Due to increased time sitting, poor posture and a general lack of mobility, a majority of people have tight muscles and muscular imbalances. A Foam roller is a great tool for doing Myofascial Release (MFR), basically self-massage. A foam roller can be used on most body parts and they come in all different lengths and materials. In my practice I sell a smooth foam roller in 45cm or 90cm lengths. I have also recently got in a new type called a Rollga. This is a shaped foam roller to help get into different areas. It is more expensive than the other types but it works a treat. A good quality foam roller is a great investment to make in your health.
For exactly the same reasons as the Foam roller, having a massage ball of some description is great to add to your home rehab kit. A massage ball is great for self MFR. It works like a foam roller but can get into areas the roller can’t and because of the reduced surface area it can also get deeper into some spots. I stock a range of massage balls in my practice. The massage balls range from good quality tennis balls, to lacrosse balls, to spikey massage balls and SKLZ massage products.
A lot of the discomfort that people have is from muscle spasms or tension. Heat is one of the best ways of easing muscular tension, so having a good quality wheatbag is an essential item to have at home. For more information on how to use heat correctly you can read my blog post on heat therapy here.
A simple exercise band is a great inexpensive way to help activate muscles. If you have spent time loosening up muscles and easing discomfort using the tools above, you then need to activate the right muscles in the right way using resistance. An exercise band is a great tool for doing this. I personally like to use these bands to help activate postural muscles, especially after sitting for a while. They can also be used as resistance training as you would weights at the gym. Since they are extremely small and portable you can take them anywhere. I have written one blog post demonstrating some ways to use an exercise band to help counteract the effects of sitting. You can read it here.