Stretching for Low Back Pain – Quad/Hip Flexor Muscles

So I’ve been really delinquent about keeping my blog updated over the last couple of months so I thought I should post something to get some new information on our site. What you’ll notice is that I’m expanding what I want to share with everybody beyond tennis ball massage. Don’t worry, I still have some tennis ball massage “tricks” to share but those will come later.

Stretching is as important as any other exercise, e.g., jogging, weight lifting, playing sports like hockey or ultimate, but it is often undervalued. The problem is that most people don’t consider stretching exercise and therefore, I think you’ll agree, it often gets neglected. It’s something that many of us really don’t take the time to do often enough and I attribute that mostly to the simple fact that it’s boring and it sometimes hurts.

Something that I’ve been experiementing with is stretching hip flexor muscles to combat low back tension. What I’m really referring to is stretching the quadriceps muscle group and involving a bit of hip extension to include the iliopsoas muscle and tensor fascia latae. I know, too technical but if you just think hip flexor muscles you’ll be in a good head space.

I like to call my stretches “lazy” because I hate to work hard while I stretch, so I often look for easier ways to accomplish the same benefits of stretching with minimal work. Besides, I’m not much different than most people and I too neglect stretching enough at times.

Check out my latest quad/hip flexor stretch video. Quad/Hip Flexor Lazy Stretching

The benefits are amazing! If you detect tight hip flexor muscles and low back pain then try what I’ve suggested. It helps me tremendously and it could be the key to a healthier back.

TBM for Rotator Cuff Dysfunction

No text required here. Check it out!

TBM for Rotator Cuff Dysfunction

Video Blog – Treating Shin Pain

How many people run for fun but eventually pack it in because their shins hurt? Sounds familiar especially to anyone that takes up running as exercise to stay fit, lose weight or for other more competitive pursuits like running marathons.

Often it’s easy to assume that everybody should know the ins and outs of how to deal with muscle aches and pains but unfortunately it’s not the case. I’m definitely a guy who likes to dabble with lots of things: motorcycles, computer stuff, and building projects. Those are things you can learn to do quite easily but just don’t ask me about doing income taxes or doing a brake job on my car. I simply leave those jobs to the expert accountants and mechanics that have all the tools to get it right the first time. I suppose that many other people out their may consider taking care of their muscle aches and pains in a similar light… let a Massage Therapist handle it because that’s what they do daily and they do it really well.

So what happens when the pain is too much? Or you just can squeeze in an appointment? Search the web, bookmark my site and then visit my video blogs on YouTube. It’s a self help project in itself and it’s amazing how easy it is. Check out my latest at:

It’s that easy!

Video Blog – treating upper back tension

Here’s my second video blog about how to treat upper back tension and trigger points. I was thinking that a visual might help here as many of my clients ask me how to do tennis ball massage. So here’s my strategy for upper back pain. Watch and then give it a try. Don’t forget the self care that should follow all tennis ball massage treatments – use deep moist heat. See our self care tab on the site for more details. Check out my second video blog at:

Video Blog – Ball Selection

As promised, I’ve figured out how to upload my 1st every video on tennis ball massage! For now, all my video blogs will be posted on youtube due to upload limits on my site.

This is pretty exciting especially for a newbee video guy like myself. I have to admit it was very weird sitting in front of my macbook and talking to an inanimate object – a computer screen and camera, and all the time trying to engage my video audience. Consider it an experiment and a work in progress. Here’s the link:

Strides for Stroke and Hillsview Massage

Well I’m back blogging from a short hiatus as I attempted to use iMovie  software to record my video blog. I can say that my…or should I say, my wife’s Macbook Pro, is quite the machine and has all the software gadgets that our PC doesn’t have. To make a long story short, I’ve recorded two video blogs: one about ball selection and a second blog on the “how to’s” of tennis ball massage. So I went to upload them to our site and all I can say is there’s a small glitch…a 7M upload maximum on my files. So that means I need to figure out how to get my video on our site. I’d prefer to have it all in one place but I think my other option would be to upload it to youtube and then you can check out my acting skills there…which are really bad by the way. Anyhow, I’ll work on that.

On another note, I want to share with all our friends out there that Hillsview Massage will be supporting Strides for Stroke 5k Run/Walk again this year. We are community partners with York Central Hospital in Richmond Hill and support their fundraiser by offering complementary 10 minute sport massages to run/walk participants. Yes, I did say complimentary, whcih is in fact a synonym for FREE! All you have to do is register and participate and our team of great RMT’s will be waiting for you at the finish line. Massage therapy is a great way to help recover from sporting events especially from running.

I almost forgot to mention that we’ll also be giving out more FREE tennis balls at the event too! So if you haven’t had a chance to get one from the clinic here’s your chance. We’ll be at Richmond Green on Saturday May 1 between 9:30 am and 11:30 am. Come visit us and you can gladly pick our brains for some self help approaches to treating your muscle aches and pain. Check out the run/walk event at:

Free Tennis Balls at Hillsview!

