A few years ago I was introduced to the foam roller. Since getting a professional sports massage every day isn’t really an option for me, the foam roller has become the next best thing. I use it all over but mostly on my tight legs after I run.
Foam rolling is basically a way to give yourself a deep massage. It can by used on almost any muscle in your body and does WONDERS for soft-tissue related pain. You may have heard the term myofascial release in regards to foam rolling. Basically, when your muscles withstand any kind of trauma, inflammatory responses, and/or surgery (I’d say that fits into trauma, eh?), you get some myo-fascial restriction in that muscle. Facia, is the soft tissue component of the connective tissue and provides support and protection for the body. When its irritated, it becomes restricted and painful.
You don’t have to have some crazy accident to do damage, every day stresses and general exercise can be a form of trauma and can definitely cause inflammatory responses in your muscles. With the restricted myofascial comes soreness, pain, restricted range of motion. Using the roam roller, while sometimes slightly intense (DON’T FORGET TO BREATE!), alleviates pain and increases range of motion by applying direct force until the area of restiction releases.
Try it, it feels so dang good afterwards. Also remember that eating an anti-inflammatory diet (think plants!) will help with inflammation!