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How to Use a Spiky Massage Ball on Foot

Sick and tired of the all too familiar feeling of sore and tired feet? I was too until I discovered the power of spiky massage balls. Not only have they transformed my achy feet, but here I share the medical conditions massage balls can help treat and how to use them.

Woman massaging foot using a spiny plastic red massage ball.

We’ve all been there, the feeling of being dead tired on our feet. After a long day, I oftentimes feel like I could have a lot more energy to help with homework, clean up the kitchen or just, you know, actually get to enjoy my evenings. But I just get this sort of pain in my feet. It’s not a sharp pain so much as a dull ache, that makes my whole body feel tired. So unless my evening plans are centered around collapsing on the couch, putting my feet up and binge-watching TV, that’s pretty much it for me.

And the worst part about the whole thing was sometimes I would wake up on the weekends with that tired feeling already there in my feet, even though it was first thing in the morning. I wanted more energy to actually get to enjoy my life. Also, I started to wonder if there are underlying medical causes behind that tired feeling you can get in your feet that you feel throughout your whole body. And why are there some times when you feel real pain in your feet?

Are those symptoms of something worse? And most importantly, how could I get rid of that achy tired feeling so I could get on with my life. Fortunately, I find out about spiky massage balls, which have solved my own brand of foot problems. I thought I’d share my research with you so you can figure out if spiky massage balls will work for what is ailing your feet.

Benefits of Using a Spiky Massage Ball on Your Foot

Woman's feet on spiky massage balls.

Looking like a cross between a child’s toy and a medieval torture device, the spiky massage ball hardly appears as the miraculous pain reliever that it is. And while it’s easy to dismiss the plastic implement or fear the idea of putting it anywhere near feet in distress, here are several benefits that the spiky massage ball can bring to your feet.

Trigger Points

The spiky massage ball was specifically designed to work on trigger points. The foot is rich with trigger points that extend to areas throughout the body. This is why achy tired feet so often translates to that achy tired feeling throughout the body. By activating and massaging those trigger points, the massage ball can spread relief throughout the whole body.

Prevent Injury

Using the spiky massage ball on your feet not only releases tension but also increases flexibility and mobility. This has the added (big) advantage of preventing injuries. Whether you are an avid runner, practice yoga or just enjoy walking, people are always at risk for turning their ankle the wrong way or experiencing too much stress on their feet. By using the ball, you’ll be exercising the foot and ankle joints, strengthening them to meet life’s challenges.

Improves Circulation

Are you one of those people whose hands and feet are always cold? Bet you’ve been told that it’s due to poor circulation. Well, spiky massage balls can even help with that. Rolling your feet around the massage ball for 10 or more minutes will increase circulation to the lower half of your body and extremities. And poor circulation isn’t just a personal attribute, the truth is it affects anybody who spends lots of time sitting at a desk or in any sort sedentary position, and that’s just about all of us.

Can Lower Blood Pressure

The increase in circulation to the lower half of the body is just one potential contributing factor to lower blood pressure. Using the spike massage ball on your feet for several minutes can also decrease anxiety and stress while improving mood. All of this can lower blood pressure.

Headache Treatment

One of the most exciting treatments for effective headache relief is foot reflexology. With no negative side effects in comparison to drugs, foot reflexology has been shown to provide pain relief for a wide variety of headaches, even including migraines. Spiky massage balls allow people to practice foot reflexology easily at home, allowing them to gain the relief it offers when they need it most.

Depression and Anxiety

Have you ever felt the stress relief of having someone give you a foot massage? Well, using a spiky massage ball on your feet can feel just like that, and that stress relief can help reduce anxiety and depression.

A Better Night’s Sleep

All of these things, lower blood pressure, reduced anxiety, improved circulation, combined with a great massage add up to give you a better night’s sleep.

When Are Spiky Massage Balls Useful: What Conditions Can They Treat and Relieve

In addition to helping holistically throughout the body, and relieving headaches, there are several other specific medical conditions which spiky massage balls can treat and relieve:

Pain from Plantar Fasciitis

Foot pain from plantar fasciitis.

It turns out that plantar fasciitis was the cause of my more extreme foot pain. This condition can cause serious heel pain because the connective tissue that connects the heel to the arch has begun to deteriorate. This band, the plantar fascia, runs across the foot, and the trouble it was giving me was causing stabbing pain in my heel on some morning as well as after long days. Using the ball has strengthened my foot to give me relief, and the massaging helps with the pain a lot as well.

