Foam rollers are one of the most widely used tools in the fitness industry. Everywhere you look, you seem to see either someone using one or touting the benefits of one of them, but does the evidence support the use of these therapeutic devices? A casual look into the research shows some positive benefits of using a foam roller, and I will give a few of my favorite ways to use one for your next workout.
A common question we get as physical therapists is, “What can I do to stretch this tight muscle?” While stretching may seem like the best method to treat a tight muscle, stretching may also not always be the answer. Muscle tightness can be caused by weakness or tightness of the muscle, and weakness in surrounding muscles. Most commonly, all of these things are involved on some level, which causes a muscle to tighten.
For the final week of November we will learn a hamstring stretch and massage with the foam roller. You may also feel a stretch through the chest muscles.