The Benefits of Foam Rolling

The Problem – CHRONIC PAIN

When I retired from my 26 year career at HP I had dreams of helping everyone get “healthy”.   Easy enough…I started teaching group fitness, doing personal training and advising clients on the healthiest ways to eat.  Most of my clients are over 50 and even with their good intentions there often was a huge obstacle getting in their way – CHRONIC PAIN.  This pain keeps them from classes and exercises sessions but most importantly it keeps some of them from doing what they love to do.

My search for a solution

Someone once asked me if I had a super power what would it be and I said – “taking away people’s pain”   Since I started my new career I have been on a quest to gain that super power.   Learning about essential oils, Reiki, Acupuncture, Corrective Exercise and 3 day course to learn about self-myofascial release using a small ball and a foam roller.

A brief discussion of pain – it’s either Acute or Chronic  

  • You all know what acute pain is. It’s that pain you get when you do something silly like twist your ankle or fall or grab a hot pan.  You know exactly what you did to cause that pain.
  • Chronic pain typically has been building up for a long time and starts out as “normal” discomfort.  You know when you wake up in the morning feeling stiffness and by the time you’ve gone to the bathroom and made your coffee it’s gone, or after you’ve been sitting at your computer all day your shoulder or low back aches.

Research has shown there is direct link between chronic pain and your fascia or the connective tissue that surrounds and supports all aspects of your body including your muscles, bones, nerves and organs.  Connective tissue provides the support our bodies need to maintain an upright posture and pain free movement.   It also keeps our skin lifted for a youthful look.   Connective tissue can only do its job when it has an adequate amount of fluid and mobility.   With repetitive motion such as sitting at your desk for hours at a time, walking, running, intensive hobbies, etc. your connective tissue gets dehydrated which can lead to stiffness and pain.

ONE SOLUTION – FOAM ROLLING

The good news is a simple foam roller or little ball can help re hydrate your connective tissue and release any knots that could be either causing you pain now or will cause you pain in the future.  By gently rolling your body over these devices you wake up tissue and stimulate them to produce and absorb fresh fluid.  Like squeezing out a sponge so it can draw in fresh fluid, you can relieve joint compression and muscle tension by applying appropriate pressure to the surrounding connective tissue.

HOW TO FOAM ROLL

While it is not difficult, you want to do it correctly.   There are many videos on YouTube and there are 3 included in the Be Healthy Enough Online Exercise and Wellness Platform.

WHERE TO GET A FOAM ROLLER

I bought my first one at Walmart which was way too hard and then one online that squished so bad it wouldn’t even roll.  Then I found this roller on Amazon OPTP PRO-ROLLER Soft Density Foam Roller  which is just right.  I highly recommend the 36″ one to get the most use out of it.

Remember, it may take time – you didn’t get into a state of chronic pain overnight did you?

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