The Basics on Using Massage Tools

Thomas_DuBois_CMTRecently we profiled three different massage tools found in our clinic and gym: the foam roller, the lacrosse ball, and the stick. In each we discussed what muscle groups they work best on, and a few techniques to prevent causing pain by using the tool incorrectly.  If you haven’t taken a look at the articles, we encourage you to check them out now.

We asked our certified massage therapist, Thomas DuBois, a couple of frequently asked questions about massage tools in general, to add to the resources available.

Which tool allows you to stretch with the heaviest pressure?

Using these tools is not stretching. It is myofascial release to break up adhesions and scar tissue. The foam roller and lacrosse ball probably allow the deepest pressure because you can put the weight of your body on top of them.

Which tool allows you to stretch with the lightest pressure?

The stick will probably allow the lightest pressure and will get as deep as the roller or lacrosse ball because force is generated by your arms as opposed to putting your body weight onto the object.

What are good sources to learn proper stretching techniques?

Our trainers and the rest of us are great resources for someone looking to learn how to properly use the foam roller, lacrosse ball or stick. I am a great source for learning proper stretching techniques. I specialize in a technique called Active Isolated Stretching which is the most effective form of stretching that I know of. Depending on the area of the body, I will work with people for 30, 60 or 90 minutes to find out which muscles are the tightest and develop a “specific to them” home stretching routine.

The 4-1-1 for Using a Lacrosse Ball to Work on Sore Muscles

What does a lacrosse ball, plus sore muscles add up to?  Pain free muscles.  Even if you, nor your kids have picked up lacrosse, a lacrosse ball is a helpful and inexpensive tool to work sore muscles.  We have the 4-1-1 on using a lacrosse ball with the assistance of Thomas DuBois, Certified Massage Therapist at Kambeitz Chiropractic.

Lacrosse Ball


A lacrosse ball is not a substitute for stretching but works in addition to stretching for loosening tight muscles.


The lacrosse ball works best on smaller muscle groups and those that are hard for the foam roller access. Examples being the muscles between your shoulder blades, the gluteal muscles on the posterior and side of the pelvis, pectoral muscles and even the hip flexor region. The lacrosse ball also works well in the area just above the pelvis in the lower back. It can really get into the attachments there in a way that the foam roller will not.


Increase pressure gradually. Work into the tissue instead of forcing the ball to the deeper surfaces. Forcing deep pressure to begin with can have the opposite effect and cause the muscles to want to tighten up against you. When you find the tender areas, hold pressure as I you would with a foam roller.


The next time you’re visiting the clinic be sure to ask one of our personal trainers or massage therapists, if a lacrosse ball is a good solution to decrease your muscle pains before and after workouts.