Self massage tools are becoming increasingly popular products in health care. Self massage allows you to prolong the benefits of your therapy session and continue to work out those tight, recurring problem areas.
Foam Rollers can be used in many ways to target specific areas and conditions of the body. The general method of using a foam roller utilizes body weight to apply pressure to the desired area, with the roller underneath. While the roller can be used for almost any area of the body, it has been found to work best for the legs.
When the foam roller originally came into use, athletes were instructed to use the roller to apply pressure to sensitive areas in their muscles, or areas of increased muscle density/tension sometimes called knots or trigger points. Today the roller is more commonly used to apply longer, more sweeping strokes to the large muscle groups such as the calves, quadriceps, and adductors and smaller
more directed force to areas such as the TFL, hip rotators, and gluteus medius.
When using the foam roller it can be helpful to remember that working out trigger points will always cause some degree of tenderness, whether performed by a massage therapist or with self massage. This said you should not exceed a mild to moderate feeling of discomfort during your self massage, as too much pressure can damage tissues of the body.
To get the best result from your foam roller, your therapist can teach you specific stretches and massage positions with the roller to optimize your home therapy regime. Although no self massage tool will ever be superior to treatment by your physiotherapist or Myotherapist, it can prove to be a helpful and cost effective way to enhance your therapy outcomes.