Best foam roller for lower back pain
Many people have low back pain. In fact, it is one of the most common muscle aches that patients complain about with their doctors. What many don’t realize is that a simple muscle roller can relive many people’s pain.
Back pain can feel different to different people. It can feel dull or it can feel sharp. It can also be chronic (constant) pain, or it can flair up intermittently.
Either way, back pain can be a debilitating condition, that can literally ruin people’s lives. It is important to seek a qualified medical professional to diagnose any structural issues in your back, back pain can be caused from a serious back injury.
If you see your doctor and find that you don’t have any structural issues with your back, it could be muscle tightness and trigger points that is causing your temporary back pain. If so, you are capable of eliminating this debilitating pain.
Which foam roller is best for your lower back muscles?
There is no “perfect” lower back foam roller. There are many types of foam rollers, but the one that you decide to go with can be picked based off from your own personal needs.
Trigger point foam rollers
If you have really bad trigger points and tightness in your gluteus muscles, a traditional foam roller may not be enough. A traditional, flat (all foam) foam roller is usually too soft to allow for a deep tissue massage. However, these foam rollers are better than having nothing.
To effectively target your trigger points, you may want to get a high density foam roller or a trigger point foam roller that has knobs sticking out.
These foam rollers allow you to get deeper into the muscle tissue and massage out any pent up tightness. The way trigger points and muscle tightness heal are from pressure and massage. It heals faster if you can put a good amount of pressure on them.
How to use a foam roller for your lower back?
Many people don’t use a foam roller for the lower back correctly. They actually make the mistake of foam rolling right on their lower back muscles. This is actually not recommended because, since foam rollers use your bodyweight to massage, it can be too much weight on your lower back muscles.
When you foam roll your upper and mid back, you have the ribs to protect yourself. It can be dangerous to put too much weight on your lower back muscles because there are no ribs or skeletal muscles to protect yourself.
Using a foam roller directly on your lower back can actually cause your lower back muscles to tighten up too much, which defeats the purpose of foam rolling.
Instead of rolling your lower back, you should focus on foam roller exercises that target tightness in your gluteus and mid back areas. You can also roll your sides out if you support yourself so you don’t put too much weight on your sides.
Tip: If you do have tightness in your lower back and you don’t own a massage ball or muscle roller stick (see below), some people will do a modified roll on their lower back. They will support themselves with their hands and only put a slight amount of pressure against the foam roller on the ground. However, since the potential for injury is there, we don’t typically recommend this, and we recommend you seek professional medical advice if you are thinking about using a foam roller in this area.
What other muscle rollers are good for lower back pain?
There are a few other types of muscle rollers, besides foam rollers that can be very useful for treating lower back pain. In fact many people often use a combination of different types of muscle rollers for different purposes.
For example a foam roller is often used as a general full body self-myofascial release tool. And a massage ball and muscle stick roller (see below) are often used to supplement their daily foam rolling routines.
Muscle roller sticks
Muscle rollers sticks are great to target actual trigger points in your lower back. As mentioned before, many times the trigger points that cause lower back pain do not reside in your lower back. However, sometimes you can have tightness in the lower back. In which case, a muscle roller stick is much better (and safer) because you can control the amount of pressure you place on your lower back.
You can also target your side and upper gluteus muscles very easily and really get some deep tissue massage with the muscle roller sticks. Many times these areas can cause you back and side pain.
Massage balls can also be used to target muscle tightness in your lower back. Massage balls can be placed against the wall and your lower back to target any tightness. This technique allows you to easily put the exact amount of pressure you want on your muscles.
Another unique way to target stubborn tight muscles in your gluteus is to sit on a massage ball, on your right or left gluteus muscles. You can then prop yourself up with your hands and feet to roll against the massage ball on the ground.