Foam Rollers Are Good For Back Pain
It is known that foam rolling helps with back pain. There are many reasons why it works. One reason is because when muscles relax they release tension which causes pressure points.
When muscle tightens there are less points of stress on your body and therefore less pain. Another reason is that foam rolling stimulates blood flow to the area. Blood circulation helps alleviate pain. The third reason is that foam rolling releases lactic acid from your muscles. Lactic acid causes muscle cramps and slows down your metabolism. Finally, foam rolling reduces inflammation in the affected areas. Inflammation can cause pain and swelling.
How To Use A Foam Roller For Back Pain Relief
There are two types of foam rollers: those that have wheels and those without wheels. You need a wheeled foam roller if you want to use it while walking or running. If you don’t mind having to carry around a heavy piece of equipment, then go ahead and get one with no wheels.
They’re easier to maneuver than their wheeled counterparts and they allow for greater range of motion (ROM). If you have back pain, we recommend using a non-wheeled roller.
First things first: you’re going to want to warm up before using the foam roller. Warming up gets your blood flowing and your muscles and tendons more pliable. The rule of thumb is that if you can touch your skin and it isn’t extremely sensitive, then you’re good to go.
If not, you need to warm up a little bit more. Some good ideas for warming up are:
1. Jumping Jacks: (source) Stand with your feet together and jump your legs apart while raising your hands above your head.
Then, jump your legs back together while lowering your hands back down to your side. That is one rep. Do this for 10 reps.
2. Leg Swings: (source) Begin by standing with feet together.
Swing your right leg forward and then backward. Then, do the same with your left leg. Next, swing right leg to the side in a half-circle motion, and then do the same with your left leg.
That is one rep. Do this for 10 reps.
3. Torso Twists: (source) Sit down on the ground with legs stretched out in front of you.
Cross your left ankle over your right knee and twist your torso around to the left. Then, do the same in the other direction. Continue twisting back and forth for 10 reps.
4. Shoulder Rolls: (source) Stand with your legs slightly apart and your hands at your side.
Rotate your shoulders in a circular motion ten times in each direction.
5. Neck Stretch: (source) Stand with your legs slightly apart and slowly lower your neck forward as far as you can.
Hold that position for ten seconds. Then, tilt your head to the right as far as you can and hold for ten seconds. Do the same thing but tilt your head to the left.
That is one rep. Do this for 10 reps.
6. Hand Wrist Rolls: (source) Stand with your feet together and roll your wrists in a circular motion ten times clockwise.
Then, roll your wrists in an anti-clockwise direction ten times.
7. Elbow Circles: (source) Extend your arm out in front of you and rotate your arm in a circular motion, moving from the shoulder up to the tip of your fingers.
Do this with your arm in the reverse direction. That is one rep. Do this for 10 reps.
Now that you’re all warmed up, it’s time to start foam rolling!
The foam roller is a common and readily available tool used for self-myofascial release. This means that it is used to release and elongate muscles that may be hardened or tightened due to physical activity. These muscles can range from your calves to your upper back.
The foam roller helps to alleviate many common aches and pains by simply massaging and stretching the area of concern.
The foam roller can be used for back pain, neck pain, tightness and soreness in the muscles. It can help to alleviate some of those problems by releasing trigger points in the muscle that can cause such pain or discomfort. In addition, it has also been said that using a foam roller can actually help to speed up your rate of recovery after an intense training session.
As with anything, there are rules and suggestions when it comes to foam rolling. If you are a beginner, the recommendations are that you should start out by using a soft roller. By doing this, you will be able to get a feel for what areas of your body are the most sensitive and may require more looseness or release time.
It is important to note that some areas of your body may be more sensitive than others. When foam rolling, it is a good idea to start slow and give yourself time to get used to the new activity.
It is important that your foam roller is kept clean. You should wash it with hot water and a mild soap after each use so that it remains sanitary and effective. If you no longer see the foam roller as being an effective tool for your practice, you may want to discard it and try out a new one.
