As most of you know, I have a specialty in acupuncture orthopedics. This means I treat a ton of back pain, neck pain, and joint issues. While acupuncture is amazing at reducing inflammation and assisting the body to heal, there’s a lot that can be at home for patients to treat aches and pains on their own.
Muscle tension plays a huge role in both joint pain and tendinitis. That’s because tight muscles create tension at their tendinous junctions where they attach to the bone.
If you want to relieve tendonitis in your elbow, try massaging the muscles in your forearm to take the load of the joint. Have knee pain? Use a foam roller on your thigh and calf to decompress the knee joint.
Following are four of my favorite tools for use at home:
1. Trigger Point GRID Foam Roller: This has been a staple in my house for years.
I use it on my calves/thighs to treat knee pain, on my hip for sciatica, and even on my forearms.
Best Use: All-around; Calf, thigh, shoulder, hip, low back
Pro Tip: Buy the 13” size as it’s small, hollow, and light enough pack in your suitcase.
2. Rubz ball: This is a great way to relieve foot tension any time of day.
I consider at adjunct treatment for plantar fasciitis- primary treatment require deep massage in the calf and foot.
Best Use: Foot pain in the heel or arch
Pro Tip: Roll out both feet before bed to calm the nervous system and help with sleep (think Reflexology massage).
3. IDSON Muscle Roller Stick: This is a great tool for rolling out your IT band, calves and any other body part you’re flexible enough to treat!
Best Use: Shin splints, calf cramps, and Iliotibial band tightness (especially where there is lateral knee pain).
Pro Tip: Roll out your IT Band immediately after exercise prevent tightening of the fascia.
4. Franklin Sport Official 12” Softball: Probably one of the most effective ways to reach the big muscles (gluteus maximus and piriformis) in the hip. The sciatic nerve travels through the piriformis muscle which sits underneath the glute max.
Best Use: Sciatica
Pro Tip: Lying on your side on the carpet in front of you t.v. (for distraction!), gently lower yourself onto your glute muscles and try and relax onto the softball. This will increase the resting length of your muscles and relieve pain.