Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Foam roll away the pain!

Foam rolling saves lives, lol! No but really, it's essential to your training session post workout. “Smashing,” “rolling,” and “breaking up scar tissue” are all common ways that athletes refer to the practice of self myofascial release. People use foam roller, lacrosse balls, and even barbells to help release fascia. More and more, athletes use these tools to take a swing at treating their own pain and dysfunction. But what exactly are you doing?
Fascia is the basic term used to describe the connective tissues of the body. Collagen is the primary structural component of fascia. This resilient and ubiquitous protein has many functions as it travels uninterrupted through the body. Collagen protein is designed to primarily resist tensile stress and is the stuff of skin, tendons, and ligaments, as well as the coverings of muscle tissues and their different constituent parts.As light as it is, collagen is proportionally stronger than steel cable. This is part of the reason “stretching” and “rolling” do not actually affect it.When this tissue becomes dysfunctional it is a force to be reckoned with and can be a great cause of movement restriction and pain.
What exactly is broken with your fascia? Many times dysfunctional areas of fascia are referred to as knots, ropes, gristle, adhesions, and scar tissue.What we have is misaligned tissue due to trauma and injury, poor motor patterns, and emotional distress. Releasing these tissues is simply creating a biochemical and mechanical change that will give us an opportunity to create more efficient movement patterns in the future.
What do you need to look for?
-Pain most commonly know as trigger points are defined as an area of dysfunction refers sensation to another area of the body. Yes you can apply pressure to that area but it won't last for very long.
-Dense tissue area. This is where you have areas are often gristly, hard, and do not move well. Training and sport put our soft tissues under tremendous tension and stiffness is often part of the game. There are simple solutions that can alleviate most soft tissue restrictions with some diligence.

-Inflammation of your muscles and joints. Not only can this cause a disruption of long-term chemical processes in the area, but restriction like this can contribute immensely to inefficient gross movement patterns and cause joints to move off axis and contractile tissues to work much harder to attain the ranges of motion crucial to your training.
So if you are planning to do myofacial release, here are some tips to know if its working.
Test and retest. Perform a movement prior to self-treating and then perform the exact same movement after. How did that feel? Did you see any changes ?
Other things that might happe:
Pain reduction
Feeling of ease and smoothness in motion
Increased range of motion
Reduced inflammation
Your body is a system of systems and there is no one cure-all answer to any problem. So, we can best support any mobility work we do by optimizing movement patterns and preventing problems from occurring in the first place.
Reference: Breaking Muscle

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