Pain sufferers know that there are many ways to mask pain, but are not as knowledgeable about how to get rid of, or alleviate pain – from the source. If you have back pain, muscles spasms, misalignment and especially hip and lower back pain try any or all of these suggested techniques. And try them even if you do not – the stress relief and relaxation brought on by these methods will do wonders for you.
When I started working out, many moons ago, I worked my way through a plethora of routines, read a ton of books about health and fitness and learned that stretching was my friend. But after a lot of exercising, and a lot of stretching – including plenty of yoga, I noticed that certain muscles of mine just ached and/or just plain hurt and no amount of stretching and flexibility work on them yielded relief.
When I began my studies as a personal trainer I learned a concept that was totally new to me at the time: muscle spasms, and I became very interested in a technique for flexibility called Self Myofascial Release [SMR] that stopped overactive muscle fibers and lengthened muscle.
Learning about SMR then led me to trying out other methods of muscle release, and pain relief. I also learned that often the pain isn’t due to a muscle problem in the actual muscle/area you think it is, but somewhere else entirely [referred pain]. Knowing that led me to being an avid fan of total body rolling – if you work on your whole body you won’t miss anything out! The only thing you need to have is a foam roller to perform such exercises. There are different types of foam rollers available on the market, such as low density and high density foam roller. We will be having a detailed guide for choosing the right foam rollers in UK later in this article.
Keeping Yourself fit
I have had a weight problem all my life. Part of the problem is genetics and part is poor eating habits. I had accepted this as my way of life, until our daughter started to also have a weight problem. I did not want her to have the struggles that I have had. We discussed our weight and decided that we would work on the issue together. Along with eating healthier we started fitness training. We started our new way of living three years ago and both of us have changed significantly. The fitness training has not only reduced our weight and toned our muscles, but it has also improved our self esteem. I had not thought of myself as having low self esteem before starting fitness training, but looking back I now realize that many of the decisions that I have made throughout my life have centered on my weight.
I have been involved with countless diets over the years. I would take weight off and would then regain it along with extra pounds. I have arthritis so I often used this as a reason not to exercise consistently. All of that changed by being motivated to help my daughter and by finding fitness training that was right for me. That was the beginning of our transformations. We had been encouraging each other in our quest to look better, but having a professional guiding us was extremely helpful. We worked harder at the fitness training while at the club and we were more motivated to walk and bike on the days that we were at home.
Pain Management/Relief Techniques:
The type of pain management/relief I am covering here is primarily muscular pain. To learn more about how your muscles get to the hurting stage we need to talk about something called Fascia – pronounced fasha.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is something that you don’t ever hear about in workout books or general fitness magazines, but is something we all need to know a lot more about. Fascia is a connective tissue layer that surrounds the body, interconnecting, without interruption, from head to toe. With such impressive credentials it’s a wonder it doesn’t get as much billing as muscle, but it should, because the fascia in your body, when damaged, can be the cause of severe pain.
When fascia is damaged and doesn’t heal correctly, the result can be felt manually as taut bands and knots beneath the skin. Local inflammation can occur and if the knots are not addressed, eventually the fascia will become hardened scar tissue. The knots have a restricted blood flow and, over time, the muscle fibers often shorten as a protection mechanism against more injury, and movement becomes limited to avoid pain. Many people suffer permanent disability due to injury and have to rely on others for their movement. A lightweight wheelchair gives them little hope, but it is quiet difficult to cope up and overcome wheelchair disability.
The painful taut bands and knots in the fascia are called trigger points which can occur from muscle trauma, skeletal imbalances and poor movement. What’s interesting about trigger points is that we all have them, many of them, all over our body, from the stresses and strains of every day living; but we often don’t even realize they are there – not making themselves known until you, or your massage therapist, presses on ‘just the right spot’.
Choosing the top foam rollers in 2017
As we said earlier there are many different types of foam rollers available in India, they differ in size, color, price and density. Choosing the right foam rollers can be a difficult task for many. Foam rollers are essential. They are great for massaging tight parts of the body, especially for those people suffering from lower back pain. This one seems to be the best option for those just getting into foam rolling, as it is cheaper in price than most and has the simple standard design as opposed to the grooved and ridged design which can be more intense. This roller is made from closed cell foam that is soft to the skin. Everyone should have one, or at least have regular access to one, whatever your walk of life.
- People also use them during their exercise routines to get a good stretch.
- At 1.6 lbs and less than 6 inches long, this foam roller is the perfect size to store easily in a closet, bring on trips or even to the gym.
- It offers good resistance that does not feel like it is pushing you out or allowing you to sink in too much.
- A firmness will likely give you a massage that is too intense and incredibly painful. <
- These are the lightest foam rollers on the market and will be the softest when you sit on them.
