Updated: May 5, 2020
For as long as I can remember, I’ve experienced random bouts of back pain. Back pain seems to be a common struggle for most adults – no doubt due to our chronic poor posture and stress – but finding relief is usually easier said than done.
Until I discovered how to relieve back pain with a foam roller.
Sitting in the car for any length of time or hunching over a computer at a desk all day are classic triggers for this frustrating pain. Even running can be a source of pain, as one of the first areas that begins to ache as we fatigue on long runs is the lower back.
There are many different strategies that support a relief from this chronic pain. Everything from self massage, to different stretches, yoga poses, golf balls, and heat sources. All of which seem to help temporarily relieve the pain, but nothing proves to be long lasting.
Related: 10 Stretches You Need to Be Doing
It took years for me to finally discovered that the tool I’d been searching for had been right under my fingertips the entire time: the foam roller.
I have used a foam roller for years. It is a crucial part of my recovery routine for any type of running or cross training workout. Foam rolling provides quick relief for sore muscles and helps me prevent injury during training. Using the foam roller on pain points throughout my body bring fresh blood to the area, loosen the built up lactic acid, and release some of the tension.
Related: 8 Crucial Foam Rolling Exercises
Which is exactly how a foam roller is useful in helping rid back pain.
The foam roller provides and incredibly easy way to relieve back pain. Relieving back pain with a foam roller involves completing a few simple exercises on a regular basis to relieve tension, increase flexibility and realign the spine.
>>Check out my favorite foam roller here! I have had my foam roller for over 5 years now and it still does the trick. A small investment of just $20 will help you get started finding relief for chronic back pain.
A little consistency will go a long way when finding relief for back pain. These simple foam roller stretches will help you find back pain relief and improve flexibility along the way. The spine is central to our health, and spending just 5-10 minutes each day may really pay off.
Foam Roller Exercises to Relieve Back Pain
Foam Roller Technique for Lower Back and Upper Back
30 – 60 seconds: Begin by rolling the foam roller up and down your back slowing, without stopping at any points. Keep the chest and neck parallel to the floor and butt off the ground (this creates a bit of an ab workout).
20-30 seconds: Next, move the foam roller to the lowest point in your back. Bend backwards over the foam roller until your head hits the floor (butt is still on the ground). Make sure your head rests completely on the floor so there is no neck tension. Maintain this position while breathing deeply.
20 – 30 seconds: After holding this position, lift your upper body from the floor and move the foam roller slightly higher up on your back. Return to the back bend position with your head and butt resting on the floor.
Repeat: Continue this process all the way up your back, about 8 times total. Stop when you reach the highest point in the upper back near you neck. These simple foam roller stretches really help improve flexibility of the spine and loosen the muscles in your back.
Foam Roller Technique to Relieve Shoulder Tension
Place the foam roller vertically underneath your back, so it runs up and down your spine.
Align your body on top of the foam roller so your spine lines up with the foam roller. Your head should rest on the top of the foam roller, while your butt rests on the floor.
Extend your arms straight out to your side and relax. Your elbows should land on the floor at a 90 degree angle from your body, or as close as you can get them.
If you are unable to rest both elbows on the floor the first time, do not force it. You may find that one side is significantly tighter than the other – that’s normal. Slowly allow your muscles to relax, and continue to practice this stretch regularly until you are able to lower both elbows completely to the floor.
To accentuate the stretch, try to straighten your arms all the way when they are on the floor. Extending your hands straight out from your elbows will give you the most intense stretch, while bending at the elbow can help decrease the intensity.
When back and neck pain gets in the way of your daily activities, it’s time to take action. Using the foam roller to relieve back pain is much easier than one might think. Making a small investment to purchase a foam roller can help you reduce back pain and tension for the rest of your life.
Simple exercises like these can have a big impact on your overall health and well-being. Dedicating just 5 minute each day to improving flexibility and relieving back tension may help reduce your risk of injury and pain from daily life activities.