Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique. This simply means it is an alternative therapy that experts have claimed to be helpful when it comes to treating your skeletal muscle immobility. It can be an essential tool, especially if added to your cool down or warm- up after and before your workouts. Read on to know more about foam rolling’s benefits and above