Maybe you have been at the gym and asked yourself why someone would lay on top of a piece of curved foam? You would understand why if you try it for yourself! Foam rollers have become more and more popular over time. The biggest selling point for foam rollers is that they are effective and inexpensive.
Yes, a piece of curved foam can help relieve muscle pain, release tightness, improve flexibility, and gain range of motion! Simply put, a foam roller is an affordable way to give yourself a therapeutic deep tissue massage. Using your own body weight and gravity, rolling over parts of your body breaks up adhesions and scar tissue. The most common areas of tightness that you can target is your outer thigh (iliotibial band/ ITB), quadriceps, or upper back. Foam rollers use your body’s natural response to pressure. By rolling over tight spots or trigger points, your muscles relax. In this case, the foam roller is used to applying constant pressure to the body part and not rolling back and forth.
Women love foam rollers for a special reason… relieving feet pain from those pesky high heels! This can even help patients that suffer from plantar fasciitis. Try this at home! Take your shoes off and stand with your foam roller under the arch of one foot. Apply the amount of pressure you can tolerate and slowly roll your foot back and forth on top of the foam roller. Need more pressure than that? Try holding onto a support surface and stand atop the foam roller with both feet and carefully roll the foam roller back and forth beneath you.
Still don’t know what foam roller is best for you? Foam rollers come in all shapes and sizes, so we know it can get confusing.
When buying a foam roller, there are three main things to consider:
- Density: Some are softer, and some are harder. If you know you have a low pain tolerance, stick to a softer foam roller. If you can tolerate more pressure, choosing a denser (harder) foam roller is best for you.
- Texture: Some foam rollers have ridges, some are smooth, and some even vibrate! A smooth foam roller is the basic design that provides even pressure, which is great for beginners. Foam rollers with ridges get deeper into the muscle. Finding your personal perfect texture is key to your foam roller being effective. Don’t forget about the vibrating foam rollers! Vibrating foam rollers are used more by novice foam rollers or athletes. Vibration, on top of foam rolling, helps to increase blood flow to the area and breaks down scare tissue more readily. It works great after a workout!
- Size: Size depends on what you need it for! Long rollers are great for your first foam roller. They’re more stable than shorter rollers and they are long enough to span your entire back. Shorter rollers are great to target smaller body areas like calves. There are even half round foam rollers. Foam rollers that looks like they have been cut in half lengthwise are effective for leg and foot stretches, like targeting the arches of your feet or relieve plantar fasciitis. Foam roller sticks are becoming more popular too! These rollers with hand grips are used primarily to treat yourself on legs or upper back.
If you haven’t tried a foam roller yet, you should! They’re the perfect tool to have at your dispense for pain relief. Ask your physical therapist about any concerns or questions you have about your foam roller purchase. Or ask to try one of ours at your next appointment! Our therapists will help you choose the right foam roller for your needs and show you how to use it correctly.
Check out our Director of Anaheim Hills, Dr. Renee Rinard, explain and demonstrate foam rolling HERE!
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#Repost @rehab.with.renee with @get_repost ・・・ You roll, I roll, we [FOAM] roll! Foam rolling has gained even more popularity recently, but do you know why we should be foam rolling? The benefits include: •improve circulation •decrease muscle tension •improve joint range of motion/flexibility •break up superficial scar tissue •decrease muscle soreness, strains, and tendonitis = aide in muscle recovery ~~~ Above is how to roll out your lower extremities; be sure to rotate your leg to get all aspects of the muscle! Best used if combined with warm up and stretching! ~~~ #foamroll #foamrolling #rollout #calves #hamstrings #glutes #Itband #quadriceps #hipflexors #adductors #choosept #prehab #physicaltherapy #PT #DPT #sportsmedicine #muscletherapy #injuryprevention #muscle #recovery #mobility #healthandwellness #proactive #notreactive #coastherapy #PTprotipsDPTrenee #DPTrenee @coastherapy
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