Whats in your Osteopathy Toolbox?
For a healthy body it is a great idea to get together an Osteopathy Tool Box which is easy to use, simple and effective. To maintain optimal flexibility and suppleness requires a little effort but is well worth the benefits of reduced pain and increased ease of motion. Here are the 6 tools I consider to be the most efficient and useful in helping you achieve these qualities:
1. Foam roller
Everyone should have a foam roller. You can consider this tool to be indispensable. This is literally your own personal massage therapist and for an asking price of $20 to $30 you will reap the benefits immediately. Leave it in an easy to access spot so that you use it. 2 to 3 minutes of rolling out your thoracic spine at the end of the day will leave you feeling lighter and refreshed.
2. Massage ball and Peanuts
This is the little brother or sister to the foam roller and allows you to massage the areas that the foam roller has difficulty reaching. My favourite areas include the periscapular muscles between the shoulder blade and the spine, and of course the deep external rotator muscles of the hip like the piriformis. For the back muscles use up against a wall and for the hip simply lie on the ball on the ground. Remember to breathe!!
The great thing about peanuts is that they are able to massage either side of the spine at the same time which can give great relief and they are quick and easy to use.
3. Wheat bag
Heat is an amazing relief when you are in pain. It competes with the sensory pain signals to the brain and thus can dampen the pain intensity. It also works to increase blood supply and nutrition to the tissues whilst flushing waste products out of the tissues.
If you don’t have a wheat bag (or a microwave) alternatives are a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel, continuous low-level heat wraps and patches, and simply a hot shower.
4. Golf ball
This one is for your feet. Simply roll the ball under your foot whilst standing and mobilise the soft surfaces of your underfoot. We expect so much from our feet and rarely show them attention until they are painful. This technique is good prevention for plantar fasciitis.
5. Rolling pin
The old fashioned wooden rolling pins are great tools for rolling the calf muscles and reducing built up tension.
6. An inflatable exercise ball
Great for core exercises and flexibility. My favourite way to use an exercise ball is to lie backwards over the ball and hook my hands under the couch. This is a great position to open up the front of the body and stretch the chest and abdominal regions.
There are also a myriad of specialist devices available on line. These include the Armaid – a great device for releasing the muscles in the forearm; and the Pso-Rite – perhaps the best tool for releasing the hard to reach psoas muscle.
The best approach is to take an interest in your body and find what tools work best for you. If you don’t have these items at home we stock many of them at the clinic, you can drop in and pick up what you need or remember to inquire at your next appointment.
If you feel that Osteopathy may help you, call Optimum Wellbeing on 07 5530 7921 to find out more.
For more information read here Come and see us at Optimum Wellbeing, Worongary, Gold Coast, Osteopathy, Naturopathy and Massage