To start, you need a mini anatomy lesson...Superficial fascia is a soft connective tissue that forms the layer just below your skin. This soft connective tissue wraps and connects all of the muscles, bones, and more in your entire body. Problems start to arise when overuse, immobility, inadequate stretching or injury cause the fascia to become stuck to the underlying muscle. This adhesion of tissue results in restricted muscle movement, pain, soreness, and decreased range of motion.
A foam roller uses your own body weight to perform a self massage or myofascial release, break up trigger points, stretch tight muscles, and sooth tight fascia while increasing circulation to the soft tissues. Rolling can help you recover from injury, improve posture and gait (how you walk), help warm up before activity or for recovery and prevention after a workout.
You can find foam rollers just about everywhere now (I found mine at winners for $19.99). To a certain extent cost will indicate quality, but for personal use a moderately priced one would work just fine. Or, if you are feeling crafty, take a 4” diameter piece of PVC pipe, wrap it in a layer of yoga mat and voila you have a roller.
So, how did I like using one?? I LOVED it! Rolling felt amazing, although I definitely have some very tender areas that need work, and I saw results almost immediately. Rolling is now something I do on almost a daily basis while watching TV after the kids are in bed. One suggestion I have is to make sure you are drinking LOTS of water after rolling to help flush any toxins (like lactic acid) that are released, and follow up with an Epsom salt bath.
Experiment with you roller, see what works and what doesn’t, and have a little fun while you are doing it.
Let’s get rolling!