DIY Back Massage Techniques

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Anybody can experience an unexpected twist, turn, or pull of the spine that results in some degree of back pain. Unfortunately, minor back pain doesn’t always occur at the most convenient of times. If you find yourself experiencing muscle stiffness or soreness, there are DIY massage techniques recommended by experienced spine surgeons you can easily apply in just about any setting.

Tennis Ball Technique

The simplest DIY back massage technique is to use a tennis ball and find a wall or use the floor. Just make sure you don’t press the tennis ball directly against your spine but in the area where the soreness is felt to prevent injury. You’ll then take the following steps:

• Place a tennis ball on the floor or against a well.
• Move your body either side to side or up and down along the affected area.
• Press hard enough so that you feel the pressure of the ball, but not hard enough to experience any pain.

Foam Roller/Towel Massage

Foam rollers are ideal for a DIY back massage. A rolled-up towel can also be used to achieve similar results; reach behind you with the towel and put it towards your spine and roll it over your back while grabbing the ends of the towel. A foam roller can be used self-massage your upper or lower back.

Upper Back

• Position the foam roller under the affected area of your upper back.
• Straighten your arms and bend your legs.
• Lift your buttocks while placing your hands and feet on the ground.
• Shift your weight backward and forward over the foam roller.

Lower Back

• Place the foam roller under your lower back in the affected area.
• Bend your arms and legs.
• Raise your buttocks and press your elbows and feet to the ground.
• Ease your body backward and forward over the foam roller.

Do-it-yourself back massages can be effective for minor aches and pains due to muscle strain. For back pain that comes on suddenly and lingers or becomes progressively worse, however, you’ll want to check with your doctor to determine if there’s a source of your back pain that would likely respond better to some type of treatment beyond a DIY massage.

When conservative methods like massage or acupuncture are no longer supplying adequate pain relief, reach out to The Spine Institute Center at (310) 828-7757. Our team of experienced board-certified orthopedic surgeons are leaders in the spine care industry and can help you rediscover a pain-free life. Reach out today.