How To Find The Best Foam Roller For Back Pain

Always having a foam roller for back pain nearby is like having your own personal deep tissue massage therapist available to you if there is tension in your back and you need some quick relief.

Depending on how far along you are in your healing process or if you are looking for a way to release pressure in your muscles after a workout, finding the best foam roller for you can provide instant relief from back pain and help sore muscles recover faster.

Types Of Foam Rollers

When trying to decide which foam roller is going to be best for your back pain there are a few things to consider before you make your purchase. When foam rollers were first introduced years ago they were just plain white pieces of foam. As their popularity increased due to the benefits provided from regular use, foam rollers evolved overtime into the many different types that are available today.

Since back pain can be caused by any number of conditions, you don’t want to jump into foam rolling if you don’t yet know the cause of your pain. If you’ve experienced sudden back pain due to lifting a heavy object or stepping wrong and you felt something tweak in your back then foam rolling is probably not going to be the first thing you should do to help relieve the pain.

If you have had chronic back pain due to things like inactivity, tightness of the muscles, and sciatica, or you are just looking to release tension in your muscles after your workout, foam rolling has the potential to provide you with amazing relief from the pain. Foam rollers come in varying intensities so it is important to find the right one for you in order to get the most out of the foam roller you purchase.

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1. Extra Firm

Extra firm foam rollers are a good place to start when looking for a standard foam roller because they are very gentle and are going to provide the least amount of pressure on your back.

If you have never foam rolled before and are just beginning your journey to a life free of back pain then it might be necessary for you to start here. The even amount of pressure that is provided can be a great way to get your back muscles used to more pressure and start to increase blood flow.

2. Multi-Density

If you are looking for more pressure than a standard foam roller can provide but still have days when you need less pressure and other days when you need more pressure, a multi-density foam roller offers varying levels of intensity depending on your needs.  

These types of foam rollers usually have a PVC pipe core with a standard EVA foam outer shell so they are much more durable than standard foam rollers and will last much longer. This is the type of foam roller that I currently use and it provides my back and muscles everything they need in order to recover from an intense vinyasa yoga workout.


3. Deep Tissue

Just like going to a massage therapist to release deep knots in your back muscles, a deep tissue foam roller is going to have bumps all throughout the roller that are going to act as fingers that dig deep into the connective tissue in your back.

If you have muscle soreness this type of foam roller will provide immediate relief and increases flexibility with the many different trigger points that come in contact with your back. Using a deep tissue foam roller can be very painful, just like a deep tissue massage, but if you have been practicing yoga for a while and are healthy then it is a great tool that can be used to break up scar tissue and help rehabilitate muscles.


4. Alignment

Foam rollers that offer specific designs intended to target specific points of your body such as your spine or calf muscles are great for focusing on problem areas. These types of foam rollers give you the ability to control exactly where on your body will be affected and give you the ability to isolate specific muscle groups.

 Finding The Best Foam Roller For Back Pain

Consistently foam rolling your muscles is one of the best ways that you can prevent injury and work out any tension in your back that is causing you pain.

I personally foam roll for around 10 minutes every day focusing on all parts of my body that are responsible for flexibility and lower back pain including my hamstrings, upper and lower back, shoulders, thighs, hips, and calves. You can really use the foam roller anywhere that you have tension in your body and receive immediate relief from the pain.

Although foam rolling is an excellent way to help with back pain, starting a regular yoga routine is going to accelerate the healing process exponentially. A regular yoga practice is the most natural way that you can start to find relief from your back pain and adding a foam roller to the mix will help you find the relief you’ve been looking for.

What type of foam roller could you use for your back pain?

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  1. Benjamin

    My wife loves yoga and being pregnant her back hurts more and more every day now. She just passed the 7 months mark and it’s just a struggle for her to deal with the pain and go about her day to day life like she used to . I’m up to try anything new to help her feel better quick. But we’ll keep doing what we can to help her feel better. Thanks for the advice.

    1. yoga (Post author)

      I’m not too familiar with prenatal yoga myself but I know a lot of women who continue practicing yoga throughout their pregnancy and it helps give the body more support with the added weight of the baby. I hope she finds a way to deal with the pain!

  2. Mijareze

    I just read your post titled, “How to Find the Best Foam Roller for Back Pain.” I like the way you approached your writing. Instead of just trying to sell the foam roller for back pain, you first advised your readers about when your foam roller is appropriate and perhaps when it would be better to seek other venues of treatment for pain relief. Take me for example, I’ve had 3 back surgeries and 3 neck surgeries. Your foam roller could bring me some relief, but only after seeking other ongoing treatments. I get epidurals or cortisone injections approximately two or three times per year. I also use a heating pad. Thank you for allowing me to comment on your website.
    Edward Mijarez

    1. yoga (Post author)

      Hi Edward!
      I’m glad you enjoyed this post! Foam rolling is definitely something that should be done if you can do it without physical pain. It sounds like since you’ve had a few surgeries foam rolling isn’t going to do much for your pain but you should look into a restorative yoga practice like the ones I talk about here. Thanks for the comment!


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