Hi my name is Dr. Brad Connery, Focus Physical Therapy and today I wanted to kind of do a video on interviewing why physical therapists or why people use foam rolls.
In particular how why we use them kind of in our practice as well. Foam rolls for those that go to the gym and kind of do a lot of running and just a lot of activity.
Foam rolling is kind of a staple. It has different purposes. A lot of times people that are doing like running or going to CrossFit or boot camps a lot of times you’re using foam rolling for overuse injuries that in particular muscle problems they get really tight from running or jumping.
A lot of repetitive activities so like if you got like a knee issue the whole foam roll the quad foam roll that it’s not really a bad exercise.
But sometimes we actually use it for other areas as well. A lot of times people will use it to kind of release their back in particular the mid-back.
I’m not real big on using the foam roll. Or low back. You can, but it doesn’t tend to get people that are relieved through kind of looking for it.
And oftentimes when I’m using it for the back, I’m using it mostly for mid-back or neck. Especially for neck issues.
Mid-back as well. So, and the thing about the mid-back and neck is they kind of go hand in hand. Meaning that there’s a lot of research showing that when you have neck problems that you will get a lot of relief when you kind of actually will do thoracic mobility as well.
So, you’ll kind of go over some of the thoracic mobility things that we show people. And oftentimes when I’m having neck pain, I usually almost always start with mid-back anyway.
Cause it’s looking more comfortable. Especially if your neck’s really, really, really hurting. Some of the range of motion exercises or neck issues.
But the stretches you do, you’ll hurt too much, you get much out of it. So it’s always good to start your mid-back and kind of move up to your neck.
Okay? So one of the more common ways that people will do from long and long their own for the mid-back is kind of having it this way.
Kind of like, at a 90-degree angle from your spine. And what they’ll do is get down on it and kind of roll back and forth in their mid-back.
And it can feel, Pretty good. I’d say if you’re really, really flared up, it’s not gonna feel great. But if you’re not flared up and you’re just kind of tight, it’s a great use of the foam roll to kind of move your mid-back and roll it up and down.
You can usually find some muscles that are tight to try to kind of release. Okay? Now, oftentimes when I’m seeing people as far as a new neck or mid-back issue, I would do a little bit different approach to try to help just start the process of getting some movement.
Okay? So again, I use this a lot for neck problems and for like postural issues as well. So I usually start this way where you kind of move the foam roll a little bit up and down where you can just kind of go along your spine.
It is lay on it. What we’re doing with this is, We’ll help some muscles. You can actually kind of roll it side to side to get a little bit of rhomboid kind of thoracic muscles to release a little bit.
But for my purposes, I’m actually trying to get the joints of the thoracic spine to move. So all the time is when we’re having neck pain and mid-back pain, we’re kind of slumped over and slumped forward because we’re all work postural jobs.
So we want the joints of the mid-back to kind of move so, But oftentimes, just laying in here, letting your pecs kind of stretch out because they get tight from postural string.
Just letting gravity work to kind of straighten that spine out and kind of let it feel good. Okay? Now what I’ll do is follow after three, four minutes of that on a daily basis, I’ll put arms on my side and actually reach up over my head.
Nice easy stretch and come back down. I’ll do like 15 to 20 reps. So, The reason we do that is because it mid back, especially right between your shore blades, that’s an area that gets really, really tight and really impacts your neck.
And that’s a hard area to self-mobilize or self-move. And so your shoulders, actually, once they kind of reach all the way overhead, that last little bit of shoulder movement actually comes from your mid back.
And, Doing the shoulder reach and the foam rolls the same time gets that mid back to kind of stretch a little bit more so it should feel good.
So I just do like 15, 20 reps of that. You can actually do like angels as well if you want to.
It has another way to do it. Now if I got somebody with the neck problem I’ll oftentimes get them to start some of their new neck exercises here, where we’ll do chin tucks, which is a very classic fizz- little therapy neck exercise to work on.
Sometimes I’ll do neck rotation here. So that way we can get some mobility through your neck, hopefully in a more pain-free way because you’re laying down without gravity pushing down on you.
You can get kind of get some movement early on. Okay. Lastly I still kind of still trying to focus on thoracic spine that will also help your neck.
So I like to roll off. And I like to do kind of some whatever yoga move where I put my hand underneath and roll it through and back.
Now I do 15 and 20 reps on that. And inside usually feels really good. It’s called thread the needle and yoga, but again, we’re doing it more therapy style where we’re doing reps and not really much of a hole.
I’m just going for self-mobility of getting some thoracic rotation. It feels really good. This is like a basic regimen that I get to be able to do the first day of starting therapy.
Foam rolls are relatively cheap. You know, I like the this long one because you can do anything on there. If you get short when you’re going to do like your legs, but the long ones you can do your back, you can do your legs.
You can still do that. This is a s- 6-inch when I prefer it. It’s 6-inch because it’s a little bit more, more sturdy.
You can come at 4 inches, but they don’t seem to kind of work as well. If you don’t have one, actually, would I recommend to people before you use a pool noodle?
The cheaper they’re not as solid because this foam rolls going to be a little bit more solid. Maybe, but if you just don’t have anything that foam pool noodle works and sometimes I’ve had people a guy gave me this idea once, where I kept the pool needle.
Noodle kind of down one side, it kind of wrap around another one so you get it bigger. To kind of at least be able to do these exercises here.
Sure, here’s the text with the timestamps removed:
You can get these on Amazon for like, you know, 30, 40 bucks is pretty cheap. I do prefer the ones that’s kind of also smooth and not bumpy because the bumping ones are kind of intense.
And most people would don’t really need that. So this is my favorite one. It can be 3 foot long, 36 inches, 6 inch in diameter.
So hope this helps. Again, it’s just a beginning part of getting your neck headaches, mid back kind of under control for some postural stress, which is the most common reason people have these problems.
So if you have questions, you’d like to actually get this better with more individual treatment. You can look at our websites, visit with therapylova.com.
Request a free visit phone call be specialized in chronic pain and people that have long-standing issues. So give us a call for a free visit.
It’s a five, oh nine, five, oh two, five, oh nine, three, one, three, six in the local Kentucky area. And hopefully you can find some free versus free resources on our website as well.
So hang in there and hopefully we’ll see you soon. You can eat us. Talk to you later.