Foam Roller Exercises for Lower Back Pain

foam roller exercises

Foam Roller Exercises for Lower Back Pain

Simple foam roller exercises an do you wonders, and your physical therapist (PT) might recommend one of these useful exercise tools as part of your treatment. Learn more about foam roller exercises and how you can make the most of this piece of physical therapy equipment whether you suffer from back pain or another uncomfortable condition.

What Are Foam Roller Exercises?

Foam roller exercises are motions that involve the use of a foam roller, which is a type of physical therapy equipment that is commonly used for lower back issues and other types of discomfort. The concept of the foam roller is simple; these devices simply consist of foam with a core of hard plastic. What these simple rollers can do for your pain levels, however, is nothing short of incredible.

7 Best Foam Roller Exercises for Back Pain

Everyone from paleo diet fans to mainstream physical therapists are using foam rollers these days. Here are a few examples of the most popular foam roller exercises:

1. Upper Back Roll

The upper back roll is the exercise that makes the most sense when you’re targeting back pain.

How to do it:

  • Lie on your back, and place your roller between your shoulders and your lumbar region
  • Use your buttocks and feet to push your trunk up and down over the foam roller

2. Glute Roll

This exercise will strengthen your glutes, which removes pressure from your back.

How to do it:

  • Leaning back on your arms and with your legs straight ahead, sit on your foam roller
  • Cross your right leg over your left thigh, and move your pelvis back and forth
  • Repeat on the other side

3. Chest Roll

Rolling your chest on your foam roller will increase your core strength and reduce back strain.

How to do it:

  • Prop yourself up with one arm while lying down, and put your roller under your shoulder
  • Use your abdominal muscles to push yourself back and forth
  • Repeat on the other side

4. Iliotibial (IT) Band Exercise

Also known as the quad foam roller exercise, this stretch will increase the strength of your glutes and quads. If your posture or your lack of lower body strength has contributed to your lower back pain in any way, this exercise should help clear things up.

How to do it:

  • Lie on your right side, and place your roller under your right thigh
  • Support your upper body with your right forearm, and put your left foot on the ground in front of you
  • Roll back and forth around 10 times, and then switch to the other side

5. Latissimi Dorsi (Lats) Exercise

Your lats are the muscles on the sides of your abdomen that keep your chest from flopping over to one side. Strengthening these muscles will improve your overall core strength, which will reduce strain on your lower back.

How to do it:

  • Lie on your right side, and arrange your foam roller under your armpit
  • Stretch your right arm outward, raise your left leg up, and plant your left foot on the floor
  • Use your left foot and your core muscles to roll yourself forward along your roller
  • Return the starting position, and repeat this exercise 5-10 times.

6. Shoulder and Side Twist

Your shoulder doesn’t have much to do with your upper back, but stress that you carry in your shoulders and upper back transfers into pain in your lower back. The more that you improve your overall trunk musculature, the more pain relief you’ll experience.

How to do it:

  • Put your foam roller behind your shoulders as you lay back
  • Lace your fingers behind your head, and allow your back to rest on the roller
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles, and press toward the roller with your left shoulder, which will raise your right elbow
  • Allow the roller to move with you, and switch to the other side

7. Groin Roll

This exercise opens up your hips and stretches out your thigh. At the same time, however, it builds muscle in your butt, back, abdomen, and shoulders, which will help you overcome back pain in the long run. With your new foam roller, you should try to explore as many different types of strength and flexibility throughout your body as you can, and gradually transitioning into performing groin rolls is a great way to start doing calf and hamstring foam roller exercises as well.

How to do it:

  • Lie on the floor with your face down
  • Rest your weight on your elbows, and insert your foam roller vertically under your right leg
  • Gradually shift your weight to the leg that is on the floor, and then move your weight onto the roller
  • After five repetitions, switch the roller to the other side

Why Physical Therapy Works

Physical therapy stimulates every part of your body to promote better recovery and overall well-being. This time-honored practice combines the most advanced medical techniques with common-sense bodily wisdom that helps you get the most out of your embodiment. Whichever type of pain you suffer from, physical therapy might be able to help, and this practice has proven itself to be very effective for lower back pain.

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