Foam rolling is one thing that has been increasing in popularity amongst runners as well as gym junkies as a supplement to their training. These cylinder shaped foams of varying densities and kinds are used and the muscles are rolled over the foam. Foam rolling is a kind of self myofascial release treatment. The aim or claim is that they are expected to break up adhesions in the muscle tissues, help facilitate stretching, and help as part of the warm up and to also to increase recovery from exercise. Conditioning gurus and many types of believed authorities are touting their use. Even so, despite the promises of all of the rewards, there is hardly any scientific research to back up if foam rolling actually tends to make any change or not. Regardless, foam rollers are generally a comparatively economical technique of manual therapy because the equipment is not expensive and you do not require the more costly expertise of a healthcare professional.

The foams are round in shape and can be found in assorted sizes and densities from soft to hard and some were created for specific body parts, like the PediRoller for the plantar surface of the feet produced by a Podiatric doctor. The foam roller is put on the ground and the muscles to be treated is rolled on top of it. The idea is that you roll the muscles on the foam roller forward and backward at a steady tempo to work on any tightness and myofascial problems in that muscle tissue. As the foam is moveable, they can be used at the gym, the track or in your own home without having guidance.

The leading stated benefits for foam rolling are generally improved mobility to improve the range of movement; a better athletic performance if while using foam roller included in the warm-up regimen; and improved upon recuperation right after physical exercise as well as a decrease in the signs and symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). As a result of lack of research that’s been carried out with this area there are lots of misunderstandings among specialists with lots of them stating that these health benefits continue to be only theoretical and the whole notion is only a theory because not all of these gains are supported, especially in the long-term by good data.

There is certainly some reasonable evidence that demonstrates foam rolling gives you numerous shorter-term gains for mobility, however nothing shows that it will help in the long term. It can be helpful as part of a warmup program to help make the muscle tissue more geared up for training. The science that’s been carried out is evident that there are no negative consequences on athletic overall performance. The science data on using the foam roller right after activity might have a small impact on assisting DOMS. There isn’t any evidence what-so-ever that shows foam rolling helps cellulite, enhances the posture, or helps scar tissue, or sciatica pain and lower back pain.

It is still early days in the research and some or more of those touted rewards may or may not get more or better research to guide their practice. For runners there is no reason why foam rolling may not be beneficial during warm-up training as it can seem to enhance mobility in the short term and may be of use in post-exercise recovery.


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NeuroDoc Author
Neuro doctor.