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Foam rollers have increased in popularity in the last five years as a way to relieve muscle pain. Most of us have suffered from back pain at some point in their lives. But when you suffer from chronic lower back pain, relief must be on hand at any given moment. This is where foam rollers are a really useful tool to have. Which is why we are reviewing the best foam rollers for back pain today.
I personally suffer from bad lower back pain where simple tasks like standing for 5 to 10 minutes can become quite painful. So finding a foam roller to suit my needs is especially important to me. Foam rollers can treat many part of the body and are ideal for myofascial release. But when it comes to the back region, it can be quite difficult to reach. This is why it is important you buy the best foam rollers suitable for the back region.
Quick Links To Info On This Page
- 1 What Are The Best Foam Rollers For Back Pain In 2017
- 2 Are Foam Rollers Good For Your Back
- 3 Best Foam Roller For Beginners
- 4 Top Rated Mid Density Foam Roller For Lower Back Muscles
- 5 Intense Firm Tough & Strong
- 6 Best Roller For Deep Tissue Massage
- 7 Should You Foam Roll You Lower Back?
What Are The Best Foam Rollers For Back Pain In 2017
Knowing Which Foam Roller To Buy
If you are a complete beginner to using a foam roller, then the ideal roller for you would be a low density one. The low density rollers are far less intense on your muscles. The high density rollers will be hard and you will feel great pain. While it is good to get a deep hard massage, you should work your way up to using a higher density foam roller.
Below I have reviewed the different density rollers available that are suitable for beginners, people with lower back pain and anyone in need of a serious deep tissue massage. Foam rollers typically come in two varieties. Flat and smooth like gloss roller sleeve used in painting to give an even smooth rubbing across the muscles and a more rough textile roller to give a more deeper muscle pounding.
Are Foam Rollers Good For Your Back
How To Foam Roll Your Back
The back comprises of three main areas, the upper back (Trapezius), the middle (Rhomboids by your scapula) and the lower back. The lower back is typically the more tender area of the three for most people. So it’s best to go slower and be more careful when using a foam roller on the lower back. Incorrectly rolling your back can be more detrimental then your previous condition.
So it’s extremely important you don’t just jump into any ole roller and do any ole thing. It’s best to start up the top near your shoulders and work your way down to your lower back. Using the foam roller vertically rather than across the body is a subtle way to roll out your lower back while also working the more supportive upper back muscles. If you are worried about rolling your lower back (As shown in the video down further called ‘Never Foam Roll Your Lower Back’), you can turn your body on the side and support your body while rolling the lower back.
This method doesn’t force so much pressure onto the spine. Alternatively you can try a foam roller between your lower back and a sturdy wall. Crouched down slide up and down the wall. Think of this as exercise while also massaging any tense muscles in the back.
Best Foam Roller For Beginners
Fit Harmony 365 Dual Roller With Carry Bag Review
This is the foam roller to buy if you are seriously stuck on which one is best for you. Why?. Well, it covers the best of both worlds. A softer less dense foam sleeve (The pink), while the outer core roller is a more deep tissue massage style of roller. It really gets in deep knots and drags them out for your own personal revenge. The Fit Harmony 365 offers an amazing value for the money at a price I was even amazed by.
This is a two for one combination roller. See the great value now?. Both the rollers can be used individually. You are not limited to using the black roller only if the pink is inside. The strong PVC outer core of the textured roller is built to be hollow and withstand the pressure being applied by the back.
This roller by Fitness Harmony is a great choice for both beginners to the foam rolling world and also lower back pain sufferers. As mentioned earlier, a beginner should also start on a low density profile. In this case that is the pink foam roller. It is much softer and squishier that the black textile roller. The pink roller applies a move even overall roll. Which is what a beginner needs when first starting out.
Best Foam Roller For Lower Back Pain Sufferers
Because the lower back is such a sensitive area and is not supported by the rib cage like the mid and high back regions, a softer and more gentle foam roller is recommended.
After some experience using the pink roller, you can then jump onto the much more firmer roller. The black textured one. This will give your muscles a bit of a shake up. It’s a hefty upgrade from the pink roller. So do make sure to go slower and more gently when taking on the black roller. Once you are use to the deep tissue style massage, you can use this roller to get in and relieve those knots like never before. This is a great combination foam roller for the beginner at an extremely affordable price.
