The Ma Roller was the epitome of back care in the 80’s and 90’s. I remember seeing tools such as the Ma Roller around the house as a child, and wondering what they actually do. Now that my body needs daily care, I finally understand what this tool does! My fiance and I pull out our trusty Ma Roller when we have a particularly bad day of pain. It never fails to make us sleep like babies, and wake up pain free in the morning.
The steady trait of a Ma Roller are its two humps in the middle of the roller that make a perfect mold for the spine to fit in. This makes it easy to rest and relax, as the roller does its job.
How to Use:
Because the Ma Roller is harder than the average foam roller, it doesn’t feel great to roll it up and down the spine. It may be too much to begin on a hard surface, so first begin this process on a bed or mat.
- Position the Ma Roller at the lower spine and relax. Allow the two bumps to compress the muscles on either side of the spine.
- Hold for about two minutes, or longer if you feel you need it, and then move on up the spine-vertebrae by vertebrae. This whole process usually takes me about ten minutes, but I don’t complain.
Lacrosse Ball/ Tennis Ball
There are some areas that are hard to reach. A lacrosse ball and tennis ball can get into those hard to reach areas of the back, shoulders, and neck.
There are a couple ways to use these tools:
1. Use a wall to press your body into the tennis ball.
2. Roll it on the painful area using your hand.
If the ball keeps dropping, use a pillow case or sock to hold onto it.
The essential tool that you may already have sitting in a closet-the foam roller. There are many shapes and sizes of rollers, some with bumps, some smooth, and some handheld. Any type you have will be a benefit to your entire body. Foam rollers allow you to perform muscular manipulation in your home or gym. Not to mention fascial manipulation (you know that sheath of connective tissue that every body worker has mentioned at least once).
Foam rollers are simple to use, and there are a couple ways you can use one for back pain.
- Lay it on the ground perpendicular (horizontal) to your back, and use your legs to roll your back over the roller. I love to rest my my mid back on the roller without moving. This allows for gentle traction to my low back as well as a minor adjustment to my spine.
- Lay the roller parallel (vertical) to your spine, and spread your arms out to the side. Use small rocking movements, knead the muscles along the sides of spine. You can also stretch your chest by laying still and letting your arms traction outwards!