Constant back pain is like torture. No matter what you do, it never seems to completely disappear. It is annoying and it can prevent you from doing a variety of activities.

When you have back pain, your daily routine stops being the same. Your sleep isn’t as good as it used to be and sitting on a chair for long hours is horrible. Walking, running and even standing become unpleasant activities.

Back pain affects the way you live and feel. People that suffer from back pain are easily irritable, cranky and start to isolate themselves at some point.

There are many temporary solutions that can relieve the pain for a few hours. But unless you detect the origin of the pain and treat it, you will probably never feel any better.

Foam rollers seem so rudimentary at a first glance and with so many technologies that are available on today’s market, it is difficult to believe that they are actually any good.

In spite of the general opinion, foam rollers are actually amazingly effective if used correctly. If you learn how to use a foam roller, they can help you relieve the pain by pressuring key points in your back, without using any kind of medication.

What is a foam roller and how should it be used?How to Use a Foam Roller for Back Pain?

Foam rolling is also known as self-myofascial release and it is often used as a self-massage technique to relieve all sorts of muscle pain.

In the past, only professional athletes and therapists were aware of its effects and benefits, which is why it isn’t very popular nowadays.

Nowadays, information can be accessed easily, which is why more and more people benefit from the advantages of foam rolling.

Foam rollers are cylinders made of foam that can be found in various sizes. The 12-inch and 6-inch rollers are the most popular sizes, but longer ones can be found, too.

These tools are used to trigger pressure points in the body through autogenic inhibition. The soft tissue’s extensibility is improved, as well of the activation of the antagonist muscle when using this technique.

This technique is recommended for any type of back pain and proves to be effective in muscle recovery. Foam rollers can help regain the elasticity and health of all the muscles in the human body.

Moreover, these tools are great for muscle pain prevention and can be used by people of all ages. People who are used to this technique usually buy more than one roller size, for different body parts.

How to use a foam roller for back pain?

Depending on the side of the back that aches, one can perform a variety of exercises.

Here’s what you need to do if you have lower back pain.

One of the best exercises that you can do at home using nothing but a mat and a roller is the one that triggers pressure points on the sides of your lower back. Follow these steps if you suffer with

this kind of pain:

  1. First, you want to sit down on the mat and place the roller behind you. You can lay back on top of it, supporting yourself on one of the elbows.
  2. Maintain a stable position on the side of your lower back and make sure that your legs are stable, too.
  3. Roll forwards and backwards a few times and don’t try to lift yourself up if you feel a little bit of pain. It is completely normal. On the contrary, put pressure on those painful spots. If it becomes too painful, raise your hip a bit higher.
  4. Roll both sides of the lower back for about 2 minutes

Another exercise that few people take into consideration when they have lower back pain involves the glutes. Follow the next steps if that is the case:

  1. Sit on the roller, supporting yourself with your hands. Place them behind you and try to reach a stable position.
  2. Place one of your legs on the opposite knee.
  3. Roll for another 2 minutes and change the legs from time to time

If you suffer from upper back pain, one exercise that will help you feel a lot better is the following:

  1. Lay on top on the foam roller after positioning it right under the level of your shoulders.
  2. Your knees will be raised and your back will be aligned with them
  3. Cross your arms, grabbing your shoulders. It is just like hugging yourself
  4. Start rolling backwards and forwards, from the shoulders to the lower back
  5. If this exercise makes you feel pain or tension on the neck level, then place your hand at the back of it and continue rolling for about 2 minutes
  6. You can do the same on your sides, by simply turning to the left or right

In the event that the pain you feel is located near the spine, you can use the so-called Peanut foam roller to alleviate it. It is much smaller in size than usual rollers but can be of enormous help. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Place the foam roller on the ground and lay your back on top of it, right in the middle of your back. It must be placed horizontally
  2. Cross your arms and start crunching, imitating the motions that you do when exercising your abdominal muscles
  3. Move the roller to a higher level of your back and do the same
  4. Roll out by moving your entire body forwards and backwards and insist on the trigger points

What most people experience the first time they use a foam roller is a bit of pain and strain. Both are completely normal and they represent the reason why these exercises must be performed.

In time, after the muscles regain their flexibility and elasticity, the whole experience becomes much more pleasant. Moreover, it can become a way of relaxing your body after a busy day.

The most important thing in this process is to continue rolling your muscles even after the pain is gone.

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