How to Roll Out Lower Back Pain

by Cindy Gray

You may already understand that the cause of lower back pain is often how we sit hunched over our desk or slouch in a chair when watching TV. Easing that misalignment with foam rolling exercises can be a good way to help ease nagging lower back pain. However, the exercises must be done correctly to avoid inflicting further damage on a strained or unaligned body.

Foam rolling is the latest technique for easing lower back pain

What is a Foam Roller?

Foam rollers are the latest fitness aid and are excellent for stretching hunched shoulder muscles and realigning the body. Made from high density foam, these lightweight foam rollers are about 6 inches in diameter, up to 36 inches in length and cost less than $10.

You will find plenty of foam roller exercise ideas to try out using your foam roller to strengthen muscle, improve circulation, stretch the body and provide a self-acupressure massage. You will find foam rolling exercises relieve lower back pain, reduce stiffness and alleviate spinal compression.

How to Use a Foam Roller Safely for Lower Back Pain

Lie on the floor and place the roller under your lower back, then gently roll up and down on the device, feeling the muscles relax in response to the pressure applied to the acupressure points in the back. Roll over the foam roller slowly and steadily, allowing the body to eliminate adhesions as the muscles adapt to the compression.


Lower back pain is caused by poor posture and tension imbalances elsewhere in the body. Hunched shoulders, carrying heavy shoulder bags and using a keyboard with outstretched arms for hours can all cause lower back pain. It makes sense that to correct this imbalance, you should not use the foam roller where the pain is, but where the cause is. If you use the foam roller on an area that is already inflamed, it is only likely to make the pain worse. Instead, work on muscles surrounding the back pain. Do general stretching exercises to help those stretched muscles relax, and other shortened muscles expand, relieving the pressure that causes lower back pain.

Keep moving the foam roller from one spot to the next all over the upper back, applying the foam rolling technique for just 20 seconds, then move on. It’s a good idea to watch a YouTube video about foam rolling exercises to make sure you are holding your body in the correct posture during your lower back workout. Work in a class, or video yourself to check that your technique is correct; and don’t push through any area that causes more pain.

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