Foam roller techniques for lower back pain

The foam roller has become a hot topic in self-care.  It is generally considered a self-myofascial release tool used by runners, cyclists, and other active people.  It’s also commonly used in rehabilitation and treatment in clinics and at home.  Many gyms have them for use by their patrons, but many people will invest in buying one of their own to use at home.

The foam rollers come in a variety of different sizes and densities, but the ones I prefer to use are 36 inches long and 6 inches in diameter.  I usually recommend denser styrofoam material rather than the softer versions, but the soft ones are a great place to start if you have very sore tight muscles or light muscle volume.  As you adapt to it, you can then progress to the harder material to get the most out of what the foam roller has to offer.

Remember when you are using the foam roller, it’s going to be uncomfortable most of the time, but it shouldn’t be painful.  You’ll have to take care not to bruise your muscles, and definitely don’t overwork your muscles so that you are discouraged from being able to be consistent.  Like flossing, you can’t really get away with doing it right before you go to the dentist.  It takes time and consistent effort to make changes to your soft tissue!

Lower Back Routine
Do 10 passes over the following areas 1-2 times per day:
(These can be done before working out as part of your warm-up routine.)

1. Mid Back- 10 reps
2. Lower Back- 10 reps
3. Gluteals- 10 reps
4. Hamstrings- 10 reps
5. IT Band- 10 reps
6. Calf- 10 reps
7. Quadriceps- 10 reps

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