I have a new obsession. . . Self-Myofascial release. . . better known as. . . FOAM ROLLING. . .
Seeing an image of my spine for the first time years ago was a true delight. Sigh. . . my neck. . I don't know how it sits on my head. . . and my lower back. . . wicked curved to the right. I had mild scoliosis as a child, but the hormones associated with pregnancy exacerbated my condition.
In addition to a spine curving strangely to the right, I have had the pleasure of living with bunions since childhood. My left bunion became so painful my parents allowed me to have it removed as a teenager. Since the surgery my left foot is gorgeous enough to model footwear :-) But,,, to this day my right foot remains untouched because, although worthy of being displayed in a science museum, my bunion does not hurt. How does this relate to back issues? Think gait and alignment. Everything on my body pulls to the right. When I get injured my back pulls to the right. I walk differently on my right side.
About four years ago I attempted an inverted back bend pose in yoga and ended up with immobilizing back pain. Carrying twins at about 7 pounds each to almost 37 weeks did not improve my situation. Physical therapists offered no more advice than to strengthen my core (my core is strong despite having a c-section) and to be very aware of my posture. The posture thing actually has helped. Sitting with my back straight in the car or in a chair lessens the tension and has relieved me of some of my lower back pain issues.
I like to throw around some heavy weight at the gym on occassion. It makes me feel strong and confident, but I HAVE to LISTEN to my back. If I go really heavy one week, I must do less power moves the following week.
All of this takes me to FOAM ROLLING.
Scared of missing weekend family fun and workouts I had planned the following week, out of desperation I grabbed up one of those foamy logs. Now I'm obsessed!
Here is a "Foam Rolling 101 Video" for you to view.
Foam rolling hurts so good! It is truly a self deep tissue massage!
- Called the "Poor Man's Massage"
- Helps to straighten bundled muscle tissues
- Gently roll over tender soft tissue areas
- Hold tender spots for 30 seconds
- Can be used before a workout for a warm up
- Can be used after a workout as part of your stretching routine
- Popular areas to roll out: Hamstrings, IT band, hip flexors, quadraceps
- Be careful rolling your back (especially lumbar)