Self-Massage

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Massage is something many people use for back pain. And you can do it yourself with a tennis ball.

To help you relax, you could take a hot bath or shower first, or do a few stretches. But that's up to you.

  1. Lie on your back.

    Keep your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

  2. Put the tennis ball against your back, right where it hurts.
  3. Take a deep breath.

    Then, take your pick:

    • Hold for a few seconds.
    • Hold for a few seconds, and then lift yourself and move the ball to another area.
    • "Roll" your back over the ball.

You can also do this standing up, which is handy when you're at work or any place where you can't lie down. Stand with your knees slightly bent and your back flat against the wall.

You can also do this massage with tennis balls in a sock. Stuff two tennis balls into a sock. Tie a knot in the sock to keep the tennis balls right next to each other. Put the stuffed sock behind your back so that one ball is on each side of your spine. Then press against the floor or wall.

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Credits

Current as of: October 6, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Joan Rigg PT, OCS - Physical Therapy




The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.