The right way to use a foam roll for your back

So many people suffer from back pain on a daily basis, whether it’s fitness related or just general soreness due to various life factors. Using a foam roller for back pain can be the easiest and most effective way to ease soreness and relieve any pain, especially if used regularly over time. Follow our top tips and foam roller exercises for back pain.

How to foam roll the upper back

Our upper back gets put under a lot of stress and strain during everyday activities. Using a foam roller on this area helps to ease inflammation, ease soreness and even improve posture if used regularly. Try a vibrating foam roller to get deeper into the muscle.

Steps on using a foam roller for back

  1. Lay on your back with the foam roller placed under your shoulder blades.
  2. Bend your knees and place your hands behind your head.
  3. Lift the hips off the floor and apply pressure onto the roller.
  4. Gently roll up and down, from the shoulders to the middle of the back.
  5. With a vibrating foam roller, you can also lean side to side whilst applying pressure.

Pro tip: To focus more on the traps and top of the shoulders, you can use a smaller massage product such as the Pulseroll vibrating peanut ball. Simply place it on top of the muscle, apply pressure and let the vibrations do the work.

How to foam roll the lower back

When using a foam roller on the lower back, it’s important to avoid the spine and the centre of the back. We can feel pain in the centre of our lower back but it’s important not to use a foam roller directly on this area as it could cause damage. You could force an arch in your lower back along with applying pressure on the lumbar spine and the discs that separate them, which just aggravates the area that caused the lower back pain in the first place.

We’d recommend targeting each side of the lower back individually and avoiding the centre:

  1. Lay on your back with the foam roller placed under your lower back.
  2. Bend your left knee, straighten the right leg and lean to the right side, placing your right forearm on the floor to steady yourself.
  3. Gently roll up and down the right side of the lower back.
  4. Make sure to repeat on the other side.

Benefits of using a foam roller for back

Using a foam roller for back pain can be hugely effective. It works by increasing blood flow to the muscle, which repairs damaged tissue and eases inflammation. It can easily be done in the comfort of your own home, giving a similar effect to a deep tissue massage. Always make sure to avoid the spine and the neck!

Pro tip: You could also try using a massage gun for back pain. These get deeper into the muscle and specific trigger points, rather than targeting a large area at once.

If the pain is severe please always consult a doctor before using any equipment or undertaking a new routine.