Myofascial release is a great way loosen tight muscles and alleviate muscle pain. The use of foam rollers, sticks, and balls can help restore muscle function. What is myofascial release?
- A technique of applying pressure to myofascial connective tissue to relieve pain and restore function.
I am a big fan of using foam rollers to ease tight muscles. In the past 9 months I have been working, interning, and going to grad school, so I have had less time to dedicate to stretching and using my traditional foam roll. I used to stretch and roll every night before going to bed. Since I haven’t had time for that, I noticed my muscles are much tighter than they used to be and it has negatively impacted my exercise performance. I decided to get a rumble roller which gets deeper in to muscle and connective tissue, in order to get my muscles back to where they were before. Pictured below are a traditional foam roll and a rumble roller.
Traditional foam rollers with smooth surfaces compress soft tissue as you roll on them. This improves blood flow and tissue flexibility. There are now rollers available that have uneven surfaces that work like a deep tissue massage. The bumps knead and stretch soft tissue. This helps to breakdown knots, which restores flexibility and relieves muscle pain. Using the rumble roller has definitely been a new experience. I have only used it a few times but I can already feel the difference. There are may products available, do your research to find out which myofascial release tool is right for you. Myofascial release tips
- Start slow breaking down soft tissue is a gradual process.
- Keep muscles relaxed as you roll.
- Move slowly, rolling back and forth quickly is not as effective.
- When you find a painful point stay there for a few seconds to release this spot.
- It can be painful, but stick with it! As you do it more your muscles will become more supple and it will hurt less.