The ways proper physical therapy aids an ailing body can often border on the miraculous. Whether a patient has suffered from an unfortunate sports injury or a debilitating auto accident, the right programs and exercises can put them back on the path to proper recovery. Of course, physical therapy doesn’t end simply at your medical professional’s office. There are a number of tools you can use at home to stimulate muscle movement and recovery. One such tool being the ever popular foam roller.
A foam roller is a cylindrical tool with grooves and textures that targets painful knots and helps to work them out. With the right application, this god send of a tool can become an integral part of your at home therapy routine.
How it’s Used
Using the foam roller is as simple as any pre-workout stretch. Resting your afflicted muscles over the roller and rolling it out will promote what is referred to as self-myofascial release, or SMR. In short, you’re massaging the affected areas.
Many will find themselves turned away from foam rollers because of the primary discomfort they will feel upon first use. What many seem to not realize is that this discomfort is very natural for those who suffer from tight, underutilized muscles. In fact, feeling discomfort in any given area is a sign that that area requires further stretching. Of course, in exchange for this initial discomfort, a fortune of benefits can be derived!
Flexibility and Mobility
Regular massage and stretching is essential for increasing the range of motion your muscles are capable of operating in. Utilizing a foam roller speeds up the acquisition of these benefits by promoting an in depth massage that reaches deep tissues and initiates muscle relaxation.
Furthermore, treating your uncomfortable “trigger points” will aid in breaking down fibrous scar tissue that can accumulate in an injured or tightened muscle. By treating this scar tissue, your muscles will increase in flexibility and pliability.
It should be no surprise that professional grade massages promote proper blood flow in treated areas. Foam rollers allow physical therapy recipients to achieve this same benefit without the help of a second party. By stretching and opening up tightened muscles or “knots” , blood is able to regularly circulate through these previously troublesome areas. This bolstered flow will even aid in flushing out excess metabolites and toxins from the treated area and your body as a whole.
Foam rollers are an inexpensive and resoundingly effective means of physical therapy. Of course, this ground breaking tool is by no means a replacement for professional treatment from a registered therapist. However, in conjunction with professional treatment, it can be a powerhouse inclusion into your fitness routine.