Hi guys, this is Atticus!
I’d like to share with you my personal experience with my first foam roller just to give you guys more insight into how MyoTrigger started: We aren’t just an online retail, MyoTrigger is a manifestation of Jonah’s and my amazement with the results of our foam rolling and our dream to bring it to injured athletes like us everywhere. We started this business because we recognized that the best and most sustainable to achieve that dream was through sound yet innovative economics.
Before we were MyoTrigger
Jonah and I used to be avid basketballers who have always dreamt of dunking the basketball into a 10ft, 3.05 m rim. Standing at only 1.79 m myself, that meant I needed close to a 40″ (>1 m) vertical jump to reach this goal. Jonah is even shorter at 1.65 m.
We started intense workout routines, trying all sorts of different jump programmes such as Air Alert III, Air Alert IV, and The Jump Manual. These usually required us to do plyometric or heavy resistance training 3-4 times a week in addition to our basketball trainings.
We must have done thousands of squat jumps, barbell squats, deadlifts and the like and I eventually achieved a 36″ vertical jump and touched the rim with ease – almost dunking a basketball!
Debilitating Back Pain
Alas, our overzealous training left me with knee pain and a slight back discomfort and my vertical jump progress quickly plateaued and declined. After persisting with other forms of training, I was eventually diagnosed with a slipped disc due to an overactive back muscle and bad posture.
Briefly, the intervertebral disc bulged and pressed onto my large sciatic nerve – a major nerve – causing sciatica. This manifested it self as a sharp lower back pain that radiated down my leg and hence prevented any form of exertion.
Boy, was I devastated! I had gone from almost dunking the basketball to a cripple. I went on an intense physiotherapy programme and I often increased the frequency or intensity of the exercises prescribed to me and I recovered from my back pain quickly. However, there was always a lingering pain that did not disappear regardless of the amount of planks, hamstring curls, pilates, glute strengthening and a variety of stretches I did. My back muscles were always tight and I always had to watch my posture, whether walking, lying down, sitting or even picking a dropped phone – it was such a chore.
My Foam Rolling Journey
Being the fitness geek I was, I was constantly sourcing new ways to solve my tight back and back pain, such as new back stretches, spinal decompression, and finally, foam rolling. My magical journey began with this foam roller:
On good days now, I could finally dunk a basketball. How did I get here? It all started with this little guy above. This is a 45 cm EVA Foam Roller with trigger dots that I bought from one of the local stores. I later purchased other foam rollers – which sucked big time.
Admittedly, it was really painful at first to roll my lower back, but it was a good kind of pain, just like a massage – which is what it was supposed to do. Although it just felt comfortable at first, I could feel my back loosening up after a few days. It no longer tightened everytime I made a movement and keeping it relaxed became an unconscious state. I could actually SEE the difference in my posture: stomach in, chin in, less arch in my lower back.
Today, I still foam roll my lower back about four times a week with the Masseur’s Hand to keep the muscles supple and relaxed. I do so on Mondays, Wednesdays (back day), Fridays, and Saturdays (when I am stuck at the computer the whole day coming up with quality content for you guys!). If I take an extended break, the tightness will slowly settle in again.
What about you guys? Have you had lower back problems and sciatic pain? I’d love to hear about them and what you did to alleviate it in the comments below!
P.S Stay tuned for our foam rolling infographic, where I will share the foam roller exercises I did to alleviate my back pain. It is a series of hamstring, glute, hip flexor, and lower back foam roller exercises.