Foam Roller Therapy is a therapy used by physical trainers, massage and physical therapists for rehabilitation and training. It can also be used by an individual for massage and exercises. It uses a foam roller.
A foam roller may be made from different materials. It comes in different sizes and densities. The most commonly used foam rollers are the full roll which are 3 ft. long and 6″ in diameter. There are several kinds of rolls available in the market. One of the variations is the half roll. They are flat on one side and are often used by beginners. For densities, they could either be low density rollers or high density rollers. Low density rollers are relatively cheaper, but are more subject to deformation after several usages. High density rollers are more durable and are a good choice for people who intend to do foam roller therapy for a longer period of time.
Uses of the Foam Roller Therapy
Form Roller Therapy may be used for loosening up tight muscles through a self-massage. This can be done by slowly rolling on the foam roller and putting weight pressure on the problem area. An individual may feel a relative amount of discomfort on certain trigger points. This will disappear after several rolls. If done correctly, this is an effective way to relax the muscles which will eventually contribute to its flexibility.
A foam roller may be incorporated for exercises such as stretching. This can prove beneficial, especially to people who get stiff muscles from an uncomfortable position. A foam roller is so versatile that it can be used to provide relief to a stiff back, neck, spine or other parts of the body. It can also be used for several balancing exercises. Performing exercises such as barbell squats on top of the foam roller requires a lot of muscles, not only for lifting the weight, but also for maintaining the balance. The exercise will help in improving balance and building core strength.
Form Roller Therapy also prevents injury and enhances performance. By performing conditioning exercises using a foam roller, an individual prepares her muscles and tissues–by stretching and loosening it–to a more strenuous activity. This helps prevent strained muscles and torn tissues.
Foam Roller Therapy vs Hands-on Massage
If money is not an issue, nothing beats a traditional hands-on massage. A personal touch is always best, especially on an injured individual. The advantage of the foam roller is its price. For people on a budget, it is more economical and convenient to spend $20 to $30 for a foam roller and get unlimited massage than hire a massage therapist and pay per session.
Foam roller therapy has its limitations. Individuals suffering from an injury should still consult a licensed physical therapist or massage therapist for a suitable treatment or exercise program. Using foam roller therapy on an injury without supervision may worsen the condition. Even if without injury, it is still best to consult an expert on how to effectively use the foam roller for best results.