With the busy holiday season just around the corner, the importance of self-care is at its annual peak. Whether you’re looking to pick up some self-care items for yourself to help survive the holiday push or as a great Christmas gift idea for someone close to you, here are my top three self-care tools as a Physiotherapist:
1. Foam Roller A foam roller is a fantastic tool for self-releasing those tight muscles, especially when stretching just won’t seem to do the trick or your favourite RMT is fully booked. Great for the upper back, quads, hamstrings, lats, and those persistently tight calves.
Pro tip: If it’s your first time using a foam roller, choose one with a smoother surface as it will be more comfortable and versatile than one with any aggressive spikes or grooves.
2. RAD Round Balls
Rad Balls live up to their name as an essential addition to anyone’s self-care toolbox. The RAD Round kit comes in a set of three, providing a variety of sizes to better work on those hard-to-reach joints and smaller muscles.
These firm but comfortable balls are great for the soles of the feet, hips, shoulders, and even the base of the skull (a major source of those annoying tension headaches!). These can provide some much-needed self-care to help manage stiffness and tightness that may build up between Physio or RMT appointments.
Pro Tip: When using the ball on the back of your shoulder (often done against a wall), try putting the ball in a pillowcase or a long sock. Hold one end with your hand, and then swing it over your shoulder to allow for more control and guidance of the ball so it doesn’t slip out of place.
Thrifty alternative: A great economic option in lieu of the Rad Balls is a simple lacrosse ball. However, not quite as diverse in terms of its use as it only comes in one size.
We sell both the RAD Round kits($20) and lacrosse balls($6) at the clinic!
3. Exercise ball
While they can take up some extra space, an exercise ball has many diverse and beneficial uses. Not only great as an essential workout tool, but it also substitutes as a great postural minded seating alternative, a pregnancy must-have, and kids love them!
Pro tip: An exercise ball can be a great tool to level up any core exercise routine. Ask your Physio and they can help design a program for you depending on your ability and goals.
We don’t carry exercise balls at the clinic but you can find them through many fitness equipment retailers.
If you are interested in more guidance with how to best make use of the above tools, our team is happy to help. Book an initial appointment online HERE.
Troy Clare, Registered Physiotherapist.