Do Foam Rollers Work?

roamrollerassortmentFoam rollers come in all shapes and sizes and if you ask many fitness professionals, they are an effective way to restore lost range of motion and ease pain. Generally, they’re cylindrical in shape and varying lengths. Foam rollers also vary in firmness (density).

Foam rolling, in general, involves applying moderate pressure to a muscle or muscle group rolling the roller over the target area with your hands, or using your body weight against the foam roller, to compress and lengthen muscle tissue.  In some cases, rollers can help release trigger points to help reestablish pain free movement. During the slow roll movement, the muscle releases and after about 15-30 seconds, pain will decrease.

But like any tool, there’s a right way and wrong way to use them. And, like you don’t hammer a nail with a screwdriver, there are times when other tools are better. If used incorrectly, the foam roller can actually do more harm than good, and foam rolling is most definitely no substitute for manual therapy from a trained therapist.

Sometimes rolling works, sometimes, not so much.

How do foam rollers work? Continue reading “Do Foam Rollers Work?”

Making RICE for Sprains, Aches & Pains

peas_kneesR.I.C.E. is an acronym referring to a method for handling sprains, strains, or other soft tissue injuries. The elements of RICE – Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate – are mostly common sense, but there are some specific tips that help make each of these more effective.  We commonly recommend RICE treatments along with a massage therapy treatment for aftercare, preventative therapy, and to speed healing and recovery after an injury.   Here’s the scoop…

R (Rest): Chill out, especially the first 24-48 hours after an injury. Rest the body part and give the muscle tissues a chance to begin healing. You might think that “walking it off” makes sense, but it doesn’t.  Many injuries result from micro or macro tears in muscle and fascial tissues, or inflammation of joints, tendons, and ligaments.  ALL of those body parts benefit from a little time to recover before they’re put to use again.

Continue reading “Making RICE for Sprains, Aches & Pains”