Muscle massagers come in many forms including massage sticks, foam rollers, therapy rollers, and massage balls.
Massage sticks come in various lengths. They have a handle on each end connected by a semi-flexible plastic rod. Cylindrical beads around the center rod allow you to hold both handles and roll the massage stick across the entire length of the targeted muscle group. This pressure and motion eliminates trigger points, relaxing the muscle and increasing circulation and range of motion.
Foam rollers are typically available in 13 inch, 18 inch, or 36 inch lengths and have a width of 6 inches. They are made of high density foam and can have either a smooth or textured surface. The small, raised pegs on textured rollers provide added pressure. Foam rollers are used before and after exercise and during rehabilitation to increase flexibility, lengthen muscle, and help repair sore or injured muscles. Therapy rollers are used in the same manner as foam rollers, but have wheels on either side with the massaging bar as the axle.
Massage balls are small, handheld textured balls that can be used by the athlete to massage their lower extremities or by a trainer, therapist, or partner to massage larger or hard to reach muscle groups in the back, shoulders, and neck.