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Seattle Chiropractor

Trigger Point Release with a Lacrosse Ball

Fascia, a thin sheath of connective tissue that covers all the muscles and organs of the body, connects muscle groups. Tight fascia can pull the body out of alignment and increase pressure on muscles and joints, causing pain. The goal of trigger point release is to stretch and loosen the fascia so the underlying tissue can move freely. Trigger point release using a lacrosse ball only takes a few minutes and can be done anywhere to:

  • increase range of motion
  • enhance muscle performance
  • decrease fatigue after exercise
  • decrease soreness
  • relieve pain


Tight or irritated glute muscles cause pain and discomfort in the low back and hip region.

  1. Stand with your back against a wall with the lacrosse ball between the wall and the meaty area of your glutes.
  2. Move up and down and side to side until you find a tender spot.
  3. Relax your weight into the wall, allowing the ball to apply pressure on this area.
  4. Hold this for 30 seconds, or until you feel the pain subside.
  5. Repeat on other side.

Hamstrings (including sciatica pain)

Tight hamstrings caused by long periods spent sitting can cause hip, knee, or back pain, and can impair movement.

  1. Sit on a hard chair or table that’s high enough off the ground to let your legs hang. Place the lacrosse ball under your thigh, moving it around until you find a tender spot.
  2. Lean forward and rest your arm and your body weight on your thigh.
  3. Slowly extend and bend your knee for 30 seconds.
  4. Move the ball as needed and repeat.

Upper back and shoulders

The trapezius, a large muscle that connects your upper back, neck, and shoulders, gets tight and painful with overuse or stress and can cause neck and shoulder pain.

  1. Stand with your back against a wall with a lacrosse ball between the wall and your upper back. Position the ball on one side of your spine.
  2. Move around in all directions until you find a tender spot.
  3. Relax your weight into the wall and cross your hands over your chest.
  4. Continue to move up and down slowly, massaging any knots or tender areas you may encounter.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

Chest and shoulders

Tight chest muscles lead to poor posture and cause neck and back pain.

  1. Stand to face the edge of a wall or doorway.
  2. Place a lacrosse ball on your chest muscle close to your armpit.
  3. Lean forward past the edge of the wall and slowly roll the ball on the chest and shoulder area.
  4. Once you find a tender spot, relax into that position. You can slide your arm up and down the wall for added benefit. Continue to move around slowly in small circles to gently massage the area.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

Feet (plantar fascia)

Plantar fasciitis causes pain in the bottom of the foot. Use a lacrosse ball to break up adhesions and reduce pain.

  1. Sit with your feet on the floor.
    2. Place the lacrosse ball under the arch of your foot.
    3. Lean forward, putting weight on your affected side. Slowly roll the ball back and forth along the arch of your foot.
    4. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds.
    5. Repeat on other side if necessary.
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