T Nation


Ok, forgive the acronyms but I couldn’t resist.

I have been receiving Active Release Technique (ART) treatment for a troublesome AC joint problem. It is responding well. However, on Sunday after some medium-effort flat DB pressing (first real chest exercise done in many weeks) my shoulder flared up badly. Several hours after the gym and I was in real discomfort, and very peeved thinking perhaps I should seriously consider a very long sabbatical from the iron.

I dreaded going to bed because I knew from experience it would be sore to sleep on and probably worse when I woke. In a desperate bid to address this, I grabbed a tennis ball I use alongside the foam roller for soft tissue work. The ART therapist previously went to town under my armpit and highlighted the muscle there as the main offender. So on Sunday night I placed the tennis ball on the floor and lay on my side with the ball on the same sensitive armpit area. I rolled it out and it was pretty painful. I then switched onto my back, to my middle trap on another pressure point manipulated by the ART therapist and replicated the arm movement across my chest that she puts me through. Again, much pain. I finally lay face down and did a little rolling on the outer pec.

The amazing thing was immediately after doing this the pain in the AC joint area had subsided dramatically, while my range of motion increased. I went to bed optomistic and woke up smiling because the area was pain-free.

I’ve done the same tonight then some gentle stretching, and aim to do this on a regular basis. I’m not advocating self-administered treatment but I cannot stress how dramatic this has been. I have used the foam roller for months but never experienced injury relief like this. I bought the tennis ball for glute and calf work but never considered using it as described. The use of the tennis ball on these areas is worth experimenting with. Wonder if anyone else has found this?

I would hardly be able to move now if it wasnt for “self administered treatment”