Self-massage: For Tired Legs and Back Pains
This technique is very effective to relieve you of your back-pains and leg pains.
Have you experienced walking and all of a sudden you have to drag your legs because they can’t seem to make a step farther? Or are you one of those people who get tired easily while standing even in a short period of time or after walking a short distance?
My questions above are all based on the things I experienced, first, 15 years ago; the second time was 6 years now, all when I went to work as caregiver in Israel.
(If you want to read immediately the techniques, just scroll down to “Desperation Found me the Answer to my pains”)
Since my new found work was about 20-25 minutes’ walk from my apartment, I decided to save my traveling allowance by walking in the morning and in the afternoon.
And since I always start 20 minutes before my time-in, I had to walk in a steady pace or faster that would bring me into my work on time because walking slower would mean a mess and a contemptuous look from my employer.
The first two weeks was a real experience I couldn’t forget. My legs got heavy in the middle of the walk and became heavy I had to sit down on the benches along the road to refresh the muscles. In fact I was literally dragging them. Physically I was not tired because back home in the Philippines I have been going on a jog once a week and doing push-ups, pull-ups, and other stationary workouts. So, I was confident the 20 minutes was as easy like frying eggs. I was so wrong because I had no idea that walking steadily in a fast pace is a real different kind of workout, a thing I never tried before. No wonder many health professionals and doctors are recommending walking as one of the best calorie burner.
The daily walk caused my legs to get tired easily – even when I standing alone talking to a friend or waiting for a bus to ride on was becoming a task, so I had to massage them every night until they feel better and I could again walk faster without even resting to refresh; however, it comes back again and felt the same after a few days.
The other remedy was for me to start earlier so I didn’t have to walk like being involved in a walk-race; however, being tired from work always had an effect in my body that it demanded to get more sleep and waking up in the morning was another kind of struggle. Well, my work was simply pushing the old man I was charged to care for in a wheelchair two hours in the morning and another two hours in the afternoon going around the streets of Jerusalem.
After a year, I changed employer, and found one in Har Nof, Jerusalem. Again to save my taxi allowances, for two years, I walked every Friday night from my work to my apartment and Saturday morning from my apartment to my work for 45 minutes to 1 hour each time.
After that I found another employer(my last one) who loves to walk daily as part of his therapy and hobby.
He was generous that he did not let me work on Saturdays which gave me time to go jog in the park and had more exercises despite hour daily walk during the week. That probably added more pressure to my leg muscles and it included my back.
I was not sick but I felt weakish. I knew I needed some real body/massage treatment however there were no one capable of doing it. I was the only masseur in town whom my friends and friends of my friends would call to give them massage to ease their tired bodies.
So, I continued to self-massage my legs muscles and for my back I had to find some self-remedies around the house that I could use to press my back muscles on.
Desperation found me the answer to my pains
One day, I was arranging the books in my boss library and had to stand most of the times to reach the upper layers of book shelves to put the books in made my legs to long for a good rest and especially kneading. I sat down to knead the back muscles but was not enough, it needed a deeper pressure. In addition, my back also kicked in complaining of fatigue, so, I looked around for a corner to press the back muscles on. The room had only books and their racks, the corners of the posts foundation of the apartment, and a two-steps stool ladder which I used to put books on the higher racks.
I liked the posts’ corners, but one thing caught my eyes – the stool ladder. It was made of round steel pipes and aluminum as its steps. The main pipe at the front extended over around the top supported by another shorter pipe under to keep it standing.
Out of desperation, I put the back of my lower leg over the rounded steel-pipe and slide it pressing the muscles to give some weight. I was surprised because the feeling was very relieving and for the first time in many years felt that “Pleasure pain.” After my legs, I also did the large muscles of my back.
For 15 minutes I treated my both legs and back with very satisfying effect.
After those 15 minutes, I felt like I could go walk for miles and more miles if needed on that day. I repeated the treatment two more times for two days and repeated only after probably many months after as I have said, six years ago was the last time.
Below, shows how to do the technique. But since I don’t have a step-ladder I used my barbell bar as my demonstration tool.
Figure 1 shows how to apply massage in the front muscle of your legs
Find the best position for you in front of the stool or any chair or, in this case, I am using my barbell, to do the self-massage.
To massage the tibialis anterior muscle including all muscles underneath it, position the bar on the beginning of the muscle closest to your knee-joint, as shown in figure 1, then slide it towards the front ankle joint, then back. Do this 2-3 times or according to your need.
Figure 2 = To massage the back of your lower legs
Again, find the best position for you in front of the stool or any chair or, in this case, I am using my barbell, to do the self-massage.
= Rest your gastrocnemius muscles, closest to the back of the knee, over the round bar, press, and then pulls your leg slowly, controlling the pressure according to your tolerance, until it almost reaches the achilles. Next, push your leg back slowly, controlling the pressure according to your tolerance, until it reaches the place you started. Do it 2X more or as long as you feel it’s needed.
Tip: This is best done with a pajama or any long pants on to make the gliding moves easier.
Figure 3 = Massaging your back
To massage your back
Again, find the most comfortable height for you to maneuver this technique. Warning: Be sure you have no spinal surgery and other bone troubles when doing this technique. You should be fit to do back bending to be able to do it. Else, find other ways you can be comfortable to not strain yourself to help your aching back. E.g. putting a bar on the floor where you can lay down and rest the muscles of your back then use your feet to push your body up. Or use a rolling bar….etc.
For a lighter pressure, start from the lowest lumbar muscle and slide the muscles as you sit down. Do it three to five times or as long as your muscle demands.
For a heavier or heavy pressure lie down on the bar putting your weight on then slide your back using your feet to move up and down. Always adjust to the pressure you can tolerate and feels comfortable to you. Tip: This is best done next to a wall or where you can use your leg to control your movements.