I was first introduced to this therapy of using a foam roller to open up and free some muscular tightness then learned how to massage trigger points with the same foam roller and wanted to share this information with you. I know that there are certifications out there for myofascial release – but many of the techniques are quite simple and the internet has a plethora of information.
Personally I had trouble with my IT band (Iliotibial band) which was causing some severe discomfort. Cause could have been my footwear or the quad stretching I was doing using opposite hand to foot instead of the right hand to right foot stretch - a more direct line. In any event, I had pain. I understand this is also an occurrence with runners. To use the foam roller to release tension in the fascia (connective tissue surrounding the muscle) for the IT band – you simply lie on your side on the foam roller, the top leg is placed at a 90 degree angle with the foot on the floor, the bottom leg has the foot raised slightly off the floor – you then you roll just from below the hip joint to a point above the knee. This can be painful at first – start slowly to relieve the pain not cause additional pain and/or bruising.
The same technique can be used to release upper back knots; adductor tightness – let your body tell you what needs to be released.
When I was first introduced to the foam roller we were told to lay with the roller along our spine and just allow the chest and hips room to open up. No movement – simply allow the stretch to happen. As with flexibility training – hold the stretch for 30 – 60 seconds, exhaling to allow the body to relax and ‘embrace the openness’. AAHHHHH!!!