Foam Rolling 101

Using a foam roller for self massage can have several benefits. You can use one at home, your office or on holiday in your free time whenever you have a spare ten or fifteen minutes. Lets look at the important aspect of the foam roller, the physical benefits.

Foam rollers help to stretch muscles and break down soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue. Simple exercises that utilise your own body weight with a foam roller allow you to perform a self-massage or myofascial release, break up trigger points, and soothe tight fascia and also helps to stimulate blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues.

‘Fascia’ is made up of several components including the superficial fascia, which is a soft connective tissue located just below the skin that wraps and connects the muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels of the body. Together, muscle and fascia make up what is called the myofascia.

Myofascial release is a technique that utilises gentle but constant pressure on the soft tissue while applying traction to the fascia. This technique helps to soften and lengthen the fascia resulting in the breakdown of scar tissue and adhesions between the skin, muscles and bone. This technique has been shown to relieve pain from shin splints and IT band syndrome as well as improve flexibility and the joints range of motion.

Using foam rollers for self massage is a highly effective method of achieving these benefits and with some experimentation you can find the best method for you to gain maximum results in the target areas. 

Trigger points are tiny knots that can develop in muscles when they are injured or overworked. They may cause local pain, headaches, neck and jaw pain, tennis elbow, and even carpal tunnel syndrome. Breaking down and loosening these trigger points with a Foam Roller may help to relieve this pain and discomfort.

Any time after strenuous exercise the muscles tend to build up lactic acid and an after workout massage help to break this down and remove it from within the muscle tissue. This lactic acid buildup is what causes the pain and cramps associated with the strenuous exercise. Using the foam roller after exercising is an excellent method of obtaining an all-over body massage to help break down this lactic acid buildup and prevent these cramps.

Using the foam roller before a more strenuous workout can help to “pre-stretch” muscles, which help to prevent injury. Besides all that, it just feels good !!

Your Massage Therapist will happily take you though which techniques would help you achieve the best result with your Foam Roller

MassageDaniel Ricci