This is often a good roller to get started with as you will get good benefits without all the pain. Because foam rollers are such inexpensive tools with massively useful application. Foam roller reviews are a great way to determine the firmness of any given model. Just like a deep massage can be intense at times, so can foam rolling. Over time and with long term use, these rollers tend to loose their firmness and will start to see “tracks” where you regularly apply pressure. If you’re new to foam rolling, you might not know which roller to choose, though. In addition to reading reviews, you’ll notice that foam rollers are color-coded to help users determine their level of firmness. If that’s the case, opt for a softer density roller and work your way toward using a firmer one over time. It comes with a standard AC adapter wall plug to recharge and you just plug it into your wall, standard stuff.
Firmness of foam roller
They come in many different materials and sizes, and it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. But there’s much more to using a foam roller than swearing and pain – recent research has started to show great benefits in improving flexibility. Foam rollers are exactly that; cylindrical tubes, sometimes made completely of foam, whereas some are hollow with a layer or foam around them. The battery is full when all the green lights are on. Standard is a usually 3 feet long and 6 inches in diameter.
Some are completely smooth and offer a consistent surface area, whereas others like the trigger point grid roller has varied surfaces to target the tissue in different ways. Many say this is the best vibrating foam roller on the market and when you hit the sore and tight spots on your body you just sit on them with the foam roller and let the vibration break them down and loose them up and it really goes deep into the muscles. This is the easiest and gentlest of the foam rollers. Ultimately, which roller you decide to use is based on your ability to tolerate pain.
Right size foam roller
It can be used on almost anyone. Basically, you want to work on increasing your pain tolerance, and the name of that game is baby steps. This is a good one if you have not started foam rolling because it hurts too much. So let’s say you want to progress to a firm roller. While it still may be uncomfortable on this one you will find that it is much less then on the more aggressive foam rollers.
If you plan to use your foam roller daily, choose a dense roller that will withstand regular use. A basic, smooth foam roller is the most versatile, however if you need a roller to work through tighter knots, a multi-density option is ideal. If you’re a first-time buyer, the pain of foam rolling can take some getting used to.Start with less dense or multi-density foam roller, which allow you to increase the pressure using your body weight. If you exercise regularly and are looking to work through tighter knots, opt for a high-density roller.
Benefits of foam roller
Much of the research is suggesting that static stretching prior to exercising is not beneficial and could actually be injurious. Despite the very many health benefits of massage, we can’t all book regular appointments at the spa. Foam roller exercises and other self-myofascial release techniques have become increasingly popular, and for good reason. The best thing about foal rollers s that you can get many of the benefits of a therapist or masseuse from the comfort of your own home with this inexpensive piece of workout equipment. Many people suggest that static stretching be performed after exercise, when muscles are relaxing and returning to their normal length.
- But there’s a basic (and cheap!) tool are known to many regular runners and other athletes that just might be the next best thing.
- Partly that stems from a better understanding about the healing benefits of soft tissue care, or massage.
- But if you’re not sure if using a foam roller is for you, then here are six ways it can have a positive impact on your exercise routine.
- The results of the aforementioned study suggest that it might be even more beneficial to precede that post exercise static stretch with a form of Self Myofascial Release (SMR) such as foam rolling.
- If you haven’t already, it’s time to get familiar with a foam roller.
- Massage can ultimately become cost-prohibitive since unless you are an athlete or just have a few hundred extra bucks lying around, you probably opt infrequently for a massage as a luxury or a splurge more than a necessity.
The foam roller not only helps to stretch muscles and tendons, but its digs deep down into those hard to reach areas and helps to break down soft tissue and scar tissue. Using foam rollers can reduce the risk of developing adhesions. You’ve likely reached for the lightweight tool to relieve sore muscles after exercising, but have you ever thought to use it for the workout itself? The feeling of loosening tight and fatigued muscles through a foam roller is similar to a deep tissue massage because your own body weight is pressed against the roll, ensuring a substantial amount of pressure is being enacted upon the muscle.
Using your own body weight on the cylindrical foal roller enables one to perform self-massage, myofascial release, break up trigger points, soothe tight fascia, and increase blood flow and circulation throughout the body. Tissue adhesions are created as the result of collagen binding between layers of muscle. Didn’t think so. Massage helps avoid injury during exercise and is much cheaper than the cost to repair. For more intense self massage, try using a lacrosse ball, golf ball, or rolling out on a barbell.
If a muscle is held in a specific position during extended periods of inactivity or overused during repetitive motions, collagen can form between the layers of skeletal muscle, which can create adhesions or knots that restrict the ability of muscle sheaths to slide against one another. The principle holds that by applying direct and sweeping high mechanical loads to muscles and tissues, you stretch and massage the underlying tissues. This is believed to reduce thickening, adhesion, and tension of the fascia [connective tissue] and muscle, and can potentially reduce fatigue, improve recovery, and enhance range of motion.