Self-myofascial, which is better known as ‘foam rolling’ was used only by professionals like coaches and athletes till only a few years back. Knots or tightness is often formed in muscles that can cause pain and discomfort when the muscles are worked. The best way to remove these knots was to visit a therapeutic massage professional. But these sessions are often quite costly. But using foam rolling self-massage, it is possible to get the same benefits from the comfort of your home.
So what is self-myofascial or foam rolling?
Well, it is the technique in which you can get relief from your stressed out muscles by using a foam roller, Theracane, footballer or lacrosse ball by yourself. It’s a lot like acupuncture, you just need to know the trigger points of the muscle knots but unlike acupuncture which can be performed by only professionals, foam rolling on the other hand can be done on your own. First you need to identify the areas that need attention. After that you need to roll on the foam rolling equipment in a particular way so that pressure is applied. It will hurt a little but the pain will never be unbearable. After the session the muscle will feel relaxed.
Most athletes at school and college level did not have access to licensed masseuse so when they used to encounter strains or sprains they had to suffer a lot. But, with the popularity of foam rolling now you just have to know the trigger point and the knowhow to apply foam rolling. It can provide relief from not just muscle knots but also from the pain induced by injured joints and nerves. Foam rolling is easily available and requires a very low onetime cost as you will be purchasing them only once. They are easy to store and you can use them at your convenience.
The superficial fascia is a collection of the soft tissues located underneath the skin. This fascia connects and wraps the bones, blood vessels and nerves of the entire body. The fascia and the muscles make the myofascia system. After an injury people tend to disuse the muscles or stop stretching which makes the fascia and the muscles to get stuck together which is known as adhesion or restricted muscle movement. Self massage using foam rolling can get rid of these adhesions.
With the use of foam rolling you get the following benefits:
- Your muscle imbalance gets corrected.
- The range of motion of the joints improves.
- The soreness in muscles is reduced.
- Neuromuscular Hypertonicity decreases.
- The extensibility of the Musculotendinous junctions increases.
- The neuromuscular efficiency improves.
- Normal muscle function is restored.
So what facts should you consider while foam rolling? Well, just ten minutes of self massage can give you a lot of relief from your soreness. The intensity of the massage involves certain points like the type of roller used, weight of the individual, the body fat, contact area or trigger point and the point of contact from the ground.
If an annoying pain or muscle soreness is disturbing you for a long time, maybe it is time for some self massage. But always remember to consult a doctor first in order to ascertain that the pain is not due to a more serious condition.