For those that have used a foam roller before, you know exactly how much pain those little 30cm rollers can inflict! My first time on a roller was an experience I’ll never forget. Despite the initial pain that foam rollers might cause they help return the muscles in the body back to a functional level.
So what causes so much pain?
The main cause of the pain are fascial adhesions. Injury, inactivity, disease and inflammation cause restrictions in fascial tissue, which in turn causes it to lose elasticity and become dehydrated. During the dehydration and elasticity loss, fascia can bind around traumatised areas and form fibrous adhesions. These adhesions then prevent the normal muscle and joint mechanics, and can be very painful when rolled. The foam roller is able to then treat these adhesions by warming the fascia and allowing it to become more fluid like, breaking up the adhesions and bringing back the soft tissue extensibility.
Do we think you should foam roll?
Definitely! Foam rolling started with only the top athletes in the world using them, now they’re quickly becoming a staple in every gym and at home. This is purely because of the benefits that come from the foam roller.
Some of the benefits of foam rolling are:
- Lengthening muscles and keeping joints healthy – Mainly caused from lifestyle, some muscles are shortened when kept inactive. Regular foam rolling will help lengthen these muscles and bring the joint back to full range of motion.
- Prevents injury – As mentioned earlier, foam rolling will decrease the number of adhesions in tight muscles causing the muscle fibers to perform without any restrictions.
- Increase in performance – Although static stretching has been shown to decrease performance, foam rolling has not been shown to cause the same effect. Foam rolling has been shown to enable more muscle fibers to be recruited at one time, creating the effect or more force.
- Increase in blood flow – The friction and pressure of the foam roller on the fascia causes it to warm and increases blood flow to that area. This will then lead to greater oxygen and nutrients in the area being rolled.
Author: Jerome Felix Date: 25 May 2014