Using a foam roller to ease back pain

66fit foam roller 45 cmIf, like me, you struggle with lower back pain, then activities like hillwaking and cycling are likely to cause you problems. A foam roller could be an answer, though.

A roller is a very simple piece of exercise equipment. It works on the basis of myofascial release, which is a soft tissue therapy focusing on the connective tissues, and makes use of the user’s weight to apply sustained pressure to specific parts of the body. It’s a fairly simple principle to grasp, and you’ll understand the benefit if you’ve had stiffness in muscle groups released by physio or sports massage. The relief can be heavenly!

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I should have kept the Space Hopper

The last few weeks have been robbed of adequate distraction. Consequently, I have found diversion in other things, not least the giant Swiss Ball which now forms part of my daily exercise regime.

Regular readers will know that my height can present challenges in the selection of outdoor gear, and the same is true of exercise equipment.

My ball had to be specially ordered, is made of a thicker material to support my weight etc. etc.

My programme has started by bouncing on the ball, Space Hopper-style, with a straight back. In common with all physio exercises, the more you focus on your movement, the more beneficial the exercise.

Bouncing, therefore, requires concentration but you can feel the lower abdominal and ‘core’ muscles working. I’ve now graduated to ‘supine arm raises’ and the ‘floor bridge’ and there’s plenty more where that came from.

The good news is that all this work is having a profound effect on my recovery and, I think, my future health if I keep the core workout going.

I’m also developing muscular lumps in my stomach which I didn’t think existed… time for some bouncing.

Walking tall… nearly

Dove Stones Reservoir, Oldham I went for a walk today… not far, just around Dovestones.

The significance of this lunchtime stroll was two-fold: the weather was superb and I could put one foot in front of the other without searing pain shooting down my right leg.

It felt fantastic and I walked (almost limp free) with the fanfare from Rocky trumpeting in my ears!

Perhaps I should take up golf…

The party’s over, then.

There’s no way I can ride the Lejog this year. How very, very disappointing.

I haven’t been on a bike for nearly three weeks now… my rides replaced with physio routines. I really do miss it.

I think I am making progress, though. The consumption of painkillers has reduced, I have more mobility, I’m sleeping…

The initial frustration has calmed somewhat, too, and I won’t be putting the panniers and bikes on ebay.

There’s always next year.

Now I have to focus on getting better…

On the NW plan

Not the F-Plan, the NW-Plan: How to lose six pounds in five days and look like complete crap.

Yes folks, it’s the joys of codeine, physio exercises and the cabin fever that comes with not being able to walk more than 100 yards.

I never realised there were so many cracks in the ceiling of my living room… watching the rear lawn grow is slow-burning excitement.

OK, so that was my weekend.

Things have been better this week. I am sitting at a desk writing this (like a normal human being!) rather than lying on a beanbag.

I’m planning to go to London tomorrow for a work ‘strategy’ meeting (the pain killing opiates may inject a little more interest).

Going to try a walk at lunchtime around the block, too… fresh air at last.

The NW-Plan?

Not coming to a bookshop near you any time soon.