There are several options to consider when using tennis balls to self-treat your gluteal area. Knowing the muscle you want to focus on and why is the first necessity. Trying to position yourself, or the client, to access this muscle group is another matter.
The above photo is a depiction of the position that allows you to access the quadratus femoris.
- By resting on your hands as depicted, the tennis ball accommodates the area between your ischial tuberosity and your greater trochanter. This is essentially the quadratus femoris.
- Being on your elbows will allow the ball to accommodate the Gamellus and Obturator region and potentially the lower piriformis region
- Being completely supine will accommodate the gluteus medius and piriformis
Things to consider:
- note that if the tennis ball is too medial, it may compress the sciatic nerve (close to the ischial tuberosity) so be aware of this
- the amount of gravitational force when in this position and the small area of contact can create a lot of pressure. Hence ensure your patient knows to lower themselves onto the tennis ball slowly to avoid undue compression of those tissues
- the density of the ball used needs to be considered for those that are hypersensitive versus those that are not
Knowing what positions are available to access each muscle group is a valuable tool. But knowing why you want to do this is vitally important. Hence ensure the technique you administer is indicated.