Maybe this exercise tool has been around for years, but I only recently learned of ‘Foam Rollers.’ Foam rolling is described as a form of self-myofascial release. Our myofascial connective tissues provide muscle support throughout our bodies. When they become tight and inflamed, they can case soreness and may impede joint range of motion.
Myofascial release, then, is a mechanism through which the tension may be released by application of sustained, gentle pressure on the effected area. These simple foam rollers may provide a self-initiated way to remove pain and improve movement.
Foam rollers have been used by athletes for years as part of their warm-up techniques for sports performance and recovery after injury. A physicist and martial artist, Moshe Feldenkrais, is credited with creating the foam roller as early as the 1920s. His intention was to assist people in heightening their awareness of their body movements along with improved physical function. It was not until one of his students, physical therapist Sean Gallagher, began actively trying them out in 1987 as a self-message tool, that foam rollers took off.
The National Institute of Health has encouraging comments about them including that they provide positive health benefits for increased vascular plasticity and restoration of soft tissue. Their results come from a small research group of eleven participants so you might say the medical and fitness jury is still out on the foam rollers effectiveness. It is encouraging news, nonetheless, and most of us agree that a massage feels good under any conditions. Other studies show that regular myofascial release may help ease soreness caused by exercise, may help increase range of motion, may help facilitate relaxation, may assist in managing fibromyalgia symptoms, and may even temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Like with other exercise equipment, users need to know how to use foam rollers to avoid injury and for optimum effectiveness. www.healthline.com suggests that people with injuries should avoid using foam rollers and users should avoid rolling over joints like elbows, ankles, or knees. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, firmness, and textures to match the user’s level of need. You may have already figured out that use of a foam roller necessitates that one be able get down and up from a supine position on the floor. As with any fitness program, exercise equipment, or diet that impacts your physical being, it is advisable to discuss use of foam rollers with your primary care provider and/or personal trainer. The information provided about foam rollers in this article is for entertainment and informational purposes only.
The Sedona Community Center team is looking forward to the day that the Center will be bustling with fitness and wellness classes again. Updates, as we move to restarting various areas of our services, may be found on our Facebook page and at sccsedona.org. Or feel free to call to inquire at 928.282.2834. Until we see you again, please be safe and stay healthy.