Most of us have heard by now that foam rolling is great for you, and foam rolling, also called self-massage is a definitely a great way to release muscle tightness or trigger points. But many of us hear the word “massage” and think scented oils and relaxation, so it can be a shock when foam rolling turns out to be little more intense. But, what exactly is foam rolling good for, and how much is too much? The following are some excerpts from the article “What Is a Foam Roller, How Do I Use It, and Why Does It Hurt?” by Jeff Kuhland. that answer those questions!
Once you know what to expect, go sign up for Marla’s Foam Roller Workshop on Saturday 10/17 12:15-1:30pm!
The fancy term for foam rolling is self-myofascial release and it is a great tool to aid in keeping your body well-aligned, with healthy and elastic muscles. Foam rolling won’t always hurt, but when rolling or working on tight/sore muscles (the ones that need it most!) you will experience some discomfort or pain. Think of it like the pain you get while stretching. It should be uncomfortable, but not unbearable, and when you are done it should feel better.
Ideally someone is able to work out the knots in your muscles, and it is commonly known this process may be uncomfortable and at times painful. Self-myofascial release provides the user the ability to control the healing and recovery process by applying pressure in precise locations, because only you can feel exactly what is happening.
Releasing trigger points helps to reestablish proper movement patterns and pain free movement, and ultimately, to enhance performance. Utilizing stretching alone is not always enough to release muscles tightness, which is why foam rollers have thrived on the mass market. Imagine a bungee cord with a knot tied into it and then envision stretching the cord. This creates tension, stretching the unknotted portion of the muscle and the attachment points. The knot, however, has remained unaltered.
The deep compression of self-myofascial release allows normal blood flow to return and the restoration of healthy tissue. The body naturally wants to be healthy and strong, but sometimes an extra boost is needed to achieve optimal muscle and tissue health. Think about adjusting the density of the foam roller if you find it too painful, or if you find a certain area is too painful to roll directly, shift to rolling the muscles around it to gradually loosen the entire area.
You may be sore the next day. It should feel as if your muscles have been worked/released, however you should not push yourself to the point of excessive soreness.