Posted on: 26 May 2015
If you experience discomfort in your lower back, then deep tissue massage can be useful in relieving the pain. You can assemble a simple wooden back massager from wood and an ordinary racquetball; it will provide a controlled, self-guided massage that is safe and easy to use. Below is what you need to know about making and using your own homemade ball massager:
Materials needed for the ball massager
- 3/4-inch birch plywood sheet – half sheet (24x48 inches)
- 1x2 hardwood board - 5-foot length
- Woodworking clamps
- Wood glue
- Sandpaper sheets in 200 and 100 grit sizes
- Tack cloth
- Circular saw
- Measuring tape
Assembling the ball massager
1. Prepare the base – with a square and pencil, lay out a rectangle measuring 24 inches long by 4.5 inches wide on a piece of ¾-inch birch plywood. Cut the rectangular-shaped piece using a circular saw; this will form the base for your massager.
2. Prepare the side and top rails – measure and mark a hardwood 1x2 board at 24 inches, 48 inches, 49.5 inches and 51 inches along its long side. Cut the boards at the marked lengths to form the side and end rails.
3. Sand the side and top rails – with a 24-inch side rail you just cut, use 100 grit sandpaper to sand both long edges on one side of the board only. Sand until the edge is rounded and smooth; continue sanding with the 200 grit sandpaper to provide a smoother finish. Repeat this procedure with the other 24-inch side rail and the 1.5 inch end rails.
4. Attach the side rails and top rails to the base – place the side rails on each long side of the plywood base you cut in step 1. Be sure to place the un-sanded sides of the side rails on the base so the rounded edges are facing up. Next, check the fit of the end rails to be sure they fit between the side rails at each end of the plywood base. Again, make sure the un-sanded sides of the end rails are facing down with rounded edges toward you.
Once you verify that everything is aligned properly, apply a thin layer of wood glue to the bottoms of the rails and place them back on the base. Use wood clamps to hold each piece firmly in place on the base, and allow the glue to dry overnight before proceeding.
5. Sand and stain the assembled frame – once the glue is completely dry, use the 100 grit and 200 grit, in that order, to sand the frame so that no sharp edges or splinters remain. Wipe away sanding dust with a tack cloth, and apply a coat of polyurethane wood stain in your choice of colors. Allow the stain to dry the length of time specified by the manufacturer before attempting to use the finished ball massager.
Using the ball massager
1. Keep safety first – even though the ball massager is designed to be safe and non-intrusive, it is vital that you adhere to your doctor's instructions regarding exercise, especially if you are recovering from back surgery or have any existing spinal or back injuries. Immediately stop using the ball massager if it causes pain or numbness.
2. Place the ball massager on a firm, yet not too-hard flooring surface - for example, avoid using the massager on concrete or tile floors; wooden floors and short carpeting are acceptable surface materials. Do not use the massager on a mattress or sofa.
3. Place a racquetball into the groove between the side rails of the massager.
4. Position your body – sit on your buttocks in front of the massager at one end with your knees folded upward. Keep your feet flat on the floor in front of you, and slowly lower yourself backwards onto the massager frame. Center your back's problem area over the ball so you are lying on top of the frame and ball.
5. Roll slowly back and forth – move your body using your knees and elbows for support; use a slow backward and forward motion so the ball presses into your problem area. Continue rolling for a few minutes, or discontinue movement if it becomes uncomfortable or painful. Repeat this process several times a day, including after waking and before going to bed.
For more information on ways to treat lower back pain, check out companies like Southwest Florida Neurosurgical Associates.Share