Foam rolling is a frequently used soft tissue modality used by everyone from athletes during warm ups, to the weekend warriors using it to loosen up after a Saturday run.
There are numerous hypothesised benefits of foam rolling, including:
- Improved tissue quality
- Lengthening muscle fascia (the connections between muscles)
- Breaking up fascial adhesions
- Releasing muscular trigger points
- Stimulating proprioception (the awareness of your body in space)
- Does it produce diffuse noxious inhibitory control (DNIC – a form of pain modulation)
The link above is a research review questioning whether foam rolling can reduce pain or improve mobility, and how does it do so.
- There is limited evidence that foam rolling creates any tangible change in muscles, fascia or proprioception.
- Foam rolling might have a short-term pain relieving effect
- This pain relief should be treated as a window for improving movement, strength and control – things that can be of much more permanent benefit.
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