Foam Roller Stretches
I have found foam roller stretches to be a great way to improve soft tissue mobility, improve muscle flexibility, and prevent injury. As we age we lose elasticity and mobility in our joints and connective tissue. This can result in muscle imbalances and when the body is subject to perform a high level activity (running, cycling, hiking, swimming, ect…) you may start to change your movement patterns. These compensated movement patterns or one’s body moving in the “path of least resistance” can place unwanted stress to your body resulting in pain and eventually injury. Studies show that massage can reduce muscle tightness and soreness by more than 40%.
A foam roller is a cheap way for one to perform self-body maintenance by relieving muscle tension, improving blood circulation, and breaking up fibrotic tissue. In the long run this may even help prevent an injury from occurring!
I teach many of my patients these techniques and I hope they come in handy for you. Check out the attached video for instruction in the foam roller techniques. Please contact a Physical Therapist if you are dealing with an injury that is preventing you from participating in something you enjoy.
John R. Thomas, PT, DPT, OCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Orthopedic Certified Specialist