Step by Step on How to Use a Foam Roller for Back Pain 

What is Foam Rolling?

Foam rolling is a simple manual therapy technique purposely used to boost a notch-higher the user's performance, flexibility, and back recovery. In case you've managed to interact with anyone who has had back pains, you will learn that foam rolling exercise has been the most effective and recommended way to help heal back pain and chiropractic apts. This is as per the recommendation of the patient's chiropractor. Reviews from different users of foam rollers prove that this is an excellent exercise for back pain relief and alignment. Another user of this foam roller stated clearly that a foam roller is so helpful in not only relieving back pain but also physical exercises help in integrating the foam roller to work out those parts of the muscles that are painful.

Experts recommend you take part in this rolling foam exercise at least daily. You can make it a routine by letting it be the first activity you do in the morning before engaging in any other thing. This exercise will help in relaxing your muscles; however, as you start, you will experience pain as it will ease as the muscle tissues keep on relaxing and getting used to the activity. With time, your muscles will stretch out and eventually relieve pain. But you need to be very cautious and make sure you foam roll in the right way so that you may not cause much harm in the long run.

It is necessary to understand that in case you spend most of your time seated or engaging in body workout, there are high chances of having tight muscles and knots in the tissue muscles hindering the circulation of blood hence tightness, pain, and back/hip injury. The first symptom of this issue is experiencing tightness once accomplishing any daily activity. For instance, experiencing pain at your back every time you bend down to tie your shoelaces. This persistent pain will eventually lead to injury. Remember that what happens to your back will be applied to your hips resulting in a daily hip, glute, and leg pain. The solution here is to take part in foam rolling exercise at least twice or thrice a day to help relieve back pain.

Begin with light pressure and rise as you familiarize yourself enhanced with foam rolling.

Gradually, roll those areas that are tender for at least ten seconds to begin then exercise for thirty to sixty seconds at a time.

After you are done with foam rolling, take plenty of water to help you with recovery.

Seven Foam Roller Exercise for Back Pain

In case you have been wondering how to use a foam roller exercise for back pain, then here is a guide on how to do it for muscles to produce the highest benefit. And as for the physical therapists and doctors using foam rollers with their patients, there are specific key points to ensure that the use of foam rollers is safe and effective in the release of trigger points and tight muscles.

Ensure that when foam rolling, you roll slowly back and forth as you focus on those parts of the muscles that are painful and stiff for around thirty to sixty seconds. Make sure you apply pressure over the muscle spasms. Do not roll over with your knees, ankle, and hip bone. To eliminate the troublesome trigger areas and muscles that are tight, try as much as possible to roll over these areas for at least three times a day and twice or thrice weekly to prevent the troublesome trigger points from arising again. Remember to use the same pain/discomfort scale as that of stretching depending on what your patient can cope up with.

There are a variety of foam roller exercises for back pain; however, here is a list of seven top-notch exercises focusing on the part of muscle groups in the body, specifically those most likely to develop trigger points. These foam rollers work by eliminating tension in the troublesome parts minimizing back tension and muscle tightness.

1. Erector Spinae Roll

When using this type of foam rolling exercise, remember to maintain the position of your feet rooted on the floor. In case you are new in these, or it is your first time, your backside should be on the floor to control the magnitude of weight applied on the roller.

As you roll to and from the erector spinal muscles, focus on the stiff and sensitive areas of the muscles. In case you want to apply more pressure, raise the backside off the floor, and this will lead to more bodyweight being applied on the roller. At times, it is essential to use your hands in supporting the head for support and prevent the straining of neck muscles. Also, you can do this exercise while standing against a wall.

You can also use a long foam roller to roll the erector spinal muscles. However, when using this type of foam roller exercise, do not apply direct pressure on the delicate parts of the vertebrae. This type of activity is suitable for office/manual workers who their job concern is doing a lot of bending and lifting.

2. Gluteal Roll

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While using this Gluteal roll foam exercise, your feet and hands should be on the ground to limit the amount of pressure applied to the gluteal muscles. Do this with the foam roller under the backside and as you move up and down the gluteal muscles, major on the stiff and most sensitive parts. This type of foam roller exercise is suitable for those sedimentary workers who spend most of their day seated on a chair.

3. ITB Roll

ITB roll is a fibrous band of tissue that moves from the hip to the thigh, and then the knee. Often, those people who exercise regularly, like cyclists, tend to experience muscle strain and stiffness around their ITBs and trigger points. The ITB thickens, tightens, pulls on the knee and hip, which leads to pain. A foam roller is useful here to release trigger points at the thigh muscles underneath and also reduce the tension of the ITB.

For this exercise, your feet and hands will be useful to support the o of your body. Remember to place the foam roller underneath the outside of one thigh. As you roll up and down the outer thigh, always put much of your focus on the stiff and sensitive parts.

