Foam rolling seems to be a hot topic these days. Everyone from professional athletes and physical therapists to personal trainers and regular gym go-ers seem to be using foam rollers. You may be wondering what all the hype is about? Is foam rolling just another fad or is it here to stay? And more importantly – can it help with your lower back pain?
How does Foam Rolling Work?
Essentially, foam rolling is a form of self-massage called self- myofascial release or SMR for short. The foam roller is just one of many tools that can be used to apply deep pressure to a specific muscle group. This deep pressure helps to relax tight muscles by breaking down any adhesions and releasing trigger points within the layers. This helps the muscle fibres to slide and glide as they were meant to and encourages the flow of blood and nutrients to the muscle. A regular self-massage practice can:
- Help improve joint range of motion
- Promote blood flow and tissue hydration
- Relieve muscle tension and soreness
- Help correct muscle imbalances
- Improve sports performance
- Promote muscle recovery
Ready to Roll?
Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Choose the right tool. Self-massage can definitely help release some of the muscle tension in your lower back, but the foam roller is not necessarily the best tool to access this relatively small and sensitive area of your body. I would recommend using Yoga Tune Up ® balls, lacrosse balls or even tennis balls to massage your lower back.
- Slow and steady wins the race. Roll slowly over the targeted area. When you find a painful spot, pause, relax and breathe deeply. After several seconds, you should feel the muscle begin to release. For specific massage techniques, be sure to check out: http://www.yogatuneup.com. This is a great resource with many articles and videos to help guide you through safe self-massage.
- More is not always better. The great thing about self-massage is that you are in complete control of the pressure and intensity. It might be uncomfortable to roll out certain areas but it should never be so painful that it takes your breath away. Too much pressure can actually have a negative effect on your muscles.
- You may be sore the next day. Some muscle soreness is normal after self-massage. Be sure to drink plenty of water and allow your body to recover between sessions.
- Not sure where to start? Talk to your chiropractor! Chiropractors are trained to assess posture and muscle imbalances and will be able to guide you in setting up your own self-massage practice. Interested in seeing one of the chiropractors at Santé Chiropractic and Wellness Centre? Click here to book your appointment now.
Be sure to share this blog with any of your friends and family suffering from low back pain. It could help them find the relief they’ve been searching for!