Foam roller on calf

Does using a foam roller decrease tightness

Using a foam roller, or any other self myofascial release technique, works due to one key mechanism of action: neurological tone reduction in the muscle tissue. By adding external pressure and movements through muscle tissue, receptors in the peripheral and central nervous system are stimulated and essentially take the parking brake off those tight and tonic tissues. 

Does using a foam roller have to hurt?

If you have used a foam roller before you are familiar with the painful feeling of the self myofascial release technique.  Does it have to be?  A study looking at pre and post muscle flexibility of the quads using maximal pressure and light/moderate pressure resulted in the same outcome.  Both groups improved on both active and passive range of motion.  So no, the old saying of “no pain, no gain” is not true.  The more painful the technique does not correlate the more flexibility.  Also, in the study the group worked the muscle for 60 seconds to obtain results demonstrating that you don’t need to spend crazy amounts of time foam rolling to enjoy the benefits of an increased range of motion.  Reference to study demonstrating increased pain does not increase range of motion gain.

Three simple foam roller exercises

Relieve sore muscles and improve your recovery time with these three lower body foam roller exercises.  When performing these try not to hold your breath and avoid short, quick, rolls.  Instead, when using the foam roller take take long deep breaths as you roll in order to increase blood flow to the working muscles as well as long, slow rolls send feedback to your brain to relax the muscle and reduce tension.  

Foam rolling for the back of the lower leg
Foam rolling for the hips
Foam roller for the front of the upper leg

Behm Muscle & Joint Clinic in Bellevue, Nebraska is the premier muscle and joint clinic in the area.  Our licensed Chiropractors are trained in a variety of conservative musculoskeletal techniques.  If you are suffering from joint, nerve or muscle conditions give us a call at 402-292-1450 or schedule an appointment online to see how we can help you.  Our combination of Chiropractic adjustments, rehabilitation techniques and manual therapy/myofascial release are effective treatments for neuromusculoskeleatal conditions.

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