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I have personally used and recommend the use of foam rollers for years to help loosen up targeted muscle areas, manage chronic conditions, prevent injuries and to break up tense fascia and scar tissue. Most people have one somewhere in their home stuck in a corner as after the first or second use, they found it too intense or painful and put it away for safe keeping ! Foam rollers are usually made of hard foam, are 6” in diameter and 3 ft in length. There are a variety of lengths and diameters available these days to fit your body and goals.

The use of foam rollers helps with what is typically known as myofascial release. The fascia is a thin layer of fibrous tissue that surrounds and protects the muscle. The fascia can contract to protect the muscles but this contraction and tension can remain after muscle use and trauma which can cause tightness in the muscles, stiffness and limit ranges of motion. The key to using a foam roller is to keep using it as the initial use can be quite painful and discouraging, but pre and/or post work-out use will lessen the accumulation of tense fascia, trigger points and scar tissue.

General Technique:

  • Find a tender spot and roll on this spot. Do not put all your weight-bearing on your arms as this defeats the purpose. Use your weight-bearing to enhance the release of fascia. Roll slowly and continue using until the discomfort reduces by at least 50%. This could take a bit of time and be uncomfortable but the results will be beneficial.
  • Continue rolling on this area until pain free and it is relaxed.
  • Use the roller as a warm-up prior to activity and also for a cool down after activity.
  • The use of the roller varies depending on which body part is in need of release but most people use on their legs, hips and buttocks.
  • As with any device, overuse may lead to inflammation, tenderness and pain, so don’t be excessive with use and always support your head and neck while using.

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