The foam roller has recently become a staple in every gym across the country with more and more people using them. However, many people still do not know why and how they are used. Here at PHYSIO4ALL we would like to provide you with some information on the foam roller and its use.
What is it?
- The foam roller is essential a cylindrical piece of hard foam (usually comes in 30cm, 45cm and 90cm lengths) used for self massage/myofascial release.
- It is used to release tension and tightness in muscles and fascia.
- It is often used by runners and athletes to help with recovery of muscles and returning the muscles to normal function.
- The simple answer is YES!
- Trigger points are knots that form in the muscles that refer pain to other areas of the body. Releasing the trigger point helps you regain normal, pain free movement patterns.
- A common trigger point the foam roller is used for is on the iliotibial band (ITB) which can cause pain to radiate up to the hip or down to the ankle.
How to use it
You first need to identify the areas of tension and find the trigger points in your body. To foam roll properly you must apply moderate pressure to the specific area using your bodyweight. You should roll slowly and when you find an area of tightness and/or pain you should concentrate on that area. It is crucial that you try to relax as much as possible while using the roller.
You should always avoid rolling over a joint or bone, the lower back or the neck. You may feel sore the day after using the foam roller. Give it 24-48 hrs before foam rolling the same area again.
Check out our video demonstrating how to use the foam roller on different areas of the body: Physiotherapy North Sydney: Foam Roller Exercise Program