Foam rollers are a useful tool for preventing injury, improving recovery, mobility, flexibility, circulation, etc. They are useful for pre and post workout and can also be helpful for recreational or work-related stiffness and soreness.
Most likely you have seen them around – at the gym, at your physical therapist’s office, in the shops or strategically placed in an advertisement for fitness wear. Generally long and cylindrical, they also come in a variety of sizes, shapes, densities (firmness) and even textures, depending on the desired use.
It is believed that practitioners first used foam rollers with their clients as a way of increasing awareness of the body and how it functions. To do this they were used as a support for the body and for standing balance work. Soon they were utilized as a tool for self-massage, and from there their versatility has spread to many other uses, such as:
To warm up and/or cool down pre and post workout
For assisting with muscle relaxation
To break up adhesions or scar tissue
To relieve tension or pressure (e.g. in the neck, or lower back)
For extending a stretch
Engaging more core muscles by creating an unstable surface
Improving balance and stability
Even as a prop for yoga
A word of warning.
While foam rollers may seem like a fairly innocuous tool (aside from the pain they tend to inflict whilst trying to work out a muscular knot), they can have negative results if used incorrectly. There are some common mistakes that need to be avoided, in particular, using a foam roller on the lower back, which can actually result in your muscles contracting to protect the area. You also need to be aware of your posture whilst performing movements. Plus, it helps to know where the origin of the pain or discomfort lies.
Before you go out to wade through the options, the best thing you can do is to speak with one of our friendly practitioners. This way you will get the most relevant answers and advice for your needs, not only in regards to the type of roller, but also how to use it safely and effectively. This can save you time, money and potential injury. You can drop in to one of our clinics, either in Ocean Grove or Barwon Heads, contact us on (03) 5254 2668 or to book an appointment online simply Click Here.