Getting a massage is one of the most relaxing activities that you can have. The good news is you can also massage yourself using foam rollers for that immediate and more cost-effective comfort. Foam rollers have been increasingly popular because of the benefits it gives your musculoskeletal system aside from being a cheaper alternative to getting a massage. Also, foam rolling self-massage can be done in the comforts of your home and the foam rollers are even available in your local Land O Lakes chiropractor’s office.
The mechanism of using foam rollers for self-massage is the utilization of a person’s body weight to roll on the foam relieving muscle knots and restrictions. This allows for better flexibility and extensibility of the soft tissues improving the range of motion of the joints. The main premise of using foam rollers is for myofascial release. Muscle tightness may lead to reduced range of motion and overall premature fatigue. With self-massage using foam rollers, these myofascial knots are released for improved muscular stability and performance. Other benefits of foam rolling self-massage include:
- Relief of muscle soreness after sports or exercise. If you have been lifting weights or had a high impact sports activity, foam rolling can help you relieve muscle soreness in no time.
- Relief of joint stress. Foam rolling self massage can also be done along the joints to release tight soft tissues for an improved joint condition.
- Prevents muscular spasms. If you do not experience muscular problems, employing foam rolling self massage can help you prevent muscle spasms as a result of muscle overuse.
- Improves efficiency of neuromuscular functioning. Foam rolling self massage can also help improve the nerve signaling from the nerves to the muscles through relieving nerve interference along the muscle fibers.
- Maintains muscle length. Lastly, self massage using foam rollers can also maintain the normal functional length of muscles to prevent muscle atrophy and hypertrophy.
Guidelines for Effective Foam Rolling
Foam rolling is simple, but certain guideline should be followed to make the self-massage more effective. First, roll a certain body part on the foam roller for at least 1 to 2 minutes. This ensures that muscle knots are effectively relieved. However, if pain is already felt, stop the rolling and continue after 45 seconds. Rolling, despite the presence of pain can lead to more muscle tightness and pain because of the activation of muscle spindles. Next, you should also make sure to place your entire weight on the foam roller to reach deeper soft tissues such as what is done in a deep tissue massage.
Focus Areas for Foam Rolling Self Massage
Almost every part of the body can benefit from foam rolling massage. The following body parts should especially be worked on:
- Iliotibial band along the lateral aspect of both thighs
- Piriformis muscle
- Tensor Fascia Latae along the anterior pelvic bone
- Latissumus dorsi muscle along the axillary line
When to Self Massage
Foam rolling self massage should be done before and after you workout or exercise, before bed, when you experience pains on your soft tissues and just about any time you are free such as while watching TV.
Foam rolling massage is an inexpensive and convenient way to massage your body. To maximize your performance and to reduce overall stress, get the best foam roller for you.