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  • Writer's pictureRyan C.

Rolfing To Relieve Lower Back Pain

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

Rolfing is an excellent way to relieve lower back pain. This is because Rolfing focuses on not only your areas of pain symptoms, but also includes and seeks to address the areas of your body that are causing the problem.

Your Rolfer will most times work within the scope of the "Traditional Rolfing 10 Session Series." Each session has a specific goal and will focus on making changes to different regions of your body. The order that work is applied to the different regions matters in the big picture of making lasting change to your body. Over the course of a series of sessions this work builds and culminates in a rebalancing of your body that allows your body to work more efficiently with less pain and tightness. Pain symptoms significantly decreasing and/or completely resolving for good.

To provide more understanding about what this all means for your lower back pain, lets speak more specifically about the goal(s) of the second half of the first traditional session. The second half of the first session focuses on releasing any strain patterns to the outer hips and pelvis, and also begins a process of releasing the hamstrings from inhibiting pelvic function. If the pelvis is restricted, it is very common that people will experience pain and discomfort in or around their lower back. Because the pelvis is less mobile, surrounding tissue has to over-compensate, over-work, and can start to tear at the microscopic level. Releasing these areas begins the process of mobilizing the pelvis, allowing any damaged tissue to heal, and lowering pain levels.



The traditional second session of Rolfing focuses on the structures of your lower legs, ankles, and feet; as they support and create a stable foundation for your back. The third session focuses on the shoulder girdle, side ribcage tissue, and deeper hip structures. All of the earlier sessions (1&2) set the stage for these deeper structures to release, which can significantly inhibit the function and movement of your pelvis. Also here your Rolfer begins a new phase Rolfing series that begins to address tissues that directly attach to the lumbar spine. Earlier your lumbar spine received benefit indirectly. At this point, we are directly working on this important structure.

Your Rolfer will work to release the very important tissues of the Quadratus Lumborum, Erector Muscles of the Back, as well as the deeper tissues of the Iliolumbar Ligaments.

Quadratus Lumborum

Iliolumbar Ligaments

Just these three sessions can go a long way in alleviating back pain for an individual. This of course depends on your particular circumstances such as how serious are your pain symptoms and how long have you been dealing with this problem.

Continuing further with the Rolfing process only brings you farther along a process that more fully releases all structures that have yet to be addressed and that directly connect to the lower back, as well as addressing the whole body. Sessions 4-7 of the traditional Rolfing recipe are specifically designed to release tension and adhesions that prevent health from emerging in the pelvis, lower back, upper back, shoulders, neck and cranium.

Popular muscles that are addressed in sessions 4-7 are the Piriformis, Sacral Ligaments, Psoas, Multifidus, Lats, Rhomboids, and more. Not only are the muscles addressed, but more importantly the fascia that surrounds the muscles and also the ligaments and tendons that are related to these areas can also be addressed by a trained Rolfer. This is a special training that most massage therapists do not have.

Please reach out to your local Rolfer who can talk to you more about how Rolfing can help with your specific lower back complaints.

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