If you see bruising on any part of your body the next day after foam rolling, it is no cause for alarm as this will soon go away. The foam roller can sometimes bring other things to the surface. However, if you start feeling pain in an area of your body that you don’t normally feel it, or the pain persists and remains severe, you should consult a medical professional as soon as possible.
Here are some simple steps to using a foam roller.
1. Lay the roller on the ground and place the area of concern onto the middle of it.
For the legs, place them on top of it so that your body weight is being applied. For the arms, place your wrist/forearm or hands on it so that the pressure is being applied there.
2. Slowly start to move your body part (either your legs or arms) up and down so that the foam roller is massaging the muscles.
3. For more of a challenge, try to bend your knees and push them forward as you apply pressure with the roller.
Or, for your arms, try to rotate your arms in small circles as you move up and down with the roller.
These exercises can be done many times a day if necessary. However, it is best to start out with no more than three sessions a day and slowly increase from there as your muscles get used to the new routine.
6 Benefits of Using a Foam Roller
The foam roller can be used to work on increasing your flexibility in certain problem areas of the body. By rolling the feet or the legs for example: one can increase their ankle flexibility. There are many other areas of the body that can be stretched using a foam roller in combination with various movements.
Foam rolling can increase recovery rate after intense exercise. It has been proven to help decrease the amount of time before one can undertake strenuous activity again. There has also been evidence to suggest that it decreases post-workout pain and muscle soreness.
Foam rolling has been proven to help increase the time it takes one to fall asleep and also increases the duration of sleep. It has also been shown to decrease the effects of sleep deprivation.
Less joint pain:
The increased flexibility and recovery rates that result from foam rolling can help decrease the amount of pain that is felt in the joints. Over time, consistent use of a roller will decrease pain all over the body.
The exercises involved in using a foam roller have also been proven to improve the energy levels of an individual. It is recommended that a short session be completed first thing in the morning to improve ones energy levels for most of the day. More endurance can also be achieved over time with regular use of a roller.
Reports have shown that it can even help improve sexual drive.
One of the major causes of back pain is bad posture. The exercises that one can perform using a foam roller can help correct some of these posture problems. It is important to remember to always maintain good posture.
However, it is quite difficult to correct a life-long bad posture habit. It takes months of dedicated and sustained effort to correct it. Foam rolling can speed up this process but it isn’t a magic wand that will fix the problem immediately even if foam rolling can help improve spinal flexibility.
How to use a foam roller
The foam roller can be used by anyone, regardless of age or fitness level. It can be used to great effect by any athlete or sports person as a part of their training routine. The roller helps to improve flexibility and also to soothe muscle aches after an intense training session or a competition.
It is one of the best ways to recover from an injury or to prevent one from occurring. It has been used by many athletes to great success.
Foam rolling can be used to great effect by anyone who spends long hours sitting at a desk. It is a great way of increasing spinal flexibility. The exercises are easy to do and can be incorporated into ones morning or evening routine to help prevent back pain from setting in.
The foam roller can be used by people who are suffering from chronic back pain as a part of their therapy. It is often used as a substitute for other more expensive treatment options and with great success.
The foam roller can also be used to great effect by people who engage in physical activity such as runners, joggers, cyclists, swimmers, rowers, or anyone who participates in sports. It is a great way of warming up the muscles and increasing flexibility.
One of the most common reasons for using the roller is to help relax and release muscle tension after a long day at work. It is also used by people who experience chronic pain in the back, neck, or legs.
How to foam roll your IT band: Sit on the roller and place the afflicted knee to your chest.
Sources & references used in this article:
Does Foam Rolling Really Work? by M Hauschildt – Inquiry Journal, 2017 – scholars.unh.edu
DOES FOAM ROLLING REALLY WORK? 1. General affect of foam rolling on athletic performance by H ROLLER – riseandruninstyle.com
Foam Rolling: 50 Exercises for Massage, Injury Prevention, and Core Strength by K Inkster – 2015 – books.google.com
Does foam rolling actually do any good? by L MacGregor, A Hunter – 2018 – storre.stir.ac.uk
Do Foam Rollers Actually Work? Reviewing the Evidence by WIAF Roller – infophysiotherapy.com