Self Myofascial release (SMR) or rolling is being used so much more now - because it works!
There are many different devices - foam rollers, balls, massage sticks, and massage guns, just to name a few. It is similar to Deep tissue massage, but you can do it to yourself.
SMR has the biggest impact on the neural and fascial systems. That's what makes us move - or not.
The body creates adhesions or trigger points that can alter movement and control. Muscles can become overactive or imbalanced leading to poor function. If not addressed these knots can cause permanent changes in the soft tissue leading to more recurring or long-lasting problems.
The "trigger points" or knots are painful areas that need to be released. The tissues around these points become sticky and do not slide over each other. Rolling over or applying pressure to these areas can release tension and improve viscosity, creating more glide while restoring good mechanics.
Some of the benefits of SMR
Allows for better joint range of motion
Inhibits overactive muscles
Allows tissues to hydrate and lubricate
Decreases stress on the body
SMR should be done before activity.
It is the release to freedom of movement. Think of it as taking off the parking brake before driving a car. The "trigger point" or painful spot is the "stop" or "Speed bump" that is not allowing the body to move optimally.
There are many techniques in performing SMR. I will cover them in a future article.
In the meantime just get out that foam roller and lie or sit down on it, slowly rolling your upper back, hips, and legs. Explore your body and find the "painful" spots. When you find one hang out on it for 30-90 seconds or gently roll over it back and forth and BREATH.
It is always best to be instructed by a trained practitioner on proper execution.
If you have medical issues consult with your physician before beginning a new program.
People with osteoporosis should not use hard implements and be VERY careful.