Home > LEARN > Back 101


BACK 101

Any form of exercise or stretching releases a rush of chemicals called endorphin's which are produced as a response to certain stimuli, especially during stress. It can also leave your muscles tight and twisted in knots or "hot spots". With the Stealth Align™ roller and your own body weight, you can perform self-massages using similar techniques that a physical therapist or athletic trainer uses on their clients and athletes. There are different foam rollers that come in various sizes and degrees of firmness, so you can choose one that is tailored to your needs. Washington State Chiropractor Dr. Jack Tsong recommends using the 24-inch-long Stealth Align™ that measures 8 inches in diameter. He explains that the Stealth Align™ is an important tool to break fibrous adhesions, decrease muscle spasm and work on muscle knots while increasing joint mobility. It can also help with core stability and help with posture and balance.

FUNCTION

When you have tight or restrictive muscles it can prevent you from moving properly, so you end up overcompensating with other muscles. Over time if your body consistently carries on like this, you will find yourself feeling sore in other spots, too. What can you do to help avoid this? Foam rollers are a great option to tackle these kinds of issues. Pressing the Stealth Align™ roller against the tender spots relaxes tight muscles and increases blood flow to the sore areas. According to Eunice Gong, a Physical Therapist who specializes in Sports Therapy for almost 15 years mentions that the channel created by the two discs as well as the wider tapered cylinder of the Stealth Align™ roller provides significantly more comfort to the spinous processes of the back and along the joint line and shaft of the extremities to help promote range of motion, flexibility and pain relief during exercises compared to traditional rollers.

LOWER BACK STRETCH

Place the Stealth Align™ roller perpendicular to your body on the floor and sit in front of it. Lean back slightly so your mid back touches the roller. Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floor as you extend your arms outward or place them behind your head and roll back on the roller. Contract your abdominal muscles to keep your spine in a relatively neutral position. Roll the Stealth Align™ roller back and forth on the floor from your mid back to your lower back. If at first it feels a little awkward you can reach for the back of your knees to keep yourself in the correct position before you continue.

UPPER BACK STRETCH

Stretching your upper and mid back encourages mobility in the thoracic spine, which reduces the amount of pressure and tightness you feel in the lower back. To stretch your upper back, sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lean back onto the Stealth Align™ roller so it supports your shoulder blades. You will also want to support your neck and head with your hands. Next press your feet into the floor to push your body up, rolling your upper back along the roller. Slowly lower your body and repeat this motion between 8 to 10 times. If you encounter a tight spot or "hot spot", allow your body weight to rest there for about 20-30 seconds.

LOWER BODY STRETCH

The gluteal release will help improve gluteal (buttock) flexibility. Place the Stealth Align™ roller under your gluteal (buttocks). Using your arms and leg, slowly move your body forward and backwards allowing the foam roller to massage your buttock region. Breathe normally keeping your legs relaxed. You will want to repeat this process for 15-90 seconds provided it is comfortable and does not cause pain. This stretch can be performed with your lower leg straight or bent and with your upper arm on the ground in front of or behind your body.

HIP FLEXOR RELEASE

Using the Stealth Align™ roller with this stretch will help improve hip flexors flexibility. Place the Stealth Align™ roller under your hip flexors (front of your upper thigh and pelvis). Using your arms, slowly move your body forward and backwards allowing the Stealth Align™ roller to massage the front of your hip and pelvis. Breathe normally keeping your legs and pelvis relaxed. Repeat this process for 15 – 90 seconds provided it is comfortable and does not cause pain. This exercise can be performed on your forearms or hands and with both legs off the ground or the leg that is not being massaged in contact with the ground (via the toes).

IT BAND RELEASE (ITB)

Using the Stealth Align™ roller with this stretch will help to improve ITB flexibility. It can be extremely effective in treating common knee injuries such as ITB Friction Syndrome and Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.

Place the Stealth Align™ roller under your ITB (outer thigh). Using your arms, slowly move your body up and down the Stealth Align™ roller allowing it to massage the outer thigh. Breathe normally keeping your leg relaxed. Repeat this process for 15 – 90 seconds provided it is comfortable and does not cause pain. This exercise can be performed with both legs off the ground or with the upper leg in contact with the ground (via the foot) in front of or behind the lower leg.