How to Use a Foam Roller for Back Pain Relief
Foam roller exercise – known as self-myofascial release.
It combines the benefits of flexibility and massage. Because of their cylindrical shape, foam rollers are an unstable surface.
As such, in addition to their therapeutic use, foam rollers can also be used for muscle reeducation. This may prevent future back problems.
- Perform foam roller sessions when your muscles are warm or after a workout.
- If you find a particularly painful area (trigger point), hold that position until the area softens.
- Roll over each area a few times until you feel it relax. Expect some discomfort. It may feel very tender or bruised at first.
- Keep your first few foam roller sessions short. About 15 minutes is all you need.
- Rest a day between sessions when you start.
- Drink plenty of water after a session, just as you would after a sports massage.
- After a few weeks you can increase your session time and frequency if you choose.
Measure the distance between the top of the head and the base of the spine. Choose a foam roller that is long enough to support that distance.
Place the foam roller on the floor in a vertical position. Sit at the edge of the roller. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Ease yourself back until the top of your head and the base of your spine are on the roller. Allow your body weight to sink into the roller. Hold the position for 1 minute.
Practice pelvic tilts while lying on the roller. Remain in the position from the previous section, and inhale to prepare. As you exhale, engage your deep abdominal muscles, and tilt your pelvis off the roller. Perform eight repetitions. Then develop the movement into a partial bridge. Lift the pelvis, the lower back and the middle back from the roller. On the return, let each vertebra touch the roller.
Remain on your back. Roll your body so that your left side is on the roller. Allow your body to sink into the roller. Hold the position for 1 minute. Repeat on the other side.
Roll to one side to get off the roller. Place the roller in the horizontal position. Lie on your back with the roller under your shoulder blades. Place your hands behind your head to support your neck, and keep your head lifted from the floor. Gently roll the roller
forward and backward along your mid-back area. If you reach a tender point, hold that position by letting your weight sink into the roller. Continue holding until the pain has subsided by 75 percent.
Roll over onto your stomach. Keep the roller in the horizontal position, and place it under your hip flexors, which connect your thighs with your pelvis. Allow your body weight to sink into the roller. Hip flexion tension is often the cause of lower back pain.
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