Pain from ‘Flat Feet’

 An advanced flat foot medical condition.

Other people have pain in their feet from ‘dropped arches’ which are caused by ligament laxity. The balls’ ability to strengthen and massage feet is also invaluable for helping with this condition.

Effects of Edema for Pregnant Women

Pregnant woman with swelling feet.

This is one I wish I’d known about before I had kids. Using the spiky massage ball when you’re pregnant can actually help with foot and ankle swelling caused by liquid retention.

How Do Spiky Massage Balls Work

You may be wondering how do such small things provide such a big impact? Well, the spiky massage ball works on the myofascial system of the foot. These are the muscles, as well as what is called fascia, which is the connective tissue that joins the muscles. The balls are able to strengthen and massage the foot muscles and the fascia. It also increases blood flow to the feet and the exercises increase body awareness, which helps to reduce injuries.

Why Are Spiky Massage Balls Better Than Other Types?

Colorful spiky massage balls.

There are several reasons why spiky massage balls are the preferable choice for other options. The obvious one is the spikes. This means that when you are using the spiky massage ball you are not just dependent on pressure for treating your feet. The spikes are able to get in there deep and deliver lighter but more targeted pressure to specific spots. This is particularly important to feet, as this allows you to practice an intuitive form of foot reflexology on yourself.

Spiky massage balls also have the added advantage to other products of being available in multiple sizes and more importantly for feet, levels of hardness. While you could use a tennis ball or a lacrosse ball to roll out your feet, those are only available in very soft and yielding or very hard and firm. The spiky massage ball allows you to choose the firmness that is best for your feet. You can also transition from less firm to more firm over time.

This is also an advantage that the balls have over rollers, especially the old school wood rollers, which have no give to them at all. Finally, spiky massage balls are just the right size for your feet, but can also be used to massage all over your body, including legs, arms, and glutes.

A Guide for Using the Spiky Massage Ball on Your Feet

Woman's foot on a spiky black massage ball.

After all this, you’re probably wondering how you can get all of these benefits from using the spiky massage ball. Here’s a rundown about how to use these wonder balls.

  1. Start by balancing your weight onto one foot, and then placing the toe mound of your other foot on the ball lightly.
  2. Gradually let your foot relax into the ball so that you start to feel the pressure of your body weight connecting your foot to the ball.
  3. Without adding too much pressure, begin rolling the ball all around the foot. Increase and decrease the pressure to your liking.

I find that I really like rolling the ball back and forth from the front of my foot to the back, I think this really helps me relieve tension on my plantar fascia. Another thing I’ve found is really important with the spiky massage ball is to listen to your intuition. If you go slowly and listen to what your feet are telling you, it’s a lot easier to get the spikes right into those little spots where they need to go to give you a truly deep foot massage.

Another great exercise to try with the spiky massage ball that doesn’t require any balancing is to sit in a chair and roll your feet over the ball. This won’t be quite as deep as the above exercise, as, without as much of your body weight, the pressure won’t be as strong.

And if you want a really deep massage, consider standing up and holding onto a wall and placing the foot on the ball until you find the right spot and then lifting your standing leg, so your entire body weight is on the ball. There’s a spot right between my toe mound and arch where I love to get in deep with this move. I have a couple of different sized balls, and I like the larger one for that exercise as it helps with balance.

One of the most important things about using the spiky massage ball is paying attention. Practicing breathing exercises while applying pressure and removing pressure can be a great way to really connect with your feet. Remember, part of what you are doing with these exercises is increasing body awareness which can help reduce injury and keep your feet, such an important part of your body, healthy. It’s a good idea to take a moment between feet to notice the differences that have come from massaging one foot before transitioning on to your other foot.

Are there any conditions that require avoiding the spiky massage ball?

Yes! If you’ve had a recent injury or trauma you should skip using the spiky massage ball in that area, particularly if you have broken skin, bruising or joint inflammation. Wait until you’re fully healed to start using the massage ball again. Additionally if using the spiky massage ball and pain occurs you should stop using it and consult your healthcare provider. And remember, whenever in doubt, ask your healthcare provider.

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