This post is about The Stinger massage ball, a cryotherapy/massage tool from Recoup Fitness. It was sent to me free for the purpose of review but opinions posted are always my own.
Last week I started feeling a little achy and stiff throughout my lower body, with the added bonus of pain in my right knee. I got a massage with myofascial release/stretching to help it and WOWZA… the therapist found a ton of knots in my legs. I always have a ton of knots in my upper back/shoulders/neck and I feel pretty resigned to the fact that I may never get those released. I carry too much stress and it may take some kind of miracle for that to change.
But my legs! The level of pain I felt from that massage was intense! I spent the whole time of questioning, “Is this right? I should tell him to back off.” and then thinking, “Wow… felt that knot dissolve. That’s nice…” But the pressure applied around my sore knee was the worst. I think he may have been a little too eager with it because my knee swelled up some and the pain was increased, just a different type of pain from the pain I started with.
I was really glad The Stinger from Recoup Fitness had arrived at my house the previous week. It ended up being a huge help in relieving some of the pain.
Let me explain a little about The Stinger… it’s basically a two-part system (well, 3 pieces to be technical). The metal ball that is filled with a cooling gel and the base that allows you to hold it to roll it along your muscles. You place the ball in the freezer and two hours later it’s nice and cold… then it stays chilled for a looooooong time. Their website says up to 6 hours, I didn’t time it but I did take it out of the freezer to use it, left it on the counter, picked it up 3 hours later, and it still felt just as cold.
It can provide two different types of therapy at the same time… massaging out the knots (myofascial release) and icing (cryotherapy). You can get just the cooling effect by gently rolling it over your muscles or joints without digging into the tissue or you can use more pressure to release trigger points that have developed from strength training, running, or even sitting too much. Basically, life knots us up.
Have you ever heard the old school trick of putting water in a paper cup, freezing it and then pulling back the paper to ice your joints? You can use The Stinger to do that same thing except it’s a vast improvement because a) you’re not going to end up covered in melted ice and b) it stays cold a lot longer.
So that’s how I’ve been using this a lot lately. Sitting down for a little while to roll it around my knees to let the cold soak in and reduce the inflammation. Combined with a lot of taping, my knee felt strong enough to go hit the roads for a run today.
I do not like rolling it against my skin without something between the two. I wear pants (scroll down to see my super awesome Fabletics capris!) when rolling it on my legs, or I rub it on my upper back with my shirt between them. And it does get a little bit of condensation on the ball during the first hour it’s out of the freezer. That’s something weird for me to see here in Vegas… did you know that our glasses don’t sweat most of the time? Coasters are not really needed here, it’s so dry. But we’ve had a lot of rain lately, so maybe the added humidity in the air contributes to that effect on the ball. I’ll have to see if it continues this during the dry summer months.
You can use the cold ball on its own without the holder too. This is especially helpful for those with plantar fasciitis issues. Rolling something cold under the foot was always a recommendation I gave to runners I coached and frequent advice from docs/physical therapists we had come speak to our running groups.
The Stinger massage ball was sent to me for free to review, I did sign up for the affiliate program so purchases made via this post may net me a small percentage of the sale… money that just goes to keeping this site running! Also, I kept typing “crytherapy” instead of “cryotherapy” when writing this post and I think that’s something COMPLETELY different. 🙂