Let’s face it; we don’t always have the time or the money to get a professional massage or visit a chiropractor. When you’re facing back pain and limited on resources, self-massage and an inversion table are inexpensive solutions that can help reduce pain and the cost of treating your back pain.
Self-massage is a great way to reduce back pain, and the price is certainly right. One big advantage of self-massage is that you can target the exact area that is sore. With self-massage, it is important to listen to your body and pain signals. You are the best person to know when to move on from a particular area or if you are pushing too hard. The main goal of self-massage should be to loosen the muscles surrounding the area that is in pain, while avoiding overworking the area that your pain is stemming from.
The Best Tool for Self-Massage
A foam roller is a great way to get started. If you don’t want to splurge on a foam roller, a soccer ball or basketball works just as well. Try to relax, but keep your core stable. Put the roller right under your back and slowly move. Support yourself with your arms and legs to help you avoid twisting your back or putting too much pressure on a particular area. Move slowly. Roll as long as it feels good. If you are unsure what to do, there are many different videos that can show you proper foam rolling form. Try working on your upper back and hips as these places can influence the lower back muscles and help with lower back pain. Find a personal trainer or therapist to demonstrate the correct form if you feel like you need a little more help.
What About Inversion Tables?
Inversion tables can be a great tool to help you heal as well. Inversion tables offer a way to relieve the pressure that is put on your back throughout the day. By hanging upside down, your are able to stretch out muscles in your back and release tension in your spine. Using an inversion table is not for everyone, and you want to make sure you are gradually increasing the angle and length of time you are using it. Talk to your doctor first to make sure it is safe for you. Don’t jump to hanging completely upside down the first time you try it. You also don’t have to go to 90 degrees. Work up to 60 degrees for five to 10 minutes once or twice a day. Inversion works great as long as you do it; but it’s like brushing your teeth, as soon as you stop, the effect goes away.
Typically, a single massage or visit to a chiropractor will run you at least $80. With self-massage and an inversion table, you could get relief similar to these expensive treatments more often and spend a fraction of that. While self-massage and inversion tables may not be complete replacements for a professional massage or chiropractic care, they are an excellent way to relieve stress and can help improve your pain before professional massage or chiropractic care is necessary.