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.

In Summary:

  1. There is limited evidence that foam rolling creates any tangible change in muscles, fascia or proprioception.
  2. Foam rolling might have a short-term pain relieving effect
  3. This pain relief should be treated as a window for improving movement, strength and control – things that can be of much more permanent benefit.

Want to know more?

If you want more information or would like to book for a FREE full body assessment with one of our Physiotherapists or Exercise Physiologists, call us on 9857 0644 or email us at

How Does Foam Rolling Work?

Foam rolling is very popular. Athletic trainers use it as a part of the warm-up. Physical therapists use it as part of their treatment strategy, often to improve extensibility of “short” tissues.

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