A foam roller is a lightweight foam cylinder that you can use to self- administer deep tissue massage. It helps to get rid of annoying muscle aches, prevent pain and soreness and improves overall comfort.
Types of foam rollers.
Foam rollers comes in various densities and shapes. It is important to make sure you choose the best foam roller for your own needs to help those pesky pre-and post- workout kinks.
1 soft foam rollers
A soft foam roller is perfect for beginners and can be used by almost anyone since it’s the gentlest of them all.
2. firm foam rollers.
This one’s for the athlete who has super-tight muscles that need a little extra love or for anyone who is experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness (when it’s been 2 or 3 days since your last workout and you’re still sore). It’s denser than soft roller, and more effective at relieving tight muscles and trigger points. A firm roller aligns muscle tissue and breaks up the beginnings of adhesions or muscle strains. It can also help with lymphatic drainage- which carries waste away from the tissues – and decrease inflammation.
3. Grid foam rollers
Only use this style if you’re experienced with foam rolling and are ready for plenty of hurts-so-good pain. It provides little-to-no give, and the textured surface targets knots and kinks. You should aim for a 7 out of 10 on the pain scale and any more than that is too much.Reaching this level of pain during rolling is ok, but you should feel back to normal within 30 minutes because foam rolling should never create lasting pain or irritation.
4. Deep tissue foam roller.
This roller should only be used on a healthy athlete, as it is extra firm and the bumps built into the roller provide more focused trigger point relief and reportedly stimulate deeper layers of muscle. It ‘s great to use after one of your more hardcore sweat sessions, and while it will definitely hurt at the moment (8/10 on the pain scale), the roller works to increase the flexibility in your soft tissue and provide long-lasting pain relief.
5.Vibrating foam roller.
A vibrating foam roller takes the effectiveness of a , deep-tissue foam roller and ups the ante with vibration technology. Its goal is to minimize how much pain you actually feel while relaxing tight muscles so you can spend less time and effort on those tender -to-the-touch areas and net better results.
Benefits of using foam roller.
Reduces inflammation that occurs during the muscle repair process.
- Aids in muscle repair recovery.
- Helps injury prevention by maintaining muscle length and remedying tension and tightness.
- Increases blood flow and elasticity of muscle tissue, joints, and the body’s connective tissue(fascia) which helps with mobility, overall well-being, and a smoother appearance of fat underneath your skin.
- Promotes relaxation.
When should I use a foam roller?
If you work out, you should be using a foam roller. Even if its only a few days a week. All active people are advised to foam roll. That way, can relieve tight muscles faster and loosen up trigger point(knots). Foam roller provides a large surface area for you to work on large muscle groups, so it’s the holy grail for your hamstrings, quads, calves and back
Why are foam rollers good for you?
Not only do you get the health benefits mentioned above, but once you are familiar with practice and techniques of foam rolling, the results are quite significant. Therefore, you will have the ability to self-manage your recovery, and that is sustainable in the long term for preventing injury and improving athleticism.
How do I know if I can handle intense foam roller?
Ultimately, which roller you decide to use is based on your ability to tolerate pain. If you are sore, it won’t be detrimental for you to use a firm or deep tissue roller, but it will be slightly painful. What happens is when you hit a trigger point it can be uncomfortable, but it’s just an acquired taste and the more you do it, the less noticeable it will be.
How do I progress to a harder foam roller?
Basically, you are working to increase pain tolerance, and the name of that game is baby steps. So, let’s say you want to progress to a firm roller after a few weeks of regularly using a soft foam roller, ie rolling on the soft roller for 10 minutes and then spending 3 to 5 minutes on a firm one. As you become more comfortable with the pain level, increase the amount of time you spend on the firm one and decrease the time on the soft rollers.
- Camperlengo M. (2017). Personal interview.
- Alvarez DJ, et al (2002). Trigger points: diagnosis and management.
- McCall P. (2017). 6 Benefits of using foam rollers.
PT. Eunice Nyathogora
Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Health Centre