Anyone use any of these items with success? Do you have any good resources online or perhaps books?
I have used a lacrosse ball and a foam roller. Its not rocket science … Just mash it on your sore muscles until they feel better.
Yes. I’ve been foam rolling more, and using a massage ball. Also, there are some good self-massage videos for pecs for example. I don’t know if you have pain, a specific area of tightness, or injury. Some of the foam rollers with the knobs can work well (looks like heavy tread on a tire.)
Youtube. Look for Myofacial Release or massage ball. You’ll see lots of how to videos. I like Kai Wheeler. Also, for lifters, Alan Thrall has some good videos on how to warm up, what to do about back issues where he demonstrates foam rolling.
The lacrosse ball is pretty aggressive. I have a larger, softer ball at home. You can experiment with different sizes and levels of firmness. The stick with the hard beads on it is really aggressive, and harder to use on yourself, in my experience.
I have lacrosse balls and a theracane. I find the theracane works well for just about everything except my hips because the muscles are thicker and usually require you to apply more pressure, I only really use lacrosse balls for my hips. The theracane works better if you use it to look for trigger points (sore/painful spots basically) and just apply constant pressure, you can do it laying on the floor or sitting in a chair and wedge the theracane between yourself and the floor or chair. It’s kind of awkward to use to actually massage yourself, that’s what I have found to work best.
Search for trigger point charts or trigger point pain referral charts, there are lots on the internet.
My opinions and experience with lacrosse ball and massage roller stick
Lacrosse ball in my opinion is a must have for every lifters out there for injury prevention. With proper knowledge regarding trigger points, it could help you get out of a lot of trouble. Just do a little research and do it the right way and your body will tell you that it is really really useful. I cannot stress enough that this item is a must have for every lifter.
As for the massage roller stick, i use it mainly because I am too lazy to get down to the floor to get proper massage for my lower body area - Quadriceps and hamstring and calves. I would say it is not NEEDED but would be a good equipment to have if you have the excess capacity to get one. A lacrosse ball with good knowledge on how to use one would suffice.
Considerations on getting massage roller stick, make sure the roller have relatively aggressive and solid triggers so that you can hit the trigger points easier with less strength used.
A great book for to use as a resource for your questions is Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance by: Kelly Starrett