How Tennis Balls can Help Lower Back Pain


Whether you’re trying to relieve occasional lower back pain or manage your pain until your next physical therapy session, tennis balls can be a great at-home massage and pain relief tool. They’re soft enough to be comfortable but firm enough to relax your muscles. They can relieve tension in muscles and joints, increase blood flow, and release endorphins which reduce your perception of overall pain. If you need more pressure, you can achieve the same results with a lacrosse ball instead. We recommend keeping two tennis balls on hand, either in your bag or at your work desk. If you work in an office, keep two there and two at home. Combine these techniques with simple, gentle stretches and light exercise to prevent recurring and excessive pain. Here are a few ways you can use tennis balls to take care of lower back pain and muscle tension.

DIY Supine Lower Back Massage

Put two tennis balls next to each other and duct tape them together until you have something resembling an oversized peanut. Put this DIY massager on the floor and lay down in the supine position (back down, head facing up) with one tennis ball on each side of your spine. Take a moment to find the best balance and comfort, and then hold your arms up with your fingers pointing towards the ceiling. Keep your arms as straight as possible and slowly begin lowering one arm back towards your head at a time. You can also bend your neck backwards at the same time, which might provide more relief. Hold this position for a few seconds, and then return your arm to its original position. For the best results, try to repeat this four times for both arms.

Relieve Lower Back Tension

Lay down on a hard surface and place a tennis ball under your thigh or lower back. Roll the ball around under you until you find a sore area or muscle group, and then focus on that area without using too much pressure. If you feel any sharp pain, stop right away and contact your doctor. You can also place a tennis ball between your back and the back of a chair to focus the pressure on one area.

Lower Back and Leg Therapy

Place a tennis ball on the floor, sit in a chair, and roll it from heel to toe, focusing the most pressure on the inner arch of your foot, to quickly and effectively stretch your hamstring and calf muscles throughout the day. Push down as hard as you can tolerate without causing any pain, and try to do this massage for two to four minutes at a time. 

Non-Surgical Physical Therapy at Bay Area Disc Centers

When it comes to chronic back pain, we believe patients like you should have access to the best treatment. Bay Area Disc Centers offers top-notch spinal decompression and physical therapy for sciatica, disc injuries, lower back pain, and more. We take pride in giving our patients the quality care they deserve, so call or visit our website to learn more about how we can help you!