Foam rollers are one of the best tools to help you deal with back pain. To get the most out of your foam roller, however, you need to make sure that you are using it correctly. Ideally, you will go through all the foam roller exercises at least a few times with your chiropractor or physical therapist, but as long as you know the basic techniques and are careful, you should be able to do some things by yourself.
Why Foam Rollers Help
If you haven’t used a foam roller in the past, you may be curious how something that seems so simple and affordable can make such a big difference on how you feel. Foam rollers will help you break down scar tissue and adhesions within your muscles’ soft tissues. They rely on your body weight and let you give yourself a targeted deep-tissue massage that releases the myofascial muscles and smooths trigger points. At the same time, it boosts circulation and blood flow to your soft tissues.
Treating Lower Back Pain
There are numerous foam roller exercises for lower back pain, most of which are variations on each other. One option is to lie down on the floor with your foam roller underneath the lower back. Now pull up your left leg so you can hold your knee. Roll between the base of the left portion of your rib cage all the way to the area just above the glutes. Do 10 to 12 reps being sure to go slowly before repeating the process on the right side.
You can also try a more basic exercise for lower back pain that involves a progression. Start by sitting along the edge of your foam roller with your knees bent and feet on the floor flat. Now, ease yourself backwards until your spine’s base and the top portion of your head are both on the roller. Let your body weight sink into your roller and hold a minute. From there, you can move on to doing pelvic tilts. Do eight repetitions, breathing out while engaging the deep abdominal muscles and tilting your pelvis so it is off the roller. As you return, be sure each vertebrae touches the roller.
Dr. Cheree can give you even more foam roller techniques to reduce back pain.