Maintaining Healthy Muscles with a Foam Roller
Whether you are a professional dancer, sports athlete or just someone trying to take better care of his or her body, foam rolling has become a familiar and useful technique for maintaining healthy muscles.
When your muscles are healthy and functioning normally, they are elastic, ready to perform and, of course, not causing you any pain. However, stiffness and those uncomfortable knots can be experienced by anyone, regardless of his or her level of physical activity. Tension and tightness in the soft tissues of the muscle can be caused by a different number of factors including (but not limited to):
- Lack of regular stretching or prolonged stationary positions
- Poor posture
- Repetitive motions at work, in sports and/or dance
- Poor nutrition
- Lack of rest and muscle recovery time
So what exactly is foam rolling and how can it help deal with those knots? Foam rolling, or more technically known as self-myofascial release, is one of the popular methods of self-massaging. It is a manual therapy technique that deals with myofascial pain by releasing muscle tension, tightness and trigger points using a foam roller. The goal of foam rolling, or any other self-myofascial release technique, is to break up the knots in you rmuscles, and facilitate normal blood flow and elasticity.
Self-myofascial release can be done using others tools (such as a tennis ball) and even without tools (just using your hands), however, using a foam roller can be very helpful in applying even pressure or accessing hard to reach muscles, such as your back.
Like any good massage, you may find foam rolling to be a little uncomfortable when you begin to target those knots and trigger points. Why? Using a foam roller and other self-massaging tools enable deep compression of the muscles in order to release the tension and break up any adhesions formed between the layers of muscle. Self-massaging enables you to have control over the healing process. Remember that the goal is to restore your muscles to a healthy and flexible state; foam rolling is not a pain tolerance test.
As always when dealing with exercise, there is a right and wrong way to practice self-myofascial release. Before you begin to use a foam roller or any other technique for your sore muscles, it is always best to be screened by a professional who can guide you.
If you are experiencing any muscle soreness and wish to explore self-myofascial release techniques, our team would be happy to help guide you back to flexibility and elasticity! Request an appointment online right now by visiting Book Online.
Have a healthy, happy holiday season!
Credit to Little Goblins Press for this blog post.