Foam rolling is a fairly common practice among athletes, but does it work? The answer is yes, depending on what you are trying to achieve. If you are using foam rolling in addition to massage therapy services, then yes it will help. Research has shown that when foam rolling is used after an exercise session (immediately, 24 hours and 48 hours after for twenty minutes), there is a significant decrease in the amount of muscle soreness that occurs from that session, as well as an increase in performance. This means you are then able to perform better at your following exercise sessions due to decreased muscle soreness and an improved muscle environment. Foam rolling has no effect on acute performance, however. That is to say, if you use the foam roller and then immediately performing an activity, there is no improvement in performance.
So what’s the point? The point is that foam rolling is an effective tool to not only decrease soreness from hard exercise sessions but it can also improve performance in further sessions. This is accomplished in the same way that massage therapy helps flush the muscles and restore normal muscle tone. So in between your massage or physiotherapy sessions, give foam rolling a try to help maintain the effects of your treatment.
PhysioActive is holding a free foam rolling seminar at Rocky Mountain Fitness in Kelowna at 6:30pm on September 17, 2015. If you would like to sign up to learn more about the benefits of foam rolling, please contact PhysioActive via email or phone!
Hope to see you there!
- Pearcey, G.E., Bradbury-Squires, D.J., Kawamoto, J.E., Drinkwater, E.J. & Button, D.C. (2015). Foam rolling for delayed-onset muscle soreness and recovery of dynamic performance measures. Journal of Athletic Training, 50(1), 5-13.
- Healey, K.C., Hatfield, D.L., Blanpied, P., Dorfman, L.R. & Riebe, D. (2014). The effects of myofascial release with foam rolling on performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 28(1), 61-68.
- MacDonald, G.Z., Penney, M.D., Mullaley, M.E., Cuconato, A.L., Drake, C.D., Behm, D.G & Button, D.C. (2013). An acute bout of self-myofascial release increases range of motion without a subsequent decrease in muscle activation or force. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 27(3), 812-821.