Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Foam Rolling & the Healthy Athlete
In athletics, foam rolling is an injury prevention tool. Foam rolling is considered a self-myofacial release technique and is often accompanied by an uncomfortable sensation when performed correctly. Foam rolling is an effective and inexpensive alternative to spending a fortune at the massage therapist or the chiropractor. When muscles are repeatedly stretched, contracted, and placed under stress, the stressed muscles are often left with millions of micro-tears and occasionally a knot or two within the muscle fibers itself. These knots can easily be felt as a lump of tissue underneath the skin and are often times very uncomfortable. A foam roller works similar to that of a rolling pin ironing out bread dough. Ironing out these knots allows the muscle fibers to become more pliable, while in turn, improving flexibility and overall tissue quality. Muscles are encased with a protective coating known as fascia. Picture saran wrap covering a slab of beef at the grocery store. That’s fascia! Fascia is dense connective tissue which needs to be periodically broken up, creating a much more pliable muscle. So do yourself a favor, stay injury free and foam roll!