Foam Rolling Routine to Help Alleviate Chronic Pain

Whether you’re an athlete, weekend warrior, or a sedentary individual, your muscles accrue very uncomfortable adhesions which might be causing your lower back pain and other joint pains. According to Beverly Hills-based orthopedic physician Dr Raj, “The body is surrounded by layers and layers of connective tissue called fascia. When fascia forms adhesions, the muscles are unable to perform at their intended capacity, which prevents normal movement. When this happens, muscles become strong and shortened around the joints while opposing muscle groups become weak and overstretched. This leads to muscle imbalances which ultimately can lead to an injury if not addressed.”

Foam rolling was introduced by physical therapists for patients and strength and conditioning coaches to help athletes inhibit overactive muscles. Also known as self myofascial release or SMR, foam rolling offers a mini massage. Foam rolling is an excellent way to increase blood flow throughout the body, improve movement and increase joint range of motion. These benefits can decrease the risk of injury or the progression of an already existing injury. Foam rolling also decreases recovery time between workouts. How? To keep it simple, according to physical therapist from Back 2 Health Slava Shut, “Think of your muscles as having layers of fascia (or webbing) over them. When that fascia gets all intertwined due to poor posture, long periods of sitting or playing heavy sport, the muscles pull the joints in different directions than they are intended leading to altered joint movement and the issues mentioned above. Foam rolling will help break up the altered webbing patterns restoring the fascia to a clean and smooth surface again.” Therefore, it is essential to work foam rolling into your daily routine to avoid overactive muscles or muscle imbalances as Slava mentioned.

The following routine includes some foam rolling exercises that should be done for one minute at a time on a daily basis. Using a timer, start foam rolling these areas and feel your muscles release the overuse adhesions that have formed over the years. You might experience a lot of discomfort when you first begin foam rolling. This is normal. Take deep breaths into the discomfort and the pain will dissipate. If you have osteoporosis, please consult your doctor before starting this program.

Click HERE to access the routine on the Huffington Post.  Here’s to a fit you! xo JZ

FitnessJennifer ZerlingComment