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Self massage for IBD pain relief

Massage doesn't just feel good, studies have shown that it actually reduces inflammation and changes gene expression.[1]

Massage by professionals is wonderful and I recommend it as often as you can afford to go, but for many of us, that's nowhere near often enough. Self-massage is the bridge over that gap. I've found that self massage has made an enormous, life-improving difference in the amount of pain I experience with my IBD. How do I do self massage you ask?



What to do:

1. Grab a firm tennis ball and find a firm floor. Concrete, tile, hardwood floor, all those work but not carpet. I then like to put a yoga mat down for comfort.

2. Lay on your back and put the tennis ball under your butt cheek and let it sink in. Then start to roll your body around in a way that lets the tennis ball move around your butt cheek and hip area.

3. Relax the muscles that your tennis ball is rolling over so the tennis ball sinks deeper into your muscles. Find the super sensitive areas and focus the ball there, taking huge deep breaths and try to relax into the pain. And yes, you'll likely find some, "OH SHIT THAT HURTS" spots. Breathe into it.

4. Flip over to your stomach and put the ball just below your hip crease. Do the same as above rolling around, changing body positions so the ball works around your hip crease and hip area. Find the areas of pain, and breathe into it.

5. Do this at least once a day, take your time to find the deep areas of pain, and breathe.

Yes, it hurts, especially to start, but stick with it! The benefits are so very worth it.

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11-19-2010, 07:27 PM   #1
katiesue1506
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So wait. I can get a free tennis ball? I'm in.
11-19-2010, 10:58 PM   #2
Nica
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Hey I will take a tennis ball too!
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11-19-2010, 10:59 PM   #3
DustyKat
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Is it cheaper if you buy more than one program?

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11-20-2010, 01:17 AM   #4
GutlessWonder86
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I'm in too.
11-20-2010, 03:35 AM   #5
Jenny06xx
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I'm in too lol
At nearly 80 dollars I'll get 10 please lmfao
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Waiting for fist appointment at pain clinc I hope it helps !
11-20-2010, 04:18 AM   #6
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i can't find my hip crease
11-20-2010, 04:38 AM   #7
DustyKat
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Oh yeah, just one more question. Do the balls come in different colours?

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11-20-2010, 09:40 AM   #8
mikeyarmo
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Thanks for sharing David!

I used to do something similar for my back after exercising as I had read up on the benefits of doing so to aid in recovery and reduce pain. I actually really enjoyed it and do not remember why I stopped (probably just seemed weird to keep rolling around on the floor).

I think I will try it again over the areas you recommend to see how it feels.
11-21-2010, 04:27 PM   #9
David
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Yes! You can all have free tennis balls! Shipping and handling will only be $34.95.

Mike, I'm glad to hear something similar helped you in the past I hope this helps you as well!

I started doing this when I was undiagnosed because I wondered if I had some deep hip injuries that might simply be referring pain to my abdomen. I found lots of tenderness in my upper legs, butt, and hips, so kept doing the self massage. I started to feel a noticeable difference after only a few sessions. And after a week or so, my overall pain had gotten so much better that I figured it was just due an injury like I theorized and almost canceled my colonoscopy. I now theorize that the hip and leg pain is additional muscular tension caused by the IBD that creates more pain in my abdomen than would normally be associated with IBD. Release that tension that is simply a byproduct of the IBD, and the overall pain goes down.
11-21-2010, 07:49 PM   #10
roundtuit
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My butt is big enough that I think if I try this, it would be much like some of the rest of you rolling around on a peanut.
So do you have any industrial size in stock? and what would be the shipping and handling?
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11-21-2010, 07:52 PM   #11
David
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11-21-2010, 07:53 PM   #12
David
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But seriously, if you're interested in this, try a tennis ball first. If that doesn't work, maybe a softball?
11-21-2010, 08:27 PM   #13
roundtuit
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Hahahaha David! Good one!!!
We actually do a position much like yours in my yoga class. We use foam bolsters though. I am just feeling very playful this evening.
I LOVE yoga!!! Helps sooo much with handling stress better. I often find myself grinning stupidly on my way home from class. It helps alot with the joint pain too. Not a cure, but definately a difference.
Thanks for the giggle! Namaste
12-02-2010, 02:14 AM   #14
David
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Has anyone tried this consistently since I posted it? If so, what were your results?
12-03-2010, 09:25 PM   #15
roundtuit
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I am sorry but no.
#1 I have to get a tennis ball...
#2 I need to clean out a bedroom so I have a space to to yoga at home. We did the pose I mentioned before at yoga class ( with the rollers), but I have not been doing that one consistantly either. I do not have my own roller.
It is on my list though...
12-15-2010, 07:19 PM   #16
partlycloudy
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My understanding is those extra painful areas are trigger points. I've been doing this using a foam roller for a few weeks and loving the results (discovered it long before I read this post but instantly knew what you were going to say when I saw that tennis ball!). I like to do it at night right before bed. It's really improved my sleep since I'm not hurting all night. Improved sleep has given me more energy and a more positive outlook in life and less overall joint pain....which enables me to sleep better..and round and round it goes.

