For this self-massage technique we will focus on releasing the tight fascia and muscles of the low back.
You will need a tennis ball for this technique. As with beginning any exercise program, it is recommended to contact your physician, physical or occupational therapist to find out what is best for you.
1. Lie on your back on the floor. Bend your knees and place your feet flat. Lift the hips from the floor and place the tennis ball to the left of your spine and above the pelvis as shown in the starting position photo.
VERY IMPORTANT! Never press the ball directly on the bones of the spine or pelvis. Make sure the ball stays in contact with the low back muscles.
2. From here you can lower the body weight on to the ball within your comfort level. Use your feet and upper body to lift or lower yourself slightly to apply as much pressure as feels comfortable. If the tissue is tight it may be tender. Tenderness to the area is OK, and you can continue to massage the soft tissue. If you are experiencing increasing or severe pain with the pressure, you will want to avoid massaging that area.
3. You can let the ball stay in a particular spot or start to move the hips gently back and forth (or up and down) to massage along the soft tissue, as shown in the bottom photo. You can massage each side of the low back for 10-15 minutes at a time. Avoid going longer as this may cause increased soreness, especially if you are not used to it.
Questions about this stretch? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also am a massage therapist and take appointments daily!