Lacrosse ball and stick

Tennis ball not doing it for sciatica pain relief? Try a lacrosse ball instead.

Painful sciatica can affect your strength to carry on with regular daily activities, it’s frustrating to deal with and tends to appear when it is least convenient, like when you are trying to play sports or carry groceries from the car. Sometimes is starts out as an inconvenience, but if it goes on untreated, or as you age, sciatica pain becomes more extreme and harder to overcome. The common culprits of the pain is when the sciatic nerve in the back is pinched by a herniated disc.


If you want to lessen your pain, it’s important that you exercise your piriformis muscle on a regular basis. To do this, many therapists recommend using a tennis ball, which works pretty well for the most part. However, if a tennis ball just isn’t getting the results you’re looking for, Jonathan, our ART Specialist, recommends using a Lacrosse ball. A Lacrosse ball is a bit smaller than a tennis ball and it’s much harder allowing it to really dig into the soft tissue.

Use the lacrosse ball just like the tennis ball. Find the trouble spot and lie against the ball on the floor. Roll your body back and forth and you’ll feel the pressure of it working. Honestly, it’s an awkward position, but that’s what it takes to really get to the correct spot. You’ll want to do this on a regular routine to keep that soft tissue flexible. Now if you can’t take the pressure of the lacrosse ball, you may want to go back to the tennis ball, it’s really your preference.


If you find that you aren’t getting the results you’re looking for from either of these methods, you should reach out to a massage therapist for guidance. You may need some professional treatment to start engaging the muscle tissue before the ball method will be effective and a good massage helps to compliment a consistent home regime. A massage therapist can also guide you with proper technique about how to roll on the ball correctly for best results.

Main image by: Henning Schlottmann (User:H-stt) – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,