What is a foam roller and why should I use one?
You may have seen or heard about the much loved and equally hated ‘foam roller’. The ‘foam roller’ may often be spotted at the gym, the physio clinic, or in the humble lounge room. Maybe your friend or your physio has recommended that you use a foam roller. If you’ve gotten as far as actually trying one for yourself, you probably found it to be quite uncomfortable to use. So why bother?
Foam rollers are used for self myofascial release. Basically, this is a fancy way of saying that the roller allows you to give your muscles and connective tissue a good firm massage. The foam roller helps you release tight muscles and fascia (connective tissue) in order for your joints to move more freely without dysfunction caused by muscle tightness. The roller can also release “trigger points” or “knots” in your muscles. You may notice a trigger point as a sore spot in the muscle that can even refer pain into other regions when pressure is applied.
Self myofascial release with a tool such as the foam roller (or a trigger ball, spikey ball etc) allows you to take control of your recovery process. You can apply pressure in the exact spots that need it most, because only you can feel exactly what is happening.The deep compression from the roller helps to break up and relax any tight muscles or adhesions that have formed between the muscles and their surrounding tissue.
This technique of self myofascial release also promotes normal blood flow to return and the restoration of healthy tissue.
If you are suffering from a particular injury or acute pain, it is wise to consult your physiotherapist before you commence using a foam roller to ensure it is appropriate. Your physio will be able to teach you how to use the foam roller effectively, and how to target different muscle groups. If you already have access to a foam roller and need inspiration on how to use it, a quick Google or YouTube search will get you on the right track. You may also need to include appropriate strengthening exercises in your program, as your muscles tend to get tight when they are doing the job of other muscles that have gone on holidays.
Arana Hills Physiotherapy stock foam rollers for purchase and treat patients from Arana Hills, Ferny Hills, Arana Hills, Ferny Grove, Keperra, Everton Park, Everton Hills, Enoggera, Albany Creek, Aspley, Stafford and surrounds. We have a wide range of patients from North Brisbane and we are proud to boast that some patients travel from South Brisbane because of our reputation.