If a physiotherapist recommends doing something for myofascial release, don’t be afraid. He or she is talking about foam rolling. Often used by professional athletes, this practice is gaining popularity as a home remedy for common hurts. While it is best to learn proper foam rolling technique from a certified physiotherapist, self-myofascial can be done independently, at little expense.
Some people think of foam rolling like a free massage. Others consider it a lifesaver. In this article, learn exactly what foam rolling is and why it works. Also understand whether or not self-myofascial release may work for you.
What is Foam Rolling?
Jeff Kuhland is a contributor at Breakingmuslce.com. He offers a descriptive definition for foam rolling:
Self-myofascial release is a fancy term for self-massage to release muscle tightness and trigger points.
Using a foam roller to give yourself massages in areas where you hurt most may result in alleviation of pain. Depending on what body parts ail you, a physiotherapist can guide you in using a foam roller to apply pressure to those areas. This technique should allow your muscles to lengthen and relax. Myofascial release has also been said to break up scar tissue, help with adhesions and increase blood circulation.
Does a free pain relieving massage sound too good to be true? Are you wondering if there is a catch? The only catch you may find is that, while foam rolling becomes relaxing overtime, it may feel uncomfortable at first. After all, you are rolling out knots that exist in your muscles and you are concentrating the foam roller on trigger areas. But when thinking of foam rolling as a deep tissue massage, not a Swedish massage, it is easy to see that momentary pain leads to long-term relief. When doing it right, foam rolling can correct pain in specific body parts and return you to full, overall health.
Despite some pain at the start, foam rolling has been praised as a rather gentle practice that helps people get back to peak athletic performance. But will it help you?
Will Foam Rolling Help You?
Foam rolling may not be for everyone. This is why consulting a certified physiotherapist before running out to buy a foam roller is a good idea. When you correctly give yourself this type of massage, you should feel relief from aches and pains in high-problem areas before long. On Menshealth.com, Amy Rushlow writes about these popular complaints as the “8 Common Pains that Foam Rolling Fixes.” Here are the troubled areas she lists:
- Front Shoulder
- Back Shoulder
- Achilles Tendons
Even if you identify with one of these points of pain, it is important to meet with a physiotherapist prior to starting a self-myofascial regimen. Learning how to give yourself these massages correctly may be the difference between returning to full health and aggravating pre-existing injuries.
Rushlow introduces foam rolling by saying, “… a free massage that stops pain. It doesn’t get much better than that.” She is right; relief from your pain may be a simple as giving yourself a daily massage. Team up with a physiotherapist to learn more about myofascial release and learn how to get on the path to pain-free living.