Do Foam Rollers Work on Cellulite?

A few days ago, I told you I purchased the Rumble Roller as part of my Summer Anti-Cellulite Surge (SAS).  I’m so excited to tell you about it, I just can’t wait until Monday’s SAS post to give you an update.

Why I Bought the Rumble Roller

As mentioned in previous posts, foam rollers are used by body builders and physical therapists to loosen muscle tension and increase blood flow to the area.  The Rumble Roller is a brand of foam roller with special “bumps” designed to help knead the muscle tissue.

Prior to my purchase, I read other user reviews and I was impressed with a post on this message board.  Here’s the line that sold me:

I can comfortably say, though, that the RumbleRoller is the next best thing to professional massage.

The Background Story

Several years ago, a masseuse found a large “knot” behind my right shoulder blade. I had never noticed it before. She spent almost the entire hour trying to work it out. I’ve never been so sore after a massage. She warned me I wouldn’t be rid of the knot completely and she was right.

Since then, on the rare occasion when I go for a professional massage, I always tell the therapist about the knot on my back.  None of them have been able to target it as specifically as that first masseuse. I’ve trained my loved ones to be able to find “The Knot,”  but I’m too proud to beg for daily massages which is what I probably need to work this baby out.

Enter the Rumble Roller

I could tell you I was eager to test out my new purchase, but that would be an understatement.  I’ve had this knot for YEARS and it won’t budge.  Could the RumbleRoller be the answer I was looking for?

The retailer threw a handy instructional pamphlet in with my purchase, so I looked it over before giving the exercises a shot.  Using a foam roller is kindof like balancing on one of those exercise balls –it can take a few tries to figure out exactly how it’s done. I tried each of the exercises for the legs and then moved on to the back and neck.

I wasn’t wowed by the Rumble Roller after my first session, but I was surprised the next morning when I felt tenderness in my neck at the base of the skull (the area my lymph drainage therapist referred to as “the water wheel”).  This wasn’t a bad soreness.  The way you use the Rumble Roller on the neck is very gentle. You’re really just moving your head from side to side and resting it on the roller as the “bumps” slowly massage the tense areas. It’s surprisingly relaxing.  The soreness I felt afterward is the same soreness you get after a really good massage. The Rumble Roller was doing something.

Eureka, I’ve Got It!

The next time I used the Rumble Roller, I was determined to find a way to target The Knot on my back. The pamphlet recommends rolling the upper back from a sit-up position (like this) but I wasn’t able to find the spot behind my shoulder using this technique.  After a few failed variations, I finally had the bright idea of using the roller against the wall while standing. This position gave me the added control I needed to direct the “specially designed bumps” toward the area that’s been giving me trouble all these years.

I am now officially addicted to the Rumble Roller.  I honestly cannot tell you if it does a thing for cellulite because I’ve used it solely to target The Knot every day since I discovered the standing technique.  I’ll move on to the legs eventually, but the Rumble Roller has already paid for itself as far as I’m concerned.  It’s even better than most of the professional massages I’ve experienced.

I’ve often wondered what caused The Knot in the first place. Was it stress? The way I sit at work? Or is it because that’s where the main lymphatic ducts drain into the primary circulatory system? I might never know, but my intuition tells me that breaking up the infamous Knot is an important step in restoring my body to its natural state of radiant health.

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elle says:

Yes, you are so right about the foam roller being great. I suppose I need to try the rumble roller, because I am a foam roller addict. I have several types of rollers, but have not yet seen this one. I also am very impressed with your intuition that you taught yourself the wall technique! As for the knot in your neck, yes, it represents your area of held tensions and yes, it is significant for your health to listen to that knot. I am a holistic health nurse, and I hope you check out my website, to see my view of the body knots in the total body-mind-soul health picture.
Unfortunately, however, with all my foam rolling, I have not yet seen any improvement on the cellulite front!
I may add your insights and intuitiveness to my web site through a link on my page on foam rolling. I like your uniqueness and use of the rumble roller so much.
Health and prosperity to you!


Thanks, Elle! As you can tell from the review, I'm definitely impressed with the Rumble Roller. I'm sure a regular flat roller would not have the same effect. The "rumbles" are my favorite part! Besides the rolling action up and down, you can also work a knot from left to right if you position it just right.

