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Self-Treatment Techniques for Foam Rolling
Here’s a self-treatment strategy for the connective tissue and muscles:
- A foam roller increases blood flow to the connective tissue.
- The roller has the same consistency as the human touch and is a form of massage. It uses deep compression to help roll out muscle tightness that develops over time.
- The foam roller also stimulates the Golgi tendon organ, which senses tension in the muscle. The Golgi tendon organ responds to high or prolonged compression by causing the muscle spindles to relax the muscle being worked on. This response is caused by your body weight resting against the foam roller.
- The whole process allows the muscles to relax and loosen up, gets the blood and lymphatic system flowing.
- Think of your body as clay; the foam roller softens up the clay, so you can remold it into something more pliable and functional.
- Muscles are like a rubber band. Your goal is to keep them supple and elastic.
- The connective tissue, which is like the container around the muscle, will also be compressed and released with the foam roller, allowing for expansion and relaxation of the muscle.
- You can release muscle tension and tight connective tissue daily at first, and then at least two times per week over the long term.
- The foam roller is easy to use while watching television.
- Use gentle pressure, mobilize and loosen the entire muscle system (don’t go directly over bony landmarks such as the pubic bone or the bone at the outside of the hip- trochanter).
- Be nice and gentle to yourself when using the foam roller. You do not want to flare-up your symptoms but instead, learn how to soften your tension.
- You can use static pressure for muscle tightness. Pause and hold with light pressure on especially tight areas for time periods up to two minutes.
- Keep the foam roller moving when you are trying to work on the connective tissue or container of the muscle.
- When there are no more tender spots, then rolling over the area will keep the muscle and connective tissue loose.
- Roll and work areas from many angles with varying pressures.
- Consistent rolling sessions pre and post-exercise are helpful. Try rolling before sleep to relax the muscles, especially if you have restless leg syndrome.
Be comprehensive and disciplined, yet explorative. You can discover the correct amount of rolling and acupressure that creates a resounding feeling of health, mobility, and freedom of movement. Always check with your physiotherapist to see if foam rolling is appropriate for you.
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