1. Foam Roller
A foam roller is a great option for releasing tension in many large muscle groups. There is science behind why it helps with pain and injury prevention. A basic explanation is that is helps relax the nerves that control your muscles. It helps decrease pain signals to the brain (which is why massage feels good typically). It can also help your brain get the right signals to your muscles to help them perform optimally. A foam roller is a standard piece of any home fitness setup for recovery and pain management.
2. A Ball Of Some Kind (Sports Or "Myofascial Release" Ball)
Much like the foam roller, a myofascial release ball can be a great addition to your kit. A ball is able to do pinpoint pressure and target smaller muscles. It's great for shoulders, neck and head tension and even for the hips and low back. I like to have several sizes for different parts of the body as well. As mentioned in the video, you can also exchange these with a sports ball such as a racquetball or tennis ball if that is readily available to you.
3. A Hand Held Roller Like The "Tiger Tail"
A tiger tail is the name of the brand that I use. However, it's basically a hand held foam roller. It's handy for getting to places that are difficult to reach with a ball or a foam roller. Sometimes I use this when a part of the body is really tender and I can't support my body weight well. It's important to be able to relax into a foam roller. So if you find you are tensing because of pain or it's just hard to relax, try the hand roller to give yourself more control of the pressure.
4. Exercise Bands or Tubing
Exercise bands are a standard in most physical therapy clinics. They're very convenient for home use. I have a set of exercise tubing for my workouts at home since I can hang them on a door. Limited space in New York makes them all that much more appealing. You have lots of options with these and each band has its own purpose. Getting multipurpose bands like these is a good starter if you're unsure. They can be tied to your door, made into loops, etc...
Keeping a simple set of tools around the house is essential to prevent pain and injuries from creeping in. This is especially true when we consider that we may be moving less in the day than usual with working at home. Our commutes are gone and our exercise habits may be different.
Keeping yourself healthy and doing what you can to prevent injury is a daily effort. If you find yourself struggling with pain that has set in, or an old injury that is acting up, you can still get expert advice from a Physical Therapist. Telehealth Physical Therapy is a great way to get expert pain and injury recovery advice in New York and Utah. We also offer free phone consultations. Click the link to schedule yours now.
David Miller PT, DPT
David is a Physical Therapist serving Manhattan and Brooklyn. He enjoys being active, outdoors, playing racquetball, frisbee and occasionally running with his wife, Ashley. He also loves watching his wife perform on Broadway stages. David and Ashley are proud parents of their daughter Lena born in the Fall of 2020.