A Foam Roller Massage For Aches & Pains In Your Low Back
Lower back pain has, by far, become one of the most common aches and pains. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates anywhere from 60 to 70% of people in industrialized nations will suffer from low back pain1 at some point in their lives.
Luckily for that 60 to 70%, there are lots of ways you can care for a strained lower back, whether through yoga, chiropractic, or a restorative foam rolling sequence.
Lauren Roxburgh, an alignment expert and one of our very own mbg class instructors, has an entire class dedicated to foam rolling, and she includes a simple but effective move to massage out your low back. It's called a sacral roll—here's how to do it.
The Sacral Roll
Start by lying on your back, with your foam roller directly under your hips. Knees are bent toward you with your feet off the ground. Roxburgh says to make sure the roller sits right above the tailbone on your sacrum, or the wedge-shaped bone at the bottom of your spine.
With the roller comfortably in place, grab either side of it with each hand.
From here, inhale as you roll to the right, keeping your left side shoulder and rib upon the mat as your knees drop. Come back to center on an exhale, and inhale again as your knees fall to the opposite side.
Keeping your opposite shoulder and rib on the mat will ensure correct alignment and the safety of your spine within the twist. Remember to move with your breath as you take a few rounds of this sacral roll; deepening your breath as you go will allow you to go deeper into the stretch.
Both the low back and the upper glutes are very prone to compression, congestion, and pain. This move helps roll out a lot of that tension, inviting freshly oxygenated blood to the area. And because you are slightly elevated on the roller, this counts as an inversion (your hips are higher than your heart, and your heart is higher than your head), which decompresses the spine, helps you stand taller, and eases pain.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.