(GoHealthier.com) – Whether long days sitting at a desk have taken their toll or poor posture has finally caught up, muscle soreness can interfere with even the simplest of tasks. Some sufferers might turn to a chiropractor, an inversion table or yoga for relief, but not everyone is willing to make an initial investment of time or money.
One affordable and easy solution could be a foam roller. A soft cylinder length composed of a spongy foam material, this simple tool could help reduce muscle pain and tightness. We have the details.
Massage Your Own Back
When the back gets especially tight, not much compares to the tension-releasing relief of a good massage. Most of us don’t have the money to hire a professional, however, and we might not have anyone willing to do a good job for free, so many of us are on our own when it comes to getting those muscles to relax.
Foam rollers give us the ability to work on our own backs, regardless of where we are or whether we have anyone to help. Evidence is mixed on which muscle groups it’s best at loosening, although many experts agree it can help massage the upper back and improve range of motion in the hips, especially after exercise. There may also be some benefit in using a foam roller during exercise warmups.
Get the Most Out of Your Roller
There’s a right way and a wrong way to use a foam roller. Daily Burn warns never to use one on the lower back as the muscles in that region aren’t designed for that type of motion. It can do wonders for the upper back, however.
Physical therapist Michelle Kenway shows a handful of helpful upper back exercises that may be helpful in treating tightness and reduced range of motion:
Daily Burn also recommends the following to maximize benefits and avoid costly mistakes:
- Roll around areas that are in pain. Trying to work the tight spots themselves is likely to increase inflammation.
- Roll slowly. Moving too fast could do more harm than good.
- Don’t spend too much time in one area. Working all around the problem area will help more than concentrating the exercises.
- Check posture. A physical therapist or trainer can help ensure proper technique.
Foam rollers can be useful tools for improving muscle tightness and pain. Start small with a cut pool noodle, if need be, working up to the full-sized roller. The investment is next to nothing, but the potential benefits could be huge.
~Here’s to a Healthier Life!
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