et to rolling! We see them everywhere: at the gym, grocery store, definitely if you have been into our office. So why are foam rollers so popular?
From Painful to Preventative
I started experiencing knee pain after picking up running again, and was not sure what to do until I had my first visit at HealthFirst Spine & Wellness. After assessing my knee, Dr. Holden recommended that I start using a foam roller to massage and stretch the muscle. To be honest, my first experience was quite painful. The roller targeted muscles that had held so much tension that I was not used to it. But the more I used it, Dr. Holden recommended about 2-3 times a day for five minutes, the more it began to feel like a deep tissue massage. Within the first few days, I already noticed an improvement in my knee and I felt like my whole body could move better.
So what is this magic? I began doing some research and talking to our wonderful rehabilitation technician, Cristal Lial, about why foam rolling should be an essential part of your healthy lifestyle.
Foam rollers offer a targeted massage experience at a lower cost. By allowing you to use your own bodyweight to stretch and apply pressure to sore, knotted muscles, you can increase flexibility, relieve tightness and pain, and prevent future injury. This form of “self-myofascial release” or self-massage, loosens the fascia, or connective tissue that binds joints, muscles, nerves and bones, to break up scar tissue allowing you to recover faster.
An Interview with Our Rehab Technician, Cristal Lial
My conversation with Cristal, which you can find below, gave me more insight into the benefits of foam rollers as well as exercise to perform if you are just starting out.
What do you think are the benefits of foam rolling?
Foam rolling is an excellent way to increase blood flow and the elasticity of your muscle, thus improving your body’s range of motion.
Have you ever worked with someone who greatly benefit from using a foam roller?
I once worked with a client who had very tight hips and after using a foam roller, we both noticed that their mobility was greatly improved. I find that patients like being empowered with self-care options, such as foam rollers, that are convenient and effective.
Why do you use the “grid” foam roller?
I find that this type of foam roller has offered greater results and it’s structure provides more of a deep tissue massage. Also, we buy our products from a local Austin Company.
If You’re Just Starting Out
Here are some demonstrations of beginner exercises that you could start on when using a foam roller. Enjoy!