Rolling Pin Massage Techniques

Updated November 21, 2016

If you see your masseuse coming at you with a rolling pin, don't panic. Rolling pins are effective tools in massage. For instance, they can be used to provide relief from back pain. When the rolling pin is rolled over the back, it stimulates pressure points in the lower back and along the spine, relaxing the muscles.

Flexibility and Relief From Pain

The rolling pin warms up the muscles, improving flexibility, explains One way to use the rolling pin is to place one end against your lower back/upper buttocks, place the other end of the rolling pin against a wall, and gently push. Another technique is to roll the rolling pin from the lower back on down the thigh on each leg. This relieves back and leg pain. You can also roll the pin down the front of your thighs.

Another Approach

The masseur can hold the rolling pin horizontally and roll it from the top of your back down to your buttocks and up again, first on one side of the spine and then on the other.

Similar to Rolling Pin Massage

You can employ massage techniques that feel like an actual rolling pin is in use but it isn't. Gun fa, which entails using the back of the hand and rotating it back and forth rapidly over the skin, feels like a heavy rolling pin is being rolled over your back.

What It Does

The rolling pin application reduces pressure on the discs in the back and on the spinal nerves, which lessens the chance of a herniated or bulging disc and of spinal osteoarthritis. Additionally, the spine is able to reorganise itself into its natural pattern, overcoming misalignment and compression, according to The Back Doctor. The muscles and joints can become compressed over time and stiffness results. A rolling pin used on the back decompresses and opens muscles and joints, affording relief. Rolling pins help the circulation in your body to flow freely, relieving muscle cramps and tightness. When blood flows in and out of tissues, this reduces and relieves back fatigue and pain. When a rolling pin is rolled up and down the back for a few minutes, this releases tension and relaxes the back.

Hollow Rolling Pin

A hollow rolling pin filled with ice can relieve pain in the back. Ice is effective in reducing inflammation and swelling.


Some women like to have their backs rolled with a rolling pin when they are in labour, particularly if they are experiencing back labour. You can apply just enough pressure with the rolling pin to relieve some of the pain.

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About the Author

Cindi Pearce is a graduate of Ohio University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. She completed both the undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. Pearce has been writing professionally for over 30 years.