Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dealing with muscle pain

In 2009, I was an eager yet naive freshie who didn't know the actual ins and outs of scrimmage; during one of my assessments, I was destroyed by a veteran skater because I thought the jam was over and stood taller than I should have.  Maddat U, an amazing skater, dug her shoulder into my sternum and flipped me like a proverbial pancake.  The way I landed I torqued the crap out of my back and pulled several muscles, which actually made my daily life miserable for several weeks.  I ended up in physical therapy when I couldn't bend over to put my underwear on.  (It became a two person job most mornings.)

After six weeks of physical therapy (which is painful as hell) I was "better" but my back still gets muscle spasms, especially if I do a lot of speed skating or jamming.  It's so hard unknot my back at times...I've had teammates dig their elbows into my lower back to get rid of the knots, and that works for a while, but sometimes I need more than an occasional elbow, don't we all?

Last year I got to experience the new and sweeping fitness craze of Crossfit, and my back was really acting up at the end of some of the sessions. Chennelle and Kim, two amazing ladies and coaches saw my struggle and told me how a Lacrosse ball could help me get rid of my knots without the help of an elbow.

I think I heard an angelic choir when I first used the ball to unknot my back!  It was perfect for my particular problem, because I was able to lie down on my back, place the ball under me, and roll around on it.  Yes, it looks stupid, but I'm a derby girl, so I'm used to looking foolish at times.  And who cares?  It felt so amazing!  I have a ball with me at all times when I travel, at my house, and in the car.  Lacrosse balls are so cheap; they usually cost under three dollars, and you can get them in a bunch of different colors. 
All the balls.

You can use the Lacrosse ball to unknot and massage a lot of your muscles, including upper and lower back, around your knees, your shoulders, and around your IT bands which get really tight from skating. I've even put the ball under my sock feet when I'm at my desk and massaged the bottom of my feet; it's one of the best massages I can get without inflicting my hooves on someone else!  So, if you're experiencing muscles aches and tightness, this might be a cheap and easy way to get some of the knots worked out!

If you're looking for a way to step up your fitness level as an athlete, I highly recommend you get in touch with your local Crossfit.  I am not affiliated with Crossfit in any way, other than I really respect their program and the benefits you can reap from them.


  1. Brilliant! I've been dealing with hamstring/IT band issues, and I have a lacrosse ball in the closet from high school. I know what I'm trying later!

  2. Is it anything like using a foam roller? I would imagine it's the same principle, self massage. Foam rollers are taking the Charlotte Roller Girls by storm. You're not cool if you don't have one. My derby wife and I have one nicknamed, "The LovePole."

  3. thanks for the info. I seem to always have some ailment so this will definitely be of use to me!
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