Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for BackFixx. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. This post also contains affiliate links.
General back pain has to be one of the number one complaints doctors hear from their patients. I know in my career as a fitness instructor, it’s certainly one of the most noted complaints I hear from my clients. But “back pain” is just a general term, and from a muscle standpoint alone it could mean anything from a tight trapezius muscle (which is usually my personal complaint), to an over tightened glute muscle that is causing discomfort in the low back, to weak glute muscles, weak erector spinae muscles, and a million other things in between. So when someone comes to me to say they have back pain, the very first thing I ask them to do is describe it. I need to determine if it is most likely muscular, skeletal, or something else. If I can (with pretty good certainty) determine that it is caused by muscular or facial tightness versus a more serious issue, I will suggest a few stretches they can to do to try and relief the pain, and will often suggest some muscular and fascia release exercises once things are feeling a bit better to help prevent a relapse. If it sounds like a more serious issue that is out of my scope of practise I obviously tell them to go see their doctor for a professional diagnosis. Fortunately, many times a few stretches is all that most people need to feel better!
Aside from traditional stretches, the foam roller tends to be the “go-to” piece of equipment for people wanting to release muscle and fascia tightness, and while I adore my foam rollers (I have three. So sue me, haha), I think of them as more of a “general upkeep” piece of equipment. For those more targeted areas I like to use smaller tools which now includes the BackFixx.
I created a short video to tell you more about this product, and a few of my favourite uses which you can watch below.
For those who can’t watch the video, BackFixx pieces come in a mesh bag along with an extremely helpful user guide and welcome card.
The BackFixx itself consists of a specially designed ball and peanut.
In the past I have often suggested people pick up a tennis or lacrosse ball for more targeted areas, but since my review on the FootFixx I have been recommending that as a better option since neither tennis balls or lacrosse balls were made for laying on. But really – neither was FootFixx. It works wonderfully, but I’m happy to now have an inexpensive, but amazing, option to recommend for my clients who need something more targeted than a foam roller for their back and glues.
The slight texture on the surface makes the ball and the peanut more slip resistant, and the peanut sure beats the heck out of the two tennis balls in an old sock I had been using for targeted back tension release.
Because these are so small and portable, they are easy to take with you when travelling (don’t we all feel like we need a little help after being trapped in a car or airplane for hours and hours?), and can be kept in a drawer at home where you can easily grab them to release a little tension while watching TV.
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First starting out, you might be more comfortable using the BackFixx tools while sitting in a chair, or using a wall instead of the floor to reduce the amount of pressure on any one area. Especially if you are really sore. Then try and hold the BackFixx in place for 10-15 seconds while relaxing as much as possible with deep breathing to further allow the muscles to release. Over time you build up to leaving the ball or peanut in one place for up to two minutes, but at first I highly suggest shorter amounts of time so that you don’t over do it. Releasing tension, especially if fascia is involved can be pretty painful, so less is more here. The pain will dissipate over time, but starting out you really don’t want to over do it.
As with any type of muscle relaxation or fascia release tool, you want to be careful not to roll these over and joints (i.e. your knee, hips, etc.) but to target the muscles and areas where you feel the most tension. In the video above I show a few of my favourite uses for the BackFixx, but there are many, many more.
Using the peanut along either side of my spine to release tension is my favourite, but if you try it and it feels too intense, try placing a blanket or towel between you and the peanut (or ball) to make it a bit softer. You can also try putting your head on a yoga block/books/stiff pillow (like I do in the video) to keep your neck in line with your spine. You want to keep your neck and head as comfortable and as stress-free as possible to get the most out of targeted releases like this.
BackFixx is available for purchase through Amazon and I’ve included the direct links below: