Foam rolling is one of my favorite treatment techniques that I use during my own personal fitness routines and with my patients. For those of you who have not seen a foam roller, it is a cylindrical piece of foam that varies in colors, lengths and densities. The use of foam rollers is based on the concept of myofasical release in which pressure (i.e. foam) is placed on specific tender muscles of the body and then the movement over the trigger points (i.e. roll) helps to ‘release’ the spasm or tenderness. I use various foam roller techniques before and after workouts in an effort to reduce pain, improve mobility and prevent injury. Its basically a SELF MASSAGE that hurts so good!
Here are my Top 4 Reasons You Should Be Rolling Your Pain Away:
- It’s AFFORDABLE, usually ranging from $10 to $30 and can be found on Amazon or at your local Target, Walmart, or Dicks Sporting Goods! You can choose to pay up to $100 for a professional massage, or you can FOAM ROLL!
- It’s CONVENIENT, as it comes smaller sizes that you can carry in your gym bag or pack in your suitcase when you travel!
- It improves PERFORMANCE! If you are very active and exercise frequently, you NEED to break down your muscle tissue and fascia. If you don’t, you may experience hardened tissue (i.e., scar tissue), which results in stiffness, immobility and decreased flexibility. If you are more inactive and sedentary for most of the week, foam rolling can promote increased circulation and reduce stiffness that acquires from lack of movement.
- It PREVENTS INJURY! If you don’t dedicate the proper time and resources to treating your body, you could experience the buildup of adhesions in your muscles, which creates movement dysfunctions that put you at a higher risk for injury. It’s always best to be proactive rather than reactive.
Although scientific studies are still under way to establish the benefits of the foam rolling method, I can testify first-hand that many of my physical therapy patients and personal fitness clients have incorporated foam rolling into their routines and have noticed significant reduction in physical pain and improvement of function. Foam rolling seems to work for so many fitness enthusiasts because it provides pressure on the body’s muscles, which can increase range of motion without interfering with muscle force.
Interested in using the foam roller, but not sure where to start? Watch this YouTube video of me personally demonstrating each of my favorite foam rolling techniques and try my 8 minute foam rolling and stretching video! Foam rolling with stretching overtime will significantly reduce your chance of experiencing an injury, all while helping alleviate muscle & join pain!