Foam rolling is a popular self-massage technique. I’ve done it. Some of my clients do it in between their regular massage appointments. Some people can have great results with their foam roller, but others aren’t seeing the outcomes they want. Some still complain of sore muscles despite foam rolling all the time.
Why is that? Read on to find out!
The Dos of Foam Rolling:
Be gentle with your muscles. You don’t have to attack them with your roller to show them who’s boss. When your muscles are relaxed, you are more likely to achieve the results you want.
Continue with your regular massage with a trusted professional. You brush and floss your teeth as part of good oral hygiene, right? Yet, you still go to dentists for routine exams so that emergencies don’t happen as often. So, even if you’re foam rolling you need to keep getting regular massage. Oftentimes relieving muscle pain requires knowledge of anatomy and kinesiology.
The Don’ts of Foam Rolling:
Don’t roll directly on your point of pain. You read that right! You want to roll the areas around that pain point and ease into the area that’s hurting. When you get a professional massage for something like sciatic pain, your therapist doesn’t just put an elbow on your backside first thing, right? Likely, the massage starts out gentle – even in the area of pain. This is because your muscles need to be relaxed in order for true pain relief to happen. You can thank your parasympathetic nervous system for that!
Don’t roll too fast. When you do that, you’re likely rolling too aggressively. Roll slowly and gently. Are you seeing a pattern here?
Don’t overdo it. This right here is what so many people do when they foam roll. And oftentimes they were taught this by personal trainers at some point. They mash and roll over a point of pain so much that they cause even more irritation and can even injure themselves.
So, when you foam roll- remember the first rule of foam rolling: Be gentle. And then continue seeing your massage therapist. Your muscles will thank you!
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