If you’re anything like me, the day or two after an extreme workout will have you feeling like hell. For the most part, this sensation is temporary (see my post from four days ago entitled, Grin Through The Pain) but it can often feel as though you need an extra little something to help your tired and sore muscles along; especially if you work out frequently.
Under normal circumstances, one could easily include certain medical professionals in their training routine such as massage therapists, acupuncturists and chiropractors, bearing in mind that the three provide different functions. But with the current state of the world, it’s difficult to find a productive way of getting the same relief for your muscle tissues. Heating pads and over-the-counter pain killers can only take you so far.
This is where foam rollers come into play. Foam rollers are reasonably popular with athletes nowadays, and they first came into play in the late 1980’s when physical therapist Sean Gallagher began using it as a self massage tool. But like everything else, there’s some good, bad and ugly associated to using one.
The proper use of a foam roller will help to ease knots and tightness, increase blood flow through the muscle tissue and help loosen scar tissue. All of these things will significantly help with recovery time after an intense or gruelling workout. You can use a roller before and after a workout, to help with stretching and the prevention of injury.
Another good use for a foam roller is if you spend your day working in a sitting position or if you got a kink somewhere from improper sleeping positions. According to an article posted on Healthline.com, foam rolling has a number of benefits including but not limited to easing muscle pain, increasing your range of motion, temporary reduction of the appearance of cellulite, relieves back pain, helps to manage fibromyalgia and is a handy tool for relaxation.
It is advised that one needs to be careful when rolling and that one should avoid rolling over joints and to avoid foam rolling if you have a muscle tear or a break. There different types of foam rollers, including smooth rollers that are suggested if it’s your first time rolling and textured rollers that work deeper into the muscle tissue. Here’s the Healthline article: https://www.healthline.com/health/foam-roller-benefits
Like anything else, consult your doctor or medical professional before starting any new fitness routine. But foam rolling can be a reasonable addition to your at-home workout routine. It won’t completely replace a registered massage therapist, but it can provide some relief during trying times. ☯