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FACT: All mothers exercise.

If you’re still reading, let me explain. Obviously, not every mom of younger kids out there has a gym membership or enjoys running on a daily basis. But if you’re a mom, I bet you do a whole lot of lifting, pulling, pushing, and even the occasional dragging if your kid throws a temper tantrum at the grocery store, zoo, park, or whatever. We sweat… we pant… and we exercise!

Unlike at a gym where you can take your time, focus, and watch your form on any of the hundreds of mirrors, motherly exercise most often doesn’t allow for the best form when you have a child on your hip and notice big brother trying to feed Legos to the dog. You twist and lift while off-balance and over time, this causes painful muscles and the ever painful knot that develops behind your shoulders.

A few visits to a chiropractor or if you’re lucky, a massage therapist is a pretty common fix to get rid of these aches and pains. There’s a reason why so many moms absolutely LOVE receiving gift certificates to a spa or a massage session, especially around Christmas time. It would be amazing to get a massage on a weekly basis but unless you’re rich or married to a massage therapist, this is pretty much out of the question. Another option is a good heating pad for back pain. I’m not talking about the $15 Kmart heating pad your grandma uses, but rather a high quality infrared heating pad which is the only kind that will heat deep into your muscle tissue. Unfortunately, these seem to start at about $150.

What if I told you that there was a way you could spend a few minutes a day to give your shoulders or back a self massage and all it would cost you is about a dollar?

Enter the world of trigger point self massage. A friend of mine introduced me to this the last time I had a huge knot right behind my shoulder blades for almost a week. She recommended using a tennis ball to literally “roll out” the knot. Alternatively, one of those golf ball sized rubber bouncy balls you can get in those gumball machines at some stores works even better. You basically put your back against a wall with the ball between your skin and the wall. Move around until the ball is making contact with the painful, knotty area. Apply some pressure and move your body so the ball is almost flattening the knot on your back. It’s slightly painful but one of those “Oh So Good” type of pains. You can also lay on your back on the floor using the same process.

It’s a bit awkward at first but you’ll quickly get the hang of it. Now, whenever I get a knot, I simply get out the rubber ball, and spend a couple minutes 2-3 times a day working on the knot. It really is amazing how effective it is.

Another option other than a ball that works a similar way is what’s called a Thera Cane. It’s essentially a curved plastic can with various stubs and balls on it which you can use to apply pressure to knots or trigger points. It’s good for those hard to reach areas and you can do while sitting at your desk. I prefer the ball method but others swear by their Thera Cane.

I’d love to hear from my readers if these