Why Use a Spiky Ball?

Have you ever tried to give yourself a foot massage when your feet are unbearably achy?  If so, you’ll know that it’s difficult because the angle that your feet and hands meet is quite limiting and often the strength of our fingers is minimal.  So, what do you do?  Many people have found success by using a spiky ball to massage their achy feet.  This blog post will tell you what you need to know about spiky balls, why you need to start using them and how to use them.

What is a spiky ball?

Spiky balls are beneficial tools most often used by physical therapists and now more frequently by athletes, to perform self-therapy on varying muscles of the body and to shorten recovery time.  Often spiky balls will be used on the feet to help treat tight arches, achy heels and plantar fasciitis.  Spiky balls are balls that come in varying sizes from lacrosse size to golf ball size, covered in small rounded spikes.  The firmness of the balls also varies depending upon the location of where the ball is to be used.

Why use a spiky ball? 

Using a spiky ball to address your aches and pains is very convenient, can be used just about any where and they are great at getting to those tough to reach muscles!  The spikes on the ball trigger pressure points on the feet that send a message to the pain receptors in the brain, thus resulting in temporary relief.  Massaging your feet with the spiky ball encourages blood flow to the area, which in turn breaks down painful adhesions (tears) in the plantar fasciitis and helps to speed up the healing process.  They are also great at reducing muscle tension in your calves, reducing edema in pregnant women and providing some relief to those with flat feet.

How to use a spiky ball?

When addressing plantar fasciitis, stand or sit with the ball under your arch. Roll the ball from your heel up to your toes with medium pressure. Repeat this motion back and forth several times.  This is a great technique for runners to use as well!  When the pad of your feet or your heel are particularly sore, use firm pressure and make small side to side motions with the ball.

Remember, self-massage with a spiky ball isn’t a permanent pain relief solution but rather an effective temporary solution. Use it as part of a healing regimen in combination with icing, stretching and orthotic inserts (if needed) for long-term results.  If you are still experiencing foot pain when practicing these methods at home, schedule an appointment with your podiatrist today!

While we don’t carry spiky balls in office, you can purchase them locally at Fleet Feet Santa Rosa or on Amazon!

Important Note: If you start to experience pain that does not subside or increases following use of the Spiky Ball please do not continue with these exercises until you have spoken with your podiatrist.