Setting up the foam roller for back pain and stress release

The foam roller has many uses and I wanted to discuss one of the simplest ways of using it to release back pain and stress.

In the photo above I am placing the foam roller on the flat surface of the reformer when it has been temporarily converted into a mat surface. You can easily perform this stress-relieving exercise on any mat or floor too.

You will find it delightful to lie your back down on the roller with bent knees keeping you stable on top of the rounded roller surface. This provides one of the best ways for the integrity of the straight spine to be supported while the rounded surface allows the shoulder blades to rest on either side of the roller. This positioning gives a unique release to the entire spine.

Lying down on the foam roller to relieve back pain and stress


You can draw your abdominal muscles in and flatten the lower spine onto the roller and let the low back release as the muscles secure the spine’s position at the edge of the round roller.

I like to rock gently from side to side as it massages the spine very gently. This gentle and restorative pose on the roller can release back pain, aches, spasm and stress. I find this simple exercise to be profoundly healing and recommend it to almost everyone!

In the photos below I show the same exercise can be done with a “Half foam roller” which is literally half a round foam roller. The half foam roller stays still on the mat and can be more securing and relaxing.

Setting up the half foam roller for back pain release and stability

The use of the half-foam roller also works well if you plan to lie on it and perform other Pilates leg and arm exercises. The stable and un-moving half foam roller gives support for the spine and back while the more complex arm and leg exercises can challenge the muscles without straining the spine.

I suggest this for those who have experienced chronic pain conditions, and chronic back conditions so that you can guarantee the back and spine have all the support they need.


Lying on the half foam roller for pain release and stability