Foam Roller for the Lower Back

Today’s video presents an effective method to relieve lower back pain, and that is through foam rollers. The popularity of foam rolling has been quickly moving across the fitness industry.

Foam rolling’s been acclaimed to help reduce the chance of injury by increasing range of motion, as well as increasing performance. Perhaps the most popular reason to foam roll is to reduce tension and pain. There are many articles that support foam rolling. However, an individual should just stick a foam roller anywhere it hurts and rolls around for a few seconds. One of the areas where this is the most misunderstand is using the foam roller on the low back for low back pain.

Foam rollers and lower back pain

Low back pain is a common complaint that may be caused by a large number of underlying problems of varying levels of seriousness (Borczuk, 2013). Before your lower back pain can be treated, it first must be understood.  Unfortunately, there are dozens of causes of lower back pain, each with varying degrees of severity. As a result, understanding your pain can be complicated.

The truth is that it’s actually recommended that you dont foam roll your lower back.  You’ve probably seen someone at the gym with a foam roller underneath their lower back.

The facts behind foam rollers

Why is this the case?  As pointed out on a National Academy of Sports Medicine blog post, foam rolling is effective in two scenarios. One, by alleviating the side effects of active or latent trigger points. And two, by influencing the autonomic nervous system.  While these can both be used for great relief in most of the body, the action itself requires that you slowly roll – about one inch per second – across the affected area until you find a trigger point.  This is the crux of the problem.

The National Institute of Health states that most lower back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning there is a disruption in the way the components of the back (the spine, muscle, discs, and nerves) work together.  Putting a foam roller under your lower back forces your spine into an unnatural, arched position, which can aggravate those underlying mechanical issues even more.

If you suffer from pain in your lower back, your foam roller can still be useful, just perhaps not in the way that most people would intuitively think.

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