Long before foam rollers started showing up in almost every home gym or living room floor, they were a popular tool among athletes and health practitioners.
Also known as self-myofascial release, foam rolling may allow users to target muscles, joints and the fascia. When using a repetitive rolling motion on a target area, a foam roller may reduce tension, work out knots and reduce pain by applying self-administered manual therapy.
While you can apply a foam roller to any muscle group or connective tissue area, the pressure you apply and the stretches you do will depend on what you are targeting and what you hope to achieve.
Below is some information on the different areas you can target with a foam roller.
How To Use A Foam Roller On Your Neck
To use a foam roller on your neck, you should lie on your back, position the roller behind your neck and keep your arms by your side with your back flat against the ground.Repeatedly turning your head side to side may help decrease tightness at the back of your neck.
Avoid rolling up and down over the joints in your neck.
How To Use A Foam Roller On Your Upper Back
Place the foam roller under your shoulders. You should keep your knees bent and place your hands at the base of your neck with your elbows pointing upwards. As you roll forward and back, you should keep your core tight and lift your hips slightly.
Alternatively, you can place the foam roller along the length of your spine.
Be mindful to position the roller so your tailbone and neck are supported. The movement starts with your arms spread out to your side with your arms facing upwards towards the ceiling. Bring your hands up to touch as if you were clapping. This movement can be repeated for up to one minute.
Using a foam roller on your upper back may relieve tensions and alleviate pain caused by poor posture, particularly if you regularly hunch over, roll your shoulders forward or slouch.
Using A Foam Roller On Your Hamstrings
Using a foam roller may help loosen your hamstrings and boost blood flow to certain areas in your legs, which often get stiff if you are prone to sitting for long periods.
To use a foam roller or foam ball on your hamstrings, you need to sit on the ground, preferably on a hard surface. With your legs extended straight in front of you, place the foam roller at the back of your leg in between your knee and hip. Slowly and repeatedly roll forward and back along the length of your thigh.
When it comes to foam rolling, there is a certain amount of pressure that needs to be applied, in addition to specific moves and techniques. All of which need to be done correctly as improper use may result in further injury.
As for using a foam roller on your lower back, this is an area you should approach with caution. Before embarking on any self-administered therapies, you may wish to consult a health practitioner for advice, such as a chiropractor.
When receiving chiropractic care, you may receive:
- A physical exam to evaluate your musculoskeletal systems
- Spinal adjustments aimed at manipulated areas of the spine to reduce pain and inflammation
- Assisted with exercises and stretches
Chiropractic care involves the application of hands-on pressure to manipulate areas and joints in the spine, which may reduce or address pain, address tension, reduce inflammation and get you back to your normal self.
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