WAVE Physical Therapy & Pilates


How Foam Rolling Can Help Runners

Running can be a strenuous activity that puts strain on your muscles, leading to microtears in those same muscles and subsequent aches and pains.
Foam rolling is one way to help reduce this soreness and promote proper recovery. It also increases flexibility, keeping muscles mobile so you can train harder.

Reduced Risk of Injuries

Foam rollers, used before and after running to stretch muscles, may reduce the risk of injuries. This is because foam rolling releases tightness and adhesions between muscles and fascia – the layer of connective tissue surrounding them – which can increase flexibility during exercise.
Furthermore, pre-rolling increases blood flow to the muscle so it can perform better during training sessions. Furthermore, it breaks up what are known as barrier trigger points–barrier points are points on a muscle’s surface where movement is hindered–to allow more efficient motion of that particular muscle.

Foam rolling can also enhance vascular function by increasing blood flow to muscle and fascia. This is beneficial as it helps reduce stiffness and enhance vascular endothelial function – essential for warm-ups and recovery in sports. If you’re experiencing foot and ankle pain, foam rolling might be helpful in alleviating some of the discomfort.

Increased Flexibility

If you have difficulty stretching or moving your muscles due to tightness, foam rolling can help alleviate this issue. Basically, foam rolling uses friction to release tension and realign the fascia surrounding your muscle.

Foam rollers come in various sizes and densities, but the key to successful rolling is to start slowly with light pressure and work your way up to more vigorous rolling. According to Jean-Michel Brismee, physical therapist and director at the International Academy of Orthopedic Medicine, one minute or two should usually be enough time for muscle relaxation. If you’re looking for professional guidance on improving flexibility, consider reaching out to a physical therapy expert.

Exercise often precedes or follows workouts to warm up the body and flush out blood from working muscles that can reduce injury risk. According to one small study, it may even help reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after a workout.
Though more research is necessary to fully comprehend the advantages of foam rolling, it appears to increase flexibility – something runners could benefit from. However, keep in mind that these results are short-lived; so in order to see long-lasting improvements from foam rolling you must do it consistently over time.

Relieved Muscle Soreness

Foam rolling, also known as self-massage with foam cylinders, helps relieve muscle soreness that can occur after exercise. Additionally, it improves overall mobility so you can perform exercises more effectively.

Studies have demonstrated that foam rolling before and after exercise increases range of motion, reduces soreness, and decreases fatigue in muscles. It’s best to do a little foam rolling every day or at least several times a week.
Some runners may find that foam rolling helps them run more efficiently by relieving tension in their hips, quads and glutes. It may also aid in recovery after a long race or workout by increasing flexibility and preventing injury. If you’re an athlete in need of specialized care, consider sports rehabilitation services.

Another advantage of foam rolling is its ability to help you maintain proper posture, which may be difficult when your muscles are tight. Additionally, foam rolling encourages deeper breathing by relaxing your diaphragm.

Improved Performance

Foam rolling can help runners improve performance through increased flexibility, reduced muscle soreness and quicker recovery times. According to NASM, foam rolling increases range of motion and helps correct muscular imbalances caused by stress, poor posture, repetitive movements or injury.

Foam rolling can also reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which occurs after exercise and can impact training or competition performance. Studies have demonstrated that foam rolling reduces pain associated with DOMS while speeding up exercise recovery.

A meta-analysis which evaluated the effects of pre- and post-rolling on sprint, jump, strength, flexibility performance as well as muscle pain found that foam rolling significantly reduced DOMS while speeding recovery. Compared to control groups, those who pre-rolled experienced small acute improvements in sprint performance and flexibility along with less muscle tenderness.

If you’re interested in learning more about how foam rolling and other physical therapy techniques can help improve your running performance, don’t hesitate to contact the team at WAVE Physical Therapy & Pilates. They offer expert advice and treatment for a variety of conditions, including back pain and sciatica.


PHYSICAL THERAPY
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PILATES
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YOGA THERAPY
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ACTIVE RELEASE TECHNIQUE
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BLOOD FLOW RESTRICTION
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CHRONIC PAIN
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CUPPING
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GRASTON TECHNIQUE
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IASTM
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MANUAL THERAPY
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ORTHOPEDIC THERAPY
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PELVIC FLOOR THERAPY
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DRY NEEDLING

SOFT TISSUE MOBILIZATION
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SPINAL MANIPULATION
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SPINE THERAPY
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SPORTS REHABILITATION
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THERAPEUTIC EXERCISE
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VESTIBULAR THERAPY