The foam roller is ideal for stretching out and massaging any tight, sore spot. Long or short, fat or thin, gridded or smooth, the choices are endless. Personal preference rules here so try a couple out before choosing and see what feels best. 

This self-massage technique can create just the right amount of pressure to help release the myofascial tissue. This is the strong, thin fibrous connective tissue that extends throughout the body. It is made of elastin and collagen suspended in fluid providing a strong yet flexible web like covering to support and protect muscle and bones. These tissues get tight with trauma, inflammation or inactivity and result in adhesions or knots that create tightness.  Releasing the myofascial tissue using sustained pressure from a roller can loosen and lengthen constricted fascia tissue. With constant, slow and even pressure using a roller, the fascia and muscle-tendon have a chance to relax and lengthen.

Here’s how it works:

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  • Place roller on floor
  • Position your body so that the muscle group is in contact with the roller and you can sink into the roller with just the right amount of pressure without too much discomfort
  • Slowly, roll your body over the tight area allowing the fascia to lengthen and release 
  • Note: Rolling can be painful at first so go gently and don’t place full weight on roller. 

Commonly, areas that respond well to this therapy are hamstrings (back of leg) and quadriceps (front of leg), tensor fascia latae (side of leg), buttocks, upper back, and shoulders.