Massage balls are great for getting into areas of your body that a foam roller just can't reach - these mini marvels are worth their weight in gold when it comes to working on weary muscles.
Massage balls help to get rid of muscle knots and tension through gentle massage using your body weight. They are available in different weights and hardness - some have a smooth surface and some are covered in flexible spikes.
We also feature a range of vibrating massage balls, hot and cold pain relief balls and muscle roller sticks which are great tools for targeting sore trigger point areas in your legs and other parts of the body.
Massage balls are fantastic little devices for trigger point therapy in those parts of the body which are no-go areas for bulky foam rollers.
They are available in various levels of softness, hardness and weight, so there's something to suit the needs of every fitness enthusiast. They are also come in many different colours including red, blue, yellow, black, white, pink, green and purple.
Massage balls are also referred to by various other names including physical therapy balls, lacrosse balls, sensory balls, mobility balls and myofascial release balls. They often come in packs of three which usually cost around £10 to £15.
The spiky type of massage ball is fantastic at stimulating muscles, reducing joint stiffness and increasing blood circulation. A variation on the standard massage ball is the peanut ball which has the appearance of two massage ball, joined side by side.
In the past people would often use a tennis ball, a golf ball or even a hard cricket ball to massage muscles that a traditional foam roller found inaccessible. Now, there's a proper tool for the job in the shape of the massage ball.
Battery-powered vibrating massage balls are a very popular choice these days and some have a built-in thermal heat treatment feature and many level of high intensity vibration. They are naturally more expensive than normal massage balls, costing around £20 to £45.
Massage balls are renowned for achieving great results when it comes to easing pain in the foot, rotator cuff buttock, neck and also pain from repetitive stress injuries in the hands. They really come into their own when attempting massage hard-to-reach areas.
They are also wonderful at getting deep into areas that a foam roller is too large and cumbersome to reach - for example, many people have used them to work on the their piriformis muscle when suffering from sciatic pain.
When you first buy a set of massage therapy balls you should wash them in warm soapy water and towel dry them.
We also bring you a selection of muscle roller sticks - also referred to as trigger point massage sticks - which are held at each end and have static or rolling massage area in the centre. As with foam rollers, these little devices are great for self myofascial release (SMR).
Using a muscle roller is simple - it's just a case of applying the desired amount of pressure and rolling the stick up and down the muscle region you want to massage.
They are a popular choice of tool for runners who use them to massage their legs and calves after a tiring run. They are also used regularly by men and women in gyms after energetic work out.
Massage sticks are also great for increasing mobility and flexibility, as well as improving blood and lymphatic circulation.
Hot and cold massage balls are an innovative idea which is proving a popular alternative to traditional massage balls. They are widely-used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts for tackling knotted muscles, inflammation and pain in various areas of the body.
These balls - which can either have a smooth or spiky surface - have stabilising liquid gel inside which can be heated in hot water or cooled in a fridge or freezer, depending on the relief you intend using them for.
A hot massage with one of these balls is believed to boost blood circulation to assist healing, while chilling one down enables it to be used to reduce pain and inflammation, making it potentially beneficial for rehab and recovering from muscle injury.
These balls - which usually come in a set of two and the manufacturers claim they are useful for easing cramps, muscle tension, sciatica, back pain, myofascial release, physiotherapy, acupuncture therapy, Fibromyalgia, Piriformis Syndrome and spasm.
Among the areas of the body which hot and cold massage balls are used are the neck, arms, chest, hamstrings, thighs, feet, calves, glutes, shoulders and hands.
The manual hot and cold roller ball is a similar product which is used by many people for pain relief and massage therapy. It consists of a stainless steel ball, about the size of a tennis ball, which is built into a plastic housing. The housing is held in the hand and the ball inside will move and revolve across the various parts of the body.