Foam rollers have been an amazing addition to the health and fitness world. They are inexpensive, easy to use, and help with a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. Foam rollers can also be used on vacation or business trips when you don’t have regular access to your chiropractor or massage therapist.
Foam rollers are designed to provide myofascial release techiniques to your muscles. When training, or even during normal day to day use, our muscles may develop micro tears. In normal circumstances these tears will heal in time. If left under chronic stress or in the event of overtraining, the tears do not fully heal. Instead, they form adhesions in the fascial tissue.
These adhesions are less elastic than our muscles. Unfortunately, the fascial tissue surrounds our muscles. Therefore if you have adhesions in your fascia, your muscles will also be less elastic. This results in tight muscles.
Foam rollers provide myofascial release to these muscles. The foam roller eliminates the adhesions that form in the fascia. This allows the muscles to lengthen properly which improves flexibility.
Benefits of Using Foam Rollers
Decreases Muscle Soreness – Using a foam roller on a regular basis helps keep the muscles more elastic and flexible. The tightness in the muscles cause soreness, restricted joint mobility, and increase in cytokines which cause inflammation.
Increases Circulation – By eliminating adhesions and lengthening the muscles, the blood will circulate better. Adhesions can lead to areas of metabolic waste and ischemia. This lack of blood and oxygen to an area will have severe consequences.
Improves Joint Mobility – Reducing the tension in the muscles will also reduce the stress on the joints. Allowing the joints to move in a normal range of motion reduces inflammation of the joints which help decrease the irritation of the nerves located in and around those joints.
Helps Prevent Injuries – When an athlete has improved flexibility, better circulation, and less soreness, he or she will be able to perform at more optimal levels. Using a foam roller allows the athlete the recover from workouts and games quicker than stretching alone. The improved recovery decreases the risk of overtraining and possible injuries.
I highly recommend that everyone use a foam roller. Whether you are an athlete, a weekend warrior, or a sedentary office worker, the foam roller helps. I go through a foam roller rouitine every morning as a way to wake up my muscles and get them ready for the day. Good luck incorporating a foam roller into your health plan.
Dr Spencer Charlet