The Many Benefits of A Foam Roller

The Many Benefits of A Foam Roller

woman in rehab

Over the past 6 years that I have been in practice, there is one topic that gets brought up continuously when discussing health and wellness with patients. That topic is posture. Posture is one of the most important things a patient can focus on in helping to relieve; chronic neck, upper back pain, tight muscles, trigger points, low back pain, and even improve breathing. After discussing different stretches, desk ergonomics, and corrective exercises, the next topic I feel is one of the most important and beneficial is the foam roller.

In my practice I try to incorporate a host of soft tissue therapies for patient care ranging from Active Release Technique (A.R.T.), Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation, and massage therapy. Foam rolling is a self-myofacial release (SMR) that patients can incorporate at home, work, or at the gym. The great thing about foam rolling is that the individual controls the amount of pressure by using his or her own body weight. Furthermore, treatment can be as short as 5 minutes by focusing only on the problematic areas. Some of the many benefits that the foam roller provides are as followed: improved circulation, stretching/lengthening of muscles, improved flexibility, elimination of lactic acid, decrease in post exercise soreness, improved spinal range of motion, elimination of trigger points/fibrotic adhesions.

One of the best times you can incorporate the foam roller into your daily routine is post-workout. The biggest benefit to rolling on recently worked or fatigued muscles is blood circulation. By rolling on these muscles it creates improved circulation allowing fresh blood which carries oxygen and nutrients to the area, while forcing lactic acid and other toxins out of the area. By removing waste products it will allow a decrease in overall muscle soreness and an increase in recovery time. This can be very helpful for runners, triathletes, endurance athletes, and team sport athletes who train four or more days per week. Another key benefit of the foam roller is breaking up fibrotic tissue and/or tender areas. By breaking down the fibrotic adhesions, it helps lengthen the muscle which improves the muscles active range of motion.

Another key component to using the foam roller is to help improve posture, especially those individuals who sit behind a desk or are on a computer all day. Poor posture has become an epidemic among society. With the increase use of computers, smartphones and tablets people are constantly looking downward for extended periods of time throughout the day, and the age of use is getting younger. Poor posture can create a host of health problems from pain, headaches, hunch back syndrome(hyper-kyphosis), and stress to just name a few. By simply laying on the foam roller for 5 minutes daily, it can help pull the shoulders back, open up the chest, decrease the anterior rotation of the shoulders, and decrease the forward head posture. Also rolling out several key muscles can help reduce the tension that is being placed on the spine.

As you can see the foam roller can add many benefits in improving ones overall health and wellness, from increasing recovery times to improving posture. During a lot of consultations patients mention that they have been taking Advil or Ibuprofen everyday for a month to try and eliminate their aches and pains. Unfortunately, they return to their everyday activities and poor postural habits and their pain continues. When symptoms occur it is easy for one to: reach for a bottle of pills, have an unnecessary surgery, be prescribed an excess of physical therapy visits, electric stimulation or ultrasound. A lot of individuals experience symptoms due to muscular imbalances, muscle tightness, and inefficient functional movement patterns. Daily treatment with the foam roller along with strengthening exercises can help reduce the majority of symptoms. So instead of living with the pain, discomfort and soreness, speak with your chiropractor, physical therapist, or trainer. Ask them to demonstrate several stretches and techniques on the foam roller so you can start living an improved lifestyle.

Dr. Scott Hallums is the owner and chiropractic physician at Wheaton Chiropractic Spine & Joint Center located at 340 W. Front St., Wheaton, IL. (630) 580-9457


 

Wheaton Chiropractic Spine & Joint Center was founded on the principles of Relief. Recovery. Results. Our number one goal is to get you out of pain and back doing the activities that you enjoy. A combined approach of chiropractic manipulation, soft tissue work such as instrument assisted and Active Release Technique, and functional rehab, will allow the body to heal and recover at a quicker rate than traditional care. The treatment and care at Wheaton Chiropractic Spine & Joint Center in Wheaton will allow the body, joints, and muscles to move more efficiently and function at their optimal level.

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Wheaton Chiropractic
Spine & Joint Center

316 West Roosevelt Road #100
Wheaton, IL 60187
(630) 580-9457