Foam rolling began with only top tier athletes looking to get an edge on the competition but has quickly grown to the consumer market. Since then it has become a daily routine for people who want to live free of muscle soreness and tightness.
Foam rolling is similar to deep tissue massage except you do it yourself. So, it is supposed to be uncomfortable while you do it then feel better afterwards. There are trigger points in your muscles that we commonly refer to as ‘knots’. These knots can be the source of our muscle stiffness and so we want to try and remove these. We do this instinctively by massaging our muscle to make it feel better. The best way to tackle this would be to have a professional work out the muscle for you, but that doesn’t offer you relief right now. The roller can be your helping hand to try and relieve some of the stiffness before your appointment and after to maintain good muscle health.
I have my foam roller, now what do I roll? One thing you want to look out for is never roll a joint or a bone. Also, keep in mind this is not a pain tolerance test, it will be uncomfortable but should never be unbearable. Other than those two warnings it’s based on what your problem areas are. For me, my hamstrings have always been tight, so I sit on the floor with my roller under my thighs and roll my hamstrings out. If I do this daily I can start to see improvement.
Foam rolling is not a substitute for a deep tissue massage. If you continue to have symptoms of muscle tightness or soreness call and set up an appointment for a massage.
Dr. Valerie Fantino
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