Top Rated Mid Density Foam Roller For Lower Back Muscles
The Core By TriggerPoint Performance
The Core By TriggerPoint Performance is a mid level density foam roller ideal for beginners and anyone wanting to take the next step after a firm smooth roller. Say the next step up from the pink soft foam roller mentioned above as part of the Fit Harmony package. But the black roller may be too harsh, this is when the Core roller is your next best bet.
It is a more expensive roller than the Fit Harmony pack, but it is a far superior foam roller in my opinion. You get just this one Core roller for a little more money that the dual pack. But with this EVA foam roller, I suspect it to last a long long time. Compared to your typical foam roller, this Core model is filled with EVA foam (Ethylene vinyl acetate). Eva is basically a closed cell foam that has greater recovery features when abused (bounce back well) and is more resilient and softer than Polyethylene. So it can certainly handle being used vigorously on the ground without the fear of breaking it. Do note that the Core model has a weight capacity of 325 pounds.
The Core model comes in two different sizes. 18 and 36 inches in length. For anyone wanting to achieve full Yoga style back massaging where the roller is vertical running up your entire back, then the 36 inch model will be the right choice. The 18 inch will be too short. The 18 inch model however is a nice for rolling across the back muscles depending on your body size. The subtle indentations of the Core are a nice touch as they can really allow you to apply pressure to break up knots and improve mobility. Not extreme high density like the two models shown below (Not for beginners).
Intense Firm Tough & Strong
The Grid X Review
The Grid x by TriggerPoint Performance is a little smaller that the other models at 13 inches in length. While it is shorter, it makes up for it in the density department. Being one of the firmest hollow foam rollers I have experienced, this short but powerful roller could really do some damage when needed. Best of all it has a high weight capacity of 500 pounds. So pretty much anyone can use the Grid X on their backs and other parts of their bodies.
Unlike other comparable rollers, the Grid X can withstand the weight of the user on it as well. This roller doesn’t crumble beneath you offering little to no relief. This is a very firm roller with nice textured rolling patterns designed so you feel it pressing into your muscles. If you get tight muscles from the gym, or like me have stiff back muscles, they need to be broken up every now and then. I find the Grid X to be a highly effective foam roller for breaking up stiff and constricted muscles.
But in saying this, I am not over empathizing how firm the Grid X is for no reason. This thing is firm and can be painful (in a good way) when it hits those tight muscles. If you are not suffering from tight sore muscles then I would suggest going with a mid level foam roller over this bad boy.
Best Roller For Deep Tissue Massage
The Rumble Roller Review
The Rumble Roller is a hugely popular foam roller used among athletes and gym goers the world over. Due to its realistic massage therapy treatment design, the Rumble Roller actually feels like someone is digging their fingers right into those connective tissues in your back. Free up oxygen and allow blood to pump easier. This roller is a beast and built for some serious pain relief. That is just the blue model, the black version of the Rumble Roller is even more firmer!.
But don’t be afraid, the pain is a good pain. A sense of relief that the pain you are suffering now is going to cause immediate relief from the constant muscle pain and stiffness. Okay, on your first attempt you may get a bruise or too and it may feel like you are getting tortured. But this is completely normal. We love the pain right?.
No, it does get better and easier to use the Rumble Roller. It truly is unique in offering a fantastic resemblance to a real finger massage. The bruising even stops after the first few rolling sessions as you muscles get use to the textured surface digging into deep tissue and unlocking constricted knots, nerves etc.
The Roller Rumble comes in two sizes as well. A smaller model 12 inches and a longer roller at 31 inches. Both lengths come in either the blue or black models. The black being the firmest of the bunch. I particularly like the longer 31 inch model on my back as it can also get right into those knots in the shoulders. I frequently get stubborn knots build up in my shoulders which send out pain to other areas like my arms. The Rumble Roller is the tool for me when it comes to extraction time. It rollers through the knots like no ones business and man do I feel instant relief.
I cant recommend this roller enough for frequent pain sufferers. It’s a beast and it will do damage. So be prepared to take a little pain and bruising to receive a greater pain relief. The kind of relief you have been searching for.
Should You Foam Roll You Lower Back?
This is completely up to you and it is a topic that is often debated. In this video below, the popular fitness instructor Jeff explains why using a foam roller on your bad is not such a good idea?. Do you agree or think he is being a little too protective?.