If you have spent time in a gym or physical therapy clinic, you have undoubtedly encountered a foam roller. You might have even used one without fully understanding its many benefits.
This article will outline the many benefits of foam rolling to help you ease muscle tension and soreness from home.
What is a Foam Roller?
Before diving into the benefits of foam rolling, let’s talk more about what a foam roller is and how it works.
A foam roller is, quite simply, a tool made out of foam that you can roll along your body to ease muscle tension along trigger points. This is often called myofascial release, referring to the release of muscles and their surrounding tissues.
It targets specific muscle groups to stimulate blood flow, loosen knots, and restore mobility. Best of all, a foam roller is completely portable. You can use it at home or take it to the office, the gym, or on vacation. This portability ensures you always have an easy way to soothe your muscles after a long day of travel, a challenging workout, or sitting at a desk.
5 Benefits of Using a Foam Roller
Here are five reasons to add foam rolling to your daily routine.
1. Reduce muscle soreness and aches
The primary reason people use a foam roller is to ease aching muscles. The foam roller acts as a type of massager by getting knots out of muscles and helping ease their pain.
Note that foam rolling may not feel great at the time – in fact, it can be somewhat painful, especially in tight muscle areas. However, after foam rolling, you should start feeling better.
2. Provide back pain relief
Note that people experiencing extreme back pain should not try foam rolling. If you have concerns about whether or not you should engage in physical activity, we encourage you to consult your healthcare provider. Incorrect foam rolling could cause further damage or lead to additional injury.
However, some people find relief from back pain by using a foam roller. A foam roller can improve spinal alignment, release tension, and improve posture.
Healthline offers several examples of foam rolling exercises that can be used to ease minor back aches and pains.
3. Increase range of motion
Your mobility may be restricted because of muscle tightness. By using a foam roller to loosen muscles throughout your body, you may be able to increase your range of motion. This can make exercising and performing daily tasks easier and more manageable.
Research shows that incorporating foam rolling into a warmup can maximize its benefits and set you up for a great workout.
4. Reduce inflammation and maximize recovery
Foam rolling instantly increases circulation in the areas that are worked. This increase in blood flow can help you get more oxygen to areas of your body that need it most. In addition, the added oxygen can help bring fresh nutrients to sore spots to remove inflammatory waste products, thereby maximizing recovery.
5. Improve sleep quality
Sleeping with pain or muscle soreness can be a challenge. Foam rolling for a few minutes before bed can help loosen tight muscles and increase blood flow, making it easier to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Feeling Tight? StretchSPOT Can Help!
A foam roller is an excellent at-home tool for relieving muscle tension and tightness. But sometimes, you need a bit more support.
At StretchSPOT, we help everyone from elite athletes to those looking to improve their mobility around the house feel better through personalized stretching. Book your appointment today to get started.