Foam Rolling: How does it work?

Foam rolling has many benefits. The technical term for foam rolling is “self-myofascial release.” Foam rolling helps break up adhesion between your muscles and the fascia, or soft membrane, that surrounds them. It also stimulates nerves in the muscles that help release muscle tension and therefore reduce pain and tightness.

When foam rolling, I like to use a roller made from firm styrofoam that is three feet long by six inches thick. Go slow, and roll each location for 1-2 minutes at a time. If you feel a painful spot, pause and rest with the foam roller right on the painful spot for 30-45 seconds. That long pause on the tight spot in your muscle will cause the stimulation needed to release the tension and relieve the pain. You can do this 1-2 times a day.

In my line of work, I’m constantly learning new things and seeking better teachers. That’s why this week I attended a symposium on how to reduce shoulder pain called “Non-operative Shoulder Rehabilitation: Current Approaches in the Evaluation and Treatment of the painful shoulder. I learned a lot, and I’m going to pass it on to you, my clients.

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