Do Foam Rollers Really Work?
If you’ve never heard of foam rolling before, the concept itself is very straightforward.
However, the foam roller itself may surprise you.
With foam rolling, a person places a specially made “roller” underneath their back, thigh, or calves while on the floor or against a wall.
With an up-and-down motion, they roll the area, leading to the release of tension and knots within their muscles.
The roller itself is actually quite hard, but has a foam layer on the outside–typically with knobs on it to help target “trigger points” within the muscles, which are areas where “knots” have built up overtime.
Foam rollers come in different sizes and the most popular are ideal for targeting the back.
In fact, foam rolling has proven quite effective as a means of pain relief.
While at first it might sound like a questionable method of relief, if you give it a few moments of thought, the process’ benefits become clear.
Done regularly, foam rolling helps to stimulate the muscles much like a massage, reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow.
Just like a massage, foam rolling helps to relieve built-up tension, which can help to decrease muscle stiffness and increase range of motion.
This is why it’s one of the most popular ways to address back pain at-home.
While not a permanent solution to back pain on its own, foam rolling can help provide relief.
It’s best done daily if you want to reap its benefits.
There is no doubt that foam rollers really work to relieve pain.
However, you shouldn’t be misled into thinking that they are the only thing you need to do, or should do, to address pain if you have it.
For instance, your chronic back pain may not be sprouting from poor posture or standing all day.
It could be linked to a genetic issue or a more serious problem, like an old injury or even a new injury.
That’s why you should always seek the advice of a medical professional.
Ask them about foam rolling and they might just encourage it alongside stretches or other forms of treatment.
Are Foam Rollers Good for the Back?
Foam rolling is a popular pain relief method today used by athletes and just about everyone, but is it really effective for back pain?
In short, foam rolling can help to relieve back pain when done regularly and correctly.
It can help improve blood flow while reducing inflammation and helping to workout tension, thereby reducing soreness, tenderness, and stiffness.
With these things in mind, foam rolling in and of itself cannot be considered a permanent fix for chronic back pain.
However, it might help you manage the discomfort you’re feeling and give you short-term relief.
By using foam rolling to ease the pain, you might find yourself more mobile and energetic, and therefore more able to participate in stretches and activities that will help further reduce your back pain in the future.
Plus, foam rolling can help to improve your posture.
With bad posture leading to a lot of pain, soreness, and stiffness throughout your body, this can also help to reduce back pain with time.
Foam rolling will help flatten rounded shoulders, re-align the spine, and help you to re-balance your muscles. Plus, it can help to strengthen your core.
All of that means you will stand taller and straighter, in turn putting less unnecessary pressure on your spine.
To get the best results, you should practice foam rolling regularly.
If you workout, try to do foam rolling either before or after your workout.
You can also work it into your daily schedule, doing it in the morning when you just wake up or at night right before you go to bed.
When you do it will depend on when you’re able to commit to consistent sessions and also when you think it will be most beneficial.
For instance, if pain after a long day of sitting or standing keeps you up at night, a nighttime session may be ideal. It can even help improve your sleep quality.
On the other hand, if you find yourself waking up stiff, you might find more benefits by starting your day with a foam rolling session.
Whatever the case may be, if you suffer from back pain, it is definitely worth considering foam rolling as part of your plan of action.
With regular use, it can offer many whole-body benefits that will have you feeling better.
How To Use The Foam Roller For Lower Back Pain
One of the main uses of a foam roller is to treat lower back pain.
However, you need to know what you are doing.
It’s surprisingly easy to misuse a foam roller, and if you misuse it, then it isn’t going to be as effective at treating your back pain.
In this article, you are going to find out the best way to use a foam roller, which should help you treat your lower back pain.
The first routine to try is to lie flat on the ground with your knees up.
Put the foam roller under your neck and start tilting your head back until you can’t go any further.
By now, you should feel your neck stretching quite a bit. Using your legs, start pushing back and forth to roll the foam roller across your neck.
This should help to soothe the muscles in your neck.
If you are wondering why we are starting here, remember that a lot of back pain actually originates in the neck area and then radiates down; so, by starting at your neck, you can actually eliminate some back pain before you feel it.
For this second routine, you need to lie flat on the ground with your legs up again.
Put the foam roller under your lower back area.
Now, you want to start bringing one leg up to your chest and holding it there for a few seconds.
Then, do the same with the other leg.
Keep alternating this for a bit. Each time you bring your leg up, the foam roller should roll across your lower back and stretch out your lower back muscles.
For this routine, you need to get on your knees and place the foam roller directly in front of you.
Make sure that you are standing up as straight as you possibly can.
Now, place both hands on the foam roller and begin pushing it forward until your you can’t push it any further without moving.
Hold this pose for a bit and then slowly move back to your original position.
This is called a “child’s pose” and it stretches out your entire back.