Ok, well I’m back and there’s only one day left, that’s right, one day remaining for free McD’s coffee. I have to admit that I’ve taken full advantage of the promo and can now say that I have another viable coffee option when I’m on the road or just in need of a caffeine fix. I do however have to admit a slight need for consistency in their brew and did find a variation of tastes from one day to the next. However, I’m not so certain that there is a vendor out there that maintains consistency the way “the corporations” expect it to be. Anyway, I think I’ll hit the local golden arches for my last cup of free brew tomorrow. If I was a twitterer I’d let you know when I’m there. Is that even a word? Somehow I’m scared to say that I  think it might be!

So now that free coffee has come to an end I thought that I’d share another freebee with everyone out there.  Starting March 13th at Hillsview Massage and Therapy Centre or HMTC as I like to call us, we are giving out free tennis balls! Ok, it’s not quite as good as coffee, it doesn’t come with a caffeine kick – or should I say enough cream and sugar to turn your java into a sweet tooth desert but they are FREE! I really don’t know how long I’m going to be able to keep this free kick up – I’m afraid I could run out of free items to promote or give out – without giving the shirt off my back to someone. Anyway, we are recycling good used tennis balls, not the cheap three for a buck kind that break after lying on it for 30 minutes.  I mean the hardcore kind: Dunlop,  Wilson, and Penn that people serve at 100 km an hour developing a trademark grunt because they hit so hard. So if they can stand up to that kind of beating then they should do us just fine.

Drop by the clinic, book a massage, or just come by and pick up your free tennis ball. Oh, and keep on the lookout for a “how to” video coming soon.

Free McD’s Coffee & Relief for Back Pain

I previously mentioned that people love getting something for free – and I do too, so if you don’t believe me then you haven’t seen McDonald’s ads for free coffee from March 1st to the 14th. Personally, I think it’s as good as Tim’s if not better and I think that I’m converted to golden arches coffee. Take advantage of it because it’s unlimited and it’s free all day and every day for two weeks. And yes, I’m lovin’ it! So cliche, but I just had to.

Time to get to what you came here for – self help tennis ball massage. Now lets assume that your pain is typically between your shoulder blades – which is extremely common for anyone that works at a desk in front of a computer or for those who just have poor posture. I would just suggest using your hand to do the job but the real problem is that most of us don’t have the flexibility to reach the sore spot and that’s why a tennis ball is so great to have handy.

  1. Find a comfy carpeted floor in your house and bring along a couple of pillows – one for your head and one for under your knees.
  2. Begin by lying down and place the pillows in a comfortable position under both your head and knees.
  3. Start with the spot on your back that is tight, sore, or is causing you pain.
  4. While lying down, slide the tennis ball under your back and lie directly on it. The sore spot should now be on top of the tennis ball.
  5. Relax by closing your eyes and breathing deeply or  diaphragmaitcally (see our self care tab).
  6. Apply some form of deep moist heat (see our self care tab) to the area you self treated with the tennis ball.

The soreness or pain should decrease over time and the longer you lie on the ball the less the soreness or pain should be. This is confirmation that what you are doing is working.

For multiple sore points, roll the ball to another location and repeat. Take intermittent breaks if the pain it too great or if the intensity is too much. If the ball is too hard, try a different kind of ball. One ball that I’ve used in the past is called The Miracle Ball and it is good if a tennis ball is too specific or too hard.  Personally, I prefer a harder ball and if you do too try raiding your kids toy box and find a hard bouncy ball, you know the kind that are half red and half blue with a white stripe running through the middle, and use that instead.

This whole process may take some finagling but the more you do it the easier it becomes. Experiment with other areas of your body that are sore too. And hey, if it doesn’t work go for a free coffee at McD’s…at least until March 14th.

Tennis Ball Massage

When you ask people what they want in life they always answer with, “Health, prosperity, and lots of money!” But what they never really say is that they want something for free. It is at the heart of every person and whether spoken or not, free is considered the ultimate deal – something that we all crave. When you get something for free it just makes you feel good to know that it didn’t cost you a dime. Maybe it’s the cause and effect of living in a society that has fantastic health care, education, and social services but at tax payers expense. Have you ever thought? The cheaper the better and if it’s free, better yet! Well so have I. And now you have it, free self-care information that can help you and anyone that you know, for that matter, get on track to better health. Did I mention that it’s free? Yes, I thought so.

I’d like to introduce you to Tennis Ball Massage. Tennis ball massage is a great self-care tool that can help you deal with muscular tension and stress when you can’t get a massage. Whether it be early in the morning, at work, or in the middle of the night, pain knows no time limits and will strike when you least expect it. That’s why you have to be prepared with natural massage approaches to deal with it, eliminate pain, or at least get you by until your next massage. All you need is a tennis ball, a carpeted floor to lie down on and a bit of creativity to get started.