Foam Rolling for Neck Pain
Foam rollers come in all different sizes. When it comes to neck pain, a smaller foam roller may seem like the logical product to purchase, but there are many different techniques you can do with the large rollers as well. Neck pain can be caused by many trigger points in the muscles, which could be around the shoulder blades and even the upper back.
A foam roller is one of the best self-massages you can do when it comes to a sore neck. Keep in mind that it will most likely be painful at first, but once you get past the discomfort you will notice a vast difference in the tightness of your muscles. Some people will give up after the first try, asking themselves, “Why am I doing something that hurts to relieve pain?” Keep in mind this is a temporary situation and the long-term benefits are worthwhile.
Also keep in mind that although some techniques are recommended daily for the foam roller, you do not want to over-treat your neck, especially if the neck issues are severe.
One exercise to relieve neck pain with the foam roller starts with using the foam roller on the neck itself. Start by lying down on your back and place the roller sideways under your neck. (It is better to use a smaller roller for this exercise). Lift your hips up slowly, while keeping your neck in position and keeping the weight directly on your neck muscles. With this particular exercise, it is best not to actually roll the foam roller, but rather keep it in place under the neck muscle for a pressure point. Keep it there for about a minute and then change to a different position on the neck.
For the side of your neck, roll over to your side while keeping the foam roller in place and repeat lifting your hips off the ground. Again, don’t roll, and keep it directly on the neck muscle for no longer than a minute. When you are finished with the first side, roll over and switch positions and do exactly what you did for the first side to remain balanced. If this places too much weight on the neck, try to change positions and learn to recognize the difference between pressure point pain and straining.