Tips from the Prose: Foam Rolling
Foam rolling is something I have seen grow in great popularity over the past handful of years. Many people and patients ask about it in regards to rolling out a painful muscle area. Foam rolling can be used as a form of self massage or a self myofascial release technique. For example, if a person had a sore hamstring, they could sit on the foam roller and roll the foam up and down the back of the leg, massaging the hamstring. Often the use of this foam roller can be uncomfortable, but it should not be unbearable and when you are finished with your treatment, the sore muscle area should feel better. The rolling can increase blood flow to the area, relaxing the muscle and bringing in nutrients to help the muscle heal.
Foam rollers can also be used outside of an injury to sort of “warm up” or help stretch out a muscle before and after exercise. Again, using the hamstring as an example, even though you may not have pain in this area after a workout, rolling the back of the leg with the foam roller may help some post exercise muscle soreness from setting in.
As foam rollers have grown in popularity, so have their availability to purchase. You can find them from sporting good stores and Target to online like Amazon and OPTP.com. They come in different colors, different diameters and different lengths. Some even come with “texture” (I think some of these look like they would cause discomfort, but to each their own).
If you think something like this would be helpful for you, but you are not interested in purchasing one, you could use something like a rolling pin and have a similar effect.
If you have any questions about this, don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!