Depending on where your tight muscle tissue resides, a lacrosse ball massage can be an accessible last resort to give temporary relief.
Lacrosse Ball Massage vs. QL Claw:
What makes the QL Claw great is its simplicity and versatility. The QL Claw was ergonomically designed to mimic a therapist's elbow, digging into muscles. Unlike a lacrosse ball, the QL Claw was built primarily for the Quadratus Lumborum (QL) muscle, with an emphasis on other muscles such as; the Psoas, Iliacus, Piriformis, Gluteus Maximus, TFL (IT Band), and even pectorals and Rhomboid muscle pain. Basically, anywhere with muscle tightness, the QL Claw is of use.
Unlike lacrosse ball massage, the QL Claw allows your body to stay in a resting position while releasing muscles. This innovative therapy technology will have you releasing trigger points with no effort at all.
Save yourself time and money on multiple trips to the chiropractor and get your QL Claw today!
 Donnelly, Joseph M. Travell, Simons & Simons Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: the Trigger Point Manual. 3rd ed., Wolters Kluwer Health, 2019.
 Davies, Clair, and Amber Davies. The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief. 3rd ed., New Harbinger Publications, Inc., 2013.