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As some of you already know I have Hypermobility Syndrome and suffer alot with trigger points in my muscles that are hanging on for dear life trying to stabilise areas, although I have to put up with alot of my trigger points there are some that make matters worse by pulling joints out of alignment and partially dislocating them so I have all manner of tools and balls to deal with them each day. The latest addition to those is the Pocket Physio. The Pocket Physio is a small solid rubber contraption that was designed by physios to save their thumbs and as I treat my own trigger points it seemed like an excellent idea to save my thumbs too.
The Pocket Physio is a triangular shape with a flat bottom that looks a bit like a sheep's hoof and a pointed section that should be similar to the feel of a thumb on top. It's small enough to fit the palm of your hand so you hold it there and not against your fingers for maximum pressure or place it on the floor or against a wall and lean onto it. I mostly use mine on the floor and let my bodyweight do the work rather than struggling with my dodgy arms and shoulders to maintain pressure. I paid £3.50 for mine on ebay and an Amazon seller is selling them for the same price but with £2.70 delivery charge on top. They come in a variety of colours but I didn't get to choose and got sent a bright pink one. You will also receive a leaflet with photos of people using the Pocket Physio so you get an idea of how to use it.
The pointed section that is supposed to imitate a thumb can be used in lots of different muscles, I use mine down the front of my thigh and the sides of my thighs and find it excellent at the top of the leg and down near the knee but it doesn't do so well in the centre where there's more padding to get through. I use it daily down either side of my thoracic spine then out along the ribs where I also have problems and it works very well in those areas even though it's not very comfortable to lay on! For my piriformis I move both me and the Pocket Physio around until I can get it in deeply enough to help, on the photos it only shows someone using it right behind the hip but it will do the whole piriformis and other lateral hip rotators with some imagination. I lay on mine sideways to do the lats down the side of the ribs and sit with it under my legs on a chair to do parts of the hamstrings but with the hamstrings it is again better at either end and not so good in the middle. It is very good for the feet too but I doubt I need to tell you it hurts like hell under your feet! You can do your lumbar area by bending your knees up and therefore flattening your back towards the floor but I personally can't do my lumbar area because that's one of my "can't manage without it" areas. To use it in your hand you need to be able to apply pressure firmly for around 90 seconds which I can't do but if you can manage that it could be even more versatile. I suspect people with alot of extra weight on wouldn't be able to get this deep enough to help though.
The other ingenious part of the Pocket Physio is the base that looks like a sheep's hoof. It is actually designed like this so you can use it on your neck and the way it's done is by placing it in the palm of your hand and cupping the other hand behind it then laying on it with the cut out section over your actual verterbrae so the points either side dig into the muscles, and I have to say it's excellent for the neck and using it like that would be possible with any size neck. Finding a tool that will help my ultra tight neck and tension headaches is something I've looked for for years so I'm thrilled this has been designed in such a way. So as you can see it's a very handy part of my massage tool kit and although some areas are impossible to hit with this device it does do a large amount of muscles which makes it a bargain too. It's very robust and will stand being thrown around, trod on with shoes and one of my cats has even attempted to chew mine (don't ask!) and it's still without any blemishes or wear and tear marks. I tend to use mine then massage out alot of the areas with a spikey ball afterwards but most people won't have the degree of muscle problems I have so likely it would suffice on its own.
I'm very pleased with this Pocket Physio and there's not much in the way of negatives for me; it's versatile, robust, inexpensive, easy to use and effective in lots of different areas so the only downside is it can't do all the muscles but I've yet to discover a tool that can and if you have quite a bit of fat padding it won't help anywhere but your neck. A full 5 stars from me and highly recommended.