It is a muscle-ligament relieving method using a foam roller. Apart from other exercising devices, it serves for relieving the muscle and ligament tension, the foam roller differs in shape, material and thermological properties. It regulates the amount of accumulated pressure in a certain position, and we affect the soft structures of our bodies with a neurophysiological technique called autogenic inhibition reflex. Constant body pressure leads to formation of “trigger points” (painful triggering point) but the foam roller works differently. The golgi tendon organ (security component of the muscles) turns off and allows the overloaded structure of the muscle to relieve and stretch into a healthy extension.
The relieving method is focusing on creating pressure on the stiff areas and trigger points, it helps to regenerate the muscles and speeds up their return back to the original (natural and healthy) condition. The method is also used for neuromobilization, where it is applied when the nerves are stretched as much as possible and consequently relieve them, which also relaxes the soft structures of the musculoskeletal system.
BENEFITS OF EXERCISING
The muscles will be more elastic, healthier, free from pain and generally faster prepared for another activity. The mentioned trigger points present a specific connections and knots, which are forming in one muscle area and during contraction it creates pain in another muscle area. When exercising with the foam roller we use the pressure as well as rolling.
USE OF ROLLING EXERCISE
The foam roller should be used before static and dynamic relaxing exercising. It improves the activity of the stretched muscle and enables the needed stretch. Rolling has proved to be an exercise for home exercising after being instructed by physiotherapist about the correct execution of the exercise and avoiding the mistakes in home environment.
BASIS OF THE ROLLING EXERCISE
You should be aware during the rolling exercise, so that you could find the most sensitive trigger point. Afterwards you need to stop on this point, until you feel that the trigger point is fully relaxed and the discomfort should fade away. We recommend to stay on the trigger point at least for 30-90 seconds. It is also important to keep a basic stability during the whole exercise. Take a little time for exercising and discover how gentle position editing and changed angle can relieve different parts of the muscles.
BENEFITS OF ROLLING BEFORE EXERCISING:
- Increased tolerance of the tissues against movement
- Increased blood circulation
- Increased elasticity
- Lowered heartbeat frequency
- Increased strength during muscle contraction
- Prepares muscles for another activity
ROLLING AFTER EXERCISING:
- Removes toxins from body and supports blood circulation
- Recovering elasticity
- Creating flexible muscles and relieving muscle tension
- Faster regeneration
- Restoring the movement range
- Supporting the flow in the dysfunctional tissues
- Heart defects
- Organ damage, especially kidneys disease
EXERCISES CHOSEN ACCORDING TO MOST COMMON PAINFUL MUSCLES:
- Place the roller beneath your calf
- Placing your second leg on the top of the other creates a constant pressure
- With rolling movement locate the most painful area
The exercise is ideal for runners.
Relieving the thigh flexors
- Lay on your stomach and place one of the bent and stretched thighs above the foam roller
- With slow rollings locate the relieve the painful area on the inner side of the thigh
- Perform for about 30-90 seconds
Relieving the extensors of the thigh
- Lay down on one side with the foam roller beneath your loins
- Direct the upper leg downwards, across the leg below towards the ground
- Locate the painful area by rolling from hip to the knee.
Relieving the often painful piriformis muscle
- We are relieving the muscle on the bent and lifted leg
- Slightly sit on the roller with your hip, transfer the weight of your body on the sitting areas of the bent leg
- With a short rolling movement locate and relieve the painful areas
Relieving the thoracic spine
- Lay down on the floor, place the foam roller beneath your thoracic spine
- Place your hands on the shoulders
- Lift up your hips from the floor and slowly move back and down, trying to locate the painful spot
- Hold it for 90 seconds
Author: FYZIOklinika physiotherapy Ltd., Prague, Czech Republic
Source: Clinical experience from a private practice in physiotherapeutic field, FYZIOklinika