As for several people, this exercise is so sensitive; hence it is essential to strictly roll four to seven times out of ten pain thresholds with your bodyweight is given proper support to make this effective.

4. Quadriceps Roll

When using this type of exercise, it is the arms that help in supporting most of your body weight. Your fit must be maintained on the floor to limit and control the amount of pressure exerted on the trigger points. Once you are convinced and satisfied with this exercise, take your feet off the ground to give room for more pressure to be applied to the trigger points.

The first step of quadriceps roll is to lie on the floor while facing down. Make sure you extend your legs, and your forearms prop your torso. Once done, put a foam roller beneath one thigh then lift the other foot so that your weight is resting on the foam roller. Always roll back and forth so that the foam roller moves up and down your thighs. As you do this, focus on the stiff and the most sensitive parts.

5. Hamstrings Roll

This hamstrings roll exercise is done while you are in a sitting position. Always make sure that your foam roller is under the backside of your thigh. Use your arms to support the weight of your body as you move up and down the posterior thigh. Always remember to put much focus on the stiffer and most sensitive parts.

In case you are a beginner, maintain the position of your feet on the floor to control the magnitude of pressure applied on the trigger points. Also, you can take the feet off the floor for more weight to be applied within a range of four to seven thresholds.

6. Calf Roll

The calf roll foam exercise primarily focuses on the muscles of the lower legs. This is a recommended exercise for those people who frequently walk for long distances as they are prone to tightness and trigger points at the muscle areas.

While maintaining your position (Sitting), put the foam roller under the calf muscles on the back of the lower leg. Use your arms to give your body weight support as you move up and down the calf muscles. As you do this, remember to pay much attention to the stiff and sensitive parts.

7. Shin Roll

Shin roll is a good foam rolling exercise for those long-distance walkers and runners more so those experiencing pain in the shin and front of the lower leg. All the front and back limbs will help give your body support as you put the foam roller beneath the knee. As you do this, make sure you do not roll over bony structures.

Gradually move up and down the shin muscles focusing on those areas that are stiff and sensitive. Remember to work within the required pain threshold.

Four Types of Foam Roller

Here are some foam rollers to use during your rolling foam exercise:

1. High-Density Muscle Foam Roller

The High-Density muscle foam roller is suitable for beginners. It is an effective therapy useful releasing tightness at the back, neck, TFL, and feet. The high-density muscle foam roller is made of EPP foam that makes it resistant to bending and breakages under high tension.

Advantages

  • It optimizes surface contact by giving the muscles knot and myofascial release.
  • It aids in the recovery of patients with a sports injury, chronic pain, and those with musculoskeletal complications like shin splints.
  • It is highly firm, making it more durable.

Disadvantages

  • This type of foam roller is limited to beginners.
  • It has loosened tight.
  • It is so firm and may, at times, cause pain.

2. 321 Strong Foam Roller

This is a suitable foam roller for deep tissue massage, specifically muscle massage and myofascial trigger point release. This type of foam roller features a rugged solid core with a triple grid 3D massage zone. It is useful in treating muscle pain and boosting flexibility and performance. Besides relieving you from back pain, it increases the rate of blood flow to areas being massaged eliminates stored lactic acid.

Advantages

  • Highly comfortable because of its medium density.
  • It helps treat muscle pain, performance, and flexibility.
  • Helps in stretching overworked muscles through rolling in the course of your warm-ups and cooldowns.
  • Suitable for runners, cross fit athletes, yoga, swimmers, sports therapy patients, and Pilates students, to name a few.

Disadvantages

  • It is so stiff.

3. Fitindex Electric Foam Roller

Fitindex is an electric and rechargeable foam trimmer suitable vibrating massage. It is also a perfect choice for anyone who intends to recover after running, yoga, climbing, weightlifting, boxing, martial arts, and cycling.

Advantages

  • It offers a high-density therapeutic vibration helpful for physical therapy.
  • It has four vibration speeds that you can choose from depending on the level of intensity you desire.
  • It is durable.
  • It is made of high-quality material hence retaining its original shape.
  • It is portable and light in weight. Its trigger point weighs 2.1 lbs.

Disadvantages

  • Its vibration may irritate some people.
  • It only works when there is a means of power.

4.Trigger Point Grid Foam Roller

The trigger point is the right foam roller for long-distance travelers.

Advantages

  • It is made of high-quality material hence not prone to breakages.
  • It has a superior and high multi-density.
  • It is suitable for anyone at trigger points.
  • It provides the user with muscle recovery, pain relief, and improved flexibility.
  • Simple to use.
  • It has an ergonomic design.

Disadvantage

  • It lacks an instructional DVD.