I was first introduced to foam rolling in the spring by my trainer (hi Carla!) after I started Personal Training for the FitTrip challenge. After our hour long sessions, I was in TOUGH SHAPE for a couple days (DOMS).
I mentioned it to her after the first few sessions, and we marched right over to the long ignored mats where there were a variety of bands, balls, rings, and tube things.
Little did I know the tube things would change everything! I swore by foam rolling after tough workouts or on light cardio days following a workout to get lots of soreness relief.
And now, even though I'm not 'killing it' at the gym, I still needed some relief for my low back, sciatica, and hip pain. I can't afford to get a zillion prenatal massages, and going to the chiro once a week is plenty. My trainer has recently modified some of the rolling techniques (but not by much) and it has helped so, so, so much.
You can get ones that look like this for smaller and more sensitive areas
Or you can get a big ol cheap one (like I did) for BIG areas (did I mention it's my butt that hurts?).
Basically, what you do is - whatever freaking hurts, lay on it and roll. Or have someone roll it on for you. It's called self myofascial release and it's the bomb. Ok, it REALLY hurts while you're doing it, so you have to be gentle at first and then put more of your body weight on it as you progress through the session. But I'm telling you - it works.
For example, my sciatica is doing much better but my hips are starting to really hurt - especially my right one, right where my leg connects and pivots in the joint. Jeff rolled it out for me last night (I laid on my left side in bed, he stood over me and used the roller like he was rolling out cookie dough on my hip) and it felt soooo much better this morning. Not to mention I had to pee like 7 times during the night - because it took the inflammation and swelling down so much. I semi-sprang out of bed this morning, best in like a week.
If you have specific issues just google "foam rolling" and "hips" (or whatever hurts) and watch like a minute or two of Youtube videos for some techniques to work it out.
I've prepared some examples here:
This one is basically what I do for my low back and hip pain
Other hip and sciatica exercises and stretches
Look for others for the glutes and hips - you won't regret it!