“ Brand: Pressure Positive / Type: Massage Tool „
I've had one of these ridiculously named Jack Knobbers for many years now. I have a variety of massage tools to help me with my head to toe trigger points from having Hypermobility Syndrome. Basically my ligaments don't support my joints properly so the muscles spasm around the joints in an attempt to help but as we all know spasmed muscles equal painful muscles so I have to work on various areas of my body with massage tools every single day just to be able to move around.
The Jack Knobber is a plastic tool shaped like one of those old fashioned jacks that kids from years ago used to play with. Don't worry if you don't remember them the picture above is accurate! It has four arms all protruding from the centre and each arm has a solid ball on the end. Each ball is a slightly different size from the others with the largest being about 2cm diameter and the smallest just under 1cm diameter. The difference in size is for accuracy, some areas need a smaller ball to be able to get near the muscles.
The centre part is supposed to fit your hand comfortably so you can apply pressure with the balls. It does actually fit the palm of the hand quite nicely so the design is good but unfortunately holding it in your hand and pressing down into a tight knotty muscle is very difficult as you can't get enough pressure behind the tool to do any good. Remember if the muscles are solid from knots they won't give easily.
I actually use my Jack Knobber for very few areas of the body but there are some areas where nothing else works as well. One of these areas is the external hip rotators. Because the external hip rotators lay under the thick gluteus maximus muscles and a layer of fat they can be hard to get to but I find wedging one of the balls under my body and relaxing onto it hits them very well indeed. You do need to hold the tool steady with one hand whilst using it but it doesn't require much strength to achieve this.
Another area this is especially good for is either side of the lower lumbar spine. Because the lowest segments are encased either side by the pelvic bones you need a fine tool to be able to get to them whilst avoiding the pelvis so this fits into the gutter either side very easily, especially with one of the smallest balls.
The final area I use this for is down the outside of the thigh. The muscles there are very prone to trigger points in most people and I have some extremely deep ones on both legs so I wedge this tool under my leg, hold it steady, and relax onto it for a while.
If at any point you feel electrical shooting pains whilst using this you've placed it on a nerve and should move it, nerves don't do well being treated like muscles! Otherwise this tool should cause some pain in the muscle while it presses into the trigger point and when left there long enough the muscle will relax a bit and the pain decreases. It takes anywhere from 20 seconds to several minutes to achieve this so be patient.
Another thing I find helpful is to use this on the bed rather than the floor, the bed has a bit of give to it and makes the process alot more comfortable whereas the floor is solid and that means it's going to really hurt.
Which ball size you choose will depend on the area, I use the smaller balls for tight squeezes like along the edge of the sacrum (centre of the pelvis) and along the sides of the spine and the larger balls for the belly of muscles which are easy to reach most of the time.
I actually bought mine online for about £5 many years ago and they seem to be about that price still but not as readily available. Searching for the name though will produce some results.
Overall for some areas of the body this is a very good tool and gets into areas other items, such as tennis balls and spikey balls, can't. It isn't useful to use in a pressing down motion though unless you're very strong so using your body weight is the best idea. I wouldn't be without my Jack Knobber and it gets used every day so it was a very good purchase. Anyone considering buying one though be warned, treating trigger points hurts!
A full 5 stars from me for this very useful tool.