Foam Roller Exercises Are the Bomb and Will Solve Everything!
Below is a funny video about how foam roller exercises will fix everything, even if done in pain.
A newer study below looked at the effects of a very hard and stiff foam roller- Multilevel rigid roller (MRR) and a standard Bio-Foam roller (BFR).
Let’s see what they found
Standard Foam Roller
A Do it Yourself “Hardcore” Roller
What they found is that the Multilevel Rigid Roller exerted more pressure. Hello McFly, really? You are telling me that if I get down and roll around on a rolling pin it will be more pressure on my IT band than a foam roller? Do we really need research to tell us this?
They are asking the wrong question here for this study. If you want a better answer, you need a better question. A better question is “Does rolling on a foam roller (SMR) result in better long term performance?”
While I have not seen any direct research on that question yet, my answer is NO.
I’ve outlined it in this post below
Why I have No Love for the Foam Roller
My biggest issue with foam rollers is that people do their foam rolling in pain. Ironically, most are rolling around humping their foam roller trying to get OUT of pain. Creating MORE pain to get OUT of pain makes about as much sense as coming to see me about your right shoulder that is painful and I take a cow brander and brand your opposite shoulder. I can guarantee you that your right shoulder will not be painful (and that will be $110 please too.) Did I solve anything? Nope, I did not change the underlying issue of your right shoulder? Nope! But I sure a heck altered the signal to your brain regarding your right shoulder pain and now it is NOT painful.
Enough With the “Hardcore” Painful Soft Tissue Work
Keep in mind that pain is a creation of the brain and is very complex. Think of it as the “check engine light” on your car. When it comes on, you are not sure what is going on, but something is not right and you better stop the darn car before you rip up the engine. So you bring it to the dealer, they charge you a crap ton of money and hook up their computer to see what is going on. Hopefully they then fix the underlying issue and you are on your way, albeit with a lighter wallet.
Pain is telling you that something is not right, and you better go get it checked out by a professional.
See this video below that explains the process of pain
What To Do
You need to teach your brain that movement is NOT painful. While that is easy in theory, in practice it can be a bit tricky. Most will get huge benefits from active joint mobility work (like Z-Health). All the drills have to be done so they are not painful to begin the re-education process. The brain works by prediction and association. Move in pain and that 3 pound thing at the end of your spine starts to associate movement with pain. This is not what we want. We want pain free movement.
What are your thoughts? Are you going to continue to move in pain in the interest of feeling better?
If you are interested in a custom movement coaching session to increase performance, feel better and move better, drop me a line.
Contact Mike T. Nelson to set up an appointment today by clicking HERE
A comparison of the pressure exerted on soft tissue by 2 myofascial rollers.
Curran PF, Fiore RD, Crisco JJ.
J Sport Rehabil. 2008 Nov;17(4):432-42
Dept of Orthopaedics, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI 02903, USA.
CONTEXT: Self-myofascial release (SMR) is a technique used to treat myofascial restrictions and restore soft-tissue extensibility. PURPOSE: To determine whether the pressure and contact area on the lateral thigh differ between a Multilevel rigid roller (MRR) and a Bio-Foam roller (BFR) for participants performing SMR. PARTICIPANTS: Ten healthy young men and women. METHODS: Participants performed an SMR technique on the lateral thigh using both myofascial rollers. Thin-film pressure sensels recorded pressure and contact area during each SMR trial. RESULTS: Mean sensel pressure exerted on the soft tissue of the lateral thigh by the MRR (51.8 +/- 10.7 kPa) was significantly (P < .001) greater than that of the conventional BFR (33.4 +/- 6.4 kPa). Mean contact area of the MRR (47.0 +/- 16.1 cm2) was significantly (P < .005) less than that of the BFR (68.4 +/- 25.3 cm2). CONCLUSION: The significantly higher pressure and isolated contact area with the MRR suggest a potential benefit in SMR.