Struggling with shoulder pain? Relieving it might be easier than you think!


Shoulder pain isn’t fun. Treating it can also be a struggle and popping pills aren’t exactly a solution either. You’ll be happy to know there’s another way you can get relief from shoulder pain that doesn’t involve a trip to the pharmacy. Spikey ball techniques have become increasingly popular, especially amongst busy office workers for two main reasons: one, is real results, the other being the glorious satisfaction in giving yourself an eye-rolling massage. So what is the technique and how can you implement it into your daily routine? Here’s what you need to know.

Types of shoulder painful injuries to watch out for

The shoulder is one of the most complex joints in the body. That also means it’s prone to injury. Getting the right help depending on your specific condition is always important so be sure to consult a qualified shoulder physio in the event of new or persisting symptoms. Here are some common ailments to watch out for:

  • Rotator cuff injury. This bunch of tendons and muscles hold the upper arm bone in the shoulder socket. Strains, tears, or overuse of this bunch of muscles can cause pain and inflammation.
  • This aged-related condition is a result of wear and tear of the cartilage. The shoulder’s fluid mobility relies on healthy cartilage to soften joint movement. When the protective cartilage begins to wear away, the bones begin to rub against each other causing inflammation and debilitating pain.
  • Labrum tear. The cartilage surrounding the main socket stabilises and cushions the upper arm bone. This is what gives your shoulder excellent mobility. Labrum tears can cause swelling, inflammation, and reduced range of motion. It’s common to have trouble lifting your arm above your head
  • Work and stress-related pain. Stress causes muscles to tighten and can put pressure on joints, and increase inflammation, especially where underlying conditions are active.

What are spikey ball exercises and how can it help shoulder pain?

As the name suggests – it’s a spiky ball. You roll it over tense muscles to relieve tension, pain, and reduce inflammation. Spikey ball techniques aim to massage the muscles themselves and increase blood flow to tight or affected areas of the body. Using a spikey ball to relieve tension can also have beneficial side effects like improved range of motion, faster rehabilitation, and healthier joints. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, chances are there’s tightness from stress, overworking, or a recent injury. Using the spikey ball in the right ways can dramatically change how you treat symptoms of shoulder pain.

2 super-easy spikey ball exercises for shoulder pain

The great thing about using a spikey ball is that you can use it wherever you want. Sure, using it on the train ride home might raise some eyebrows, but it’s not impossible. So how is it done? You can apply the spikey ball wherever feels the stiffest. In the case of shoulder pain here are two step by step routines you can complete at home or in the office:

Exercise 1: Rear shoulder massage

  • Stand with your back next to a flat wall or surface.
  • Put the spikey ball behind your shoulder pinning it to the wall.
  • Support your arm with your opposite hand.
  • Move side to side giving the back of the shoulder and upper arm a massage.

Exercise 2: Shoulder blades and spine

  • Standing next to a flat wall, place the ball between your spine and shoulder blade.
  • Bending at the knees slightly, move your upper body up and down.
  • Feel the ball massage your muscles, adjust pressure as you feel comfortable
  • Repeat the exercise on the other shoulder, and try the same position, but side to side.

If you feel abnormal discomfort or worsening of symptoms, stop and consult a healthcare professional.

Alright. Where do I get a spikey ball?

Any well-meaning chemist should stock them, as will healthcare stores or online. Choose your colour and away you go. Don’t be too overwhelmed by the amount on offer, and size (no matter what they say) doesn’t matter too much either. You’ll find some are harder and spikier than others, so depending on how sensitive your skin is to massages, choose accordingly.

Manage ongoing and infrequent symptoms

Using the spikey ball is an excellent technique for managing ongoing chronic symptoms. Just having it ready in your draw for extra tight or stressful days at the office can be a game changer. If you find it helps ease tension throughout the day, incorporating the above exercises into your daily routine can go a long way in limiting pain and increasing wellbeing. Speak to your shoulder physio for more information on exercises and treatment options.