Before I ever heard of foam rollers, I sometimes got so desperate that I used random household objects (like a tennis ball, a paper towel rod) to try and work out that spot on my back. Of course I thought "there's gotta be a better way" but I never got around to researching it until now. I'm so grateful to the CI reader who sent me the article about the foam roller!

Thanks for your lovely comment. I'll be sure to drop by your site soon!


Elle, just spent some time reading through your website. Just touched the surface, of course, there's so much there. I love the philosophy of the body window! I also read Louise Hay's book several years ago and I try to keep her theory in mind through my cellulite research.

Dani says:

I, too, have a Knot; mine is just to the left of my right shoulder blade. I have had great success with a handy little tool called a Thera Cane ( that I picked up at my chiropractor’s office. It’s designed in such a way that you can get leverage on yourself and work a very specific place–it even comes with the admonition to start out slow (wish my foam roller had done that), because it can cause great soreness after–much like a massage.
This rumble roller looks like it might be fun, too… and maybe can work larger areas at once, and maybe areas that the Cane wouldn’t be as effective for…


oh wow, that does look like it would work well. The price on Amazon isn’t bad either, about $29 with free shipping. It has over 300 reviews and the overwhelming majority are 5’s. Wow! I love the RumbleRoller but it would be nice to have something I could use while sitting down or lying in bed. It seems like the theracane would allow for more precise placement, too. Thanks for the recommendation, Dani!

Kathy says:

Can I say I love your blog. I was reading the post about the Thera anemic, which I bought because of fibromyalgia knots. And then I linked to this page. You have no idea how sore my neck is and I was thinking tonight I had to find a roller to stretch my neck but also something to work out the knots there.

Thank you thank you thank you.
I can’t wait to get a rumble roller.

Kathy says:

That should have said Theracane, darn auto correct.


I’m so glad you like it, Kathy! I’ve found the thera cane makes a great gift for people with back pain. They always love it! I’m interested to hear what you think of the Rumble Roller. It’s different, kindof a cross between an exercise tool and a massage tool. But I love it for identifying those trigger points to go after with the thera cane. They’re a great team. 🙂

Neil says:

You can also fix knots by strengthening the surrounding muscles. I had a similar knot (caused by poor posture, sitting too much and using the telephone with only one hand) but it went away after strengthening myself with barbell training. I know a lot of women will think this will make them ‘bulky’, but in reality it doesn’t – just more toned.

In addition if you take a tennis ball or softball (if you can handle it) then you can directly target the problem knotty area in your upper back by leaning against the wall with the tennis ball at the knot. They’re also good for the psoas (lower abs) and piriformis (behind your big butt muscles).


Very cool. Thanks for the info, Neil. I used to use the tennis ball move but then I found the Thera Cane. Have you tried it? It makes getting to those knots so much easier. Check out the 300 five-star reviews on Amazon. Whoa!

Kinzi says:

Hi there,

I know this is an old post, but I was just wondering a couple of things. First, when you bought the rumble roller, did you go with the regular or the extra firm? Which would you recommend? I know that you used it for your knot, but did you ever put it to work and notice it making a difference for cellulite? Also, would you recommend the rumble roller over the thera cane, or are they just totally different? Sorry if these questions are all answered elsewhere throughout the blog. I have just recently been exploring your site and love it. I actually just ordered the Bellabaci cups based on your recommendation as well. Do you still use those? Last question…like I said, I just ordered the Bellabaci cups, I already dry brush (because of you!), and now I’m also looking into the rumble roller. Would you say these things would be the top products to start with, or something else? I wish I could do it all, but I can’t! 🙂 Sorry for all the questions!!!


Hi, Kinzi. When I bought the rumble roller, I don’t remember there being an option for extra firm. I believe I have the regular. I did not use it for my legs (although my fiance’s father used it on his IT band and says it completely cured his runner’s knee problems). The Rumble Roller is totally different from the Thera Cane. I like the RR for massaging my whole back, and then I use the Thera Cane to work on specific trigger points.

Yes, I still use the Bellabaci cups! They are amazing! I hope you like them. Please let us know what you think when you get a chance.

Products to start with… let’s see… dry brushing and cupping are definitely at the top of the list. Beyond that, it really depends on what you think your “kryptonite” is (the cause of your cellulite). If you look through our list of cellulite success stories, you’ll notice people found results from a variety of treatments. I suspect the key for most people is dietary.

I wish I could do it all, too!! 🙂


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