Pain is a signal sent to your brain and interpreted as damage to your tissues and nerves, so it alerts you of any repairs needed to be executed to restore the optimal functioning of your body. There are many ways to manage pain, including exercises that you can simply do in the comfort of your home. Tools such as a foam roller can help facilitate those exercises for better pain relief results.
So what is a foam roller and how does it relieve upper back pain? A foam roller is used in foam roll exercises, which belongs to the category of alternative treatments that you can have for pain management. Foam roll exercises may be the only self-administered pain relief intervention, or combined with other pain management techniques to boost its effectiveness.
A foam roller is an exercise tool that is used for the self-administration of deep tissue massage. This lightweight foam cylinder is used for a self-myofascial release technique that is used to address chronic pain.
Foam rollers are used in foam roll exercises for the safe and effective release of tension, tightness, and pain in your upper back by releasing your muscle knots, relieving inflammation, and reducing any discomfort felt around the pain area.
There are many types of foam rollers that you can use to ease your upper back pain, depending on your needs and current medical condition. Below is a table that shows the different foam roller options, as well as their uses.
|Types of Foam Rollers||Description|
|Low Density Foam Roller||Soft foam rollers for beginners or those with specific sensitivities.|
|High density Foam Roller||Firm rollers to add pressure on the site of damage.|
|Foam Roller Balls||Used to target specific areas.|
|Foam Rolling Sticks||Used to put pressure directly on target areas.|
|Vibrating Foam Roller||Foam rollers that are incorporated with a variety of settings to deeply loosen muscles, enhance circulation, and improve flexibility.|
|Heat and Cold Foam Roller||Equipped with heating or cooling options for muscle relaxation and pain relief.|
|Textured Foam Roller||Ridges or knobs are incorporated for deeper targeting of muscles.|
|Travel Foam Roller||Small and portable foam rollers for arms and calves.|
Foam roller exercise can be used for chronic pain relief, but it may also have an advantage in preventing the escalation of pain, tension, and tightness in your back before it becomes chronic.
Exercises with foam rollers may be done alone, or you can add it before or after an entire workout routine that suits your needs. However, a foam rolling exercise shouldn’t be done with intense pain. You should wait until the intense pain subsides before foam rolling to further alleviate any remnants of pain and discomfort that you’re currently experiencing.
Before you begin, make sure that your body is properly aligned on the foam roller. Don’t simply put the foam roller down on the floor, you should always use an exercise mat for extra cushion. Then after you finish your foam rolling routine, gently come off the foam roller, as you give yourself a minute to relax before repeating the foam roll routine or moving on to your next workout.
Foam roller routines are recommended to be done for 10 to 15 minutes, at about 1 to 4 times per day. A maximum 4 times a day may be done if you're trying to treat a certain injury. However, if you’re feeling too much pain during foam roller routines, it’s best to stop executing these routines at once.
Foam rolling is a soft tissue therapy technique that improves the quality of your back for total pain relief or pain prevention. Using a foam roller for the upper back is a safer option compared to using it for lower back pain, because the lower back doesn’t have enough bone support and foam rolling on your lumbar spine may be risky for your internal organs.
There are many ways to use a foam roller for upper back pain that will produce substantial results. There are certain stretches and exercises to help alleviate pain and discomfort around the area of damage. Many people use this to amplify their spine health, which may also be advantageous for their overall body health.
Aside from pain relief, foam rolling can also be a preventive measure to improve back support to reduce the risk of having upper back pain symptoms by relieving muscle tension, shoulder pain, muscle soreness, and other tender spot areas around the upper body..
Foam rolling can help you enhance your flexibility by correcting the stiffness in your upper back. Indeed, foam rolling can really do wonders to your posture and upper back strength, which can already be sufficient to address any possible causes and sources of pain in the area.
Each shoulder blade is included in the upper back pain area that may be resolved by a foam roller. First, you need to vertically place the foam roller along the spine to help stretch the shoulders and spine simultaneously while maintaining a neutral position. Bend your knees and keep your arms resting on the ground. Afterwards, you may choose which routine to begin among the following:
Foam roller exercise to relieve upper middle back pain may be as simple as merely lying on a foam roller horizontally for 20 to 30 seconds. Taking deep breaths is important to regulate the oxygen that goes into your body. Next, move up and down to hit the sore muscles or tender spot areas to be treated in the area. After the initial steps, you may choose between the following options:
Aside from the given exercises mentioned in the previous sections which are specifically targeting areas in the upper back for pain relief, below are more foam roller exercises for upper back pain:
Foam rolling improves your back support to avoid upper back pain by increasing your mobility while promoting healthy blood flow in the area to avoid any tissue or nerve damage that can cause pain. The benefits of foam rolling include the following:
All of the benefits of foam rolling improve the quality of the muscles, tissues, and blood flow in your upper back that results in the primary advantage of using a foam roller: for pain relief.
Finding the right foam roller for upper back pain relief is important to effectively reduce muscle tension, neck pain, shoulder pain, muscle tightness, and other forms of pain. Foam roll techniques don't need a physical therapist to be administered, however, a qualified professional with sufficient knowledge on physical therapy may be required if pain persists.
If you’re looking for other pain management techniques that may also be suited for neck pain and low back pain, you may consult Gramercy Pain Center. Our integrated approach to pain management ensures effective results as we combine physical therapy with home exercises, medications, and other minimally invasive interventions and procedures.
Schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Varma or Dr. Valimahomed today and see what Gramercy Pain Center can do for you.