When you use the ball in your hip crease I suspect you're releasing tension and hitting trigger points in your psoas muscle.

Something else that has stretched and released my psoas and improved my overall pain level is doing Constructive Rest Position twice a day for 10-20 minutes. It's easy to find info on it with Google.

I think in my case CD has caused pain in my hip, especially my right side where my disease is. Sometimes I get all achey on that side and realize I'm also having a low-grade crampy/tension feeling in my bowel. I don't know if it's muscular tension or a nerve is being pressed or pulled, but I feel it down into my thigh even.

And I think I'm off to use my foam roller and settle into a hot tub bath.
12-15-2010, 08:55 PM   #17
David
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My understanding is those extra painful areas are trigger points. I've been doing this using a foam roller for a few weeks and loving the results (discovered it long before I read this post but instantly knew what you were going to say when I saw that tennis ball!). I like to do it at night right before bed. It's really improved my sleep since I'm not hurting all night. Improved sleep has given me more energy and a more positive outlook in life and less overall joint pain....which enables me to sleep better..and round and round it goes.
YES! I'm so glad to hear someone else has experienced positive benefits from this. I actually purchased a foam roller a couple weeks ago and have been using it in conjunction with the tennis ball. It's great for getting the bigger areas of my legs and the tennis ball is wonderful for more localized tension and tenderness.

I must admit, I'm a little sad that nobody else has tried this and followed through. I think many would experience great results. Maybe it's because of the stupid name I gave the thread, so I've changed that.

When you use the ball in your hip crease I suspect you're releasing tension and hitting trigger points in your psoas muscle.
Makes sense

Something else that has stretched and released my psoas and improved my overall pain level is doing Constructive Rest Position twice a day for 10-20 minutes. It's easy to find info on it with Google.
YES! I do that position too, I just know it as another name. But yes, the associated release feels wonderful

Thanks for sharing your experiences and wisdom!
12-15-2010, 09:52 PM   #18
glum chump
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Hey David:

Don't be sad! I tried it back when you'd first posted the information (I usually don't speak up on the boards unless I feel really confident that I know what the heck I'm talking about!). My partner has been using the tennis ball in other areas for Ankalosying Spondilitis based on a physio's advice, so I thought I'd give your specific instructions a try.

Results? First off, it hurt! I breathed through the pain, and did it for five minutes, then stopped for 10, and then did it for another five minutes. Everything *seemed* to be going fine, but my MS shifted, and for about the past month, the nerve pain along my thighs and hips have been too fierce to be able to continue. I did it for three days in a row before I had to quit.

Once I get this nerve pain settled, I hope to give it another try. And at some point, I would love if you shared your theories as to why/how this works.

Thanks!
12-16-2010, 09:30 PM   #19
partlycloudy
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David, I was wondering why you changed the name of the thread. I liked it but understand your reasoning.

I want to get a tennis ball to work with also but never remember when I'm in a store. I do have a foam ball thing that works (different than my foam roller) but doesn't roll like a tennis ball would.

Here's a video on YouTube that shows someone using a tennis ball in this manner. In fact, if you search YouTube for "tennis ball trigger point" you'll get all kinds of yummy ideas. Who knew!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWfnAUsYUTI

Last edited by partlycloudy; 12-16-2010 at 09:35 PM.
12-17-2010, 01:09 AM   #20
Entchen
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David, I think it's a fabulous idea. I play tennis (poorly) and have lots of balls in my front closet, so I'll give it a try the next time I have pain that radiates to my back. Right now (happy days), no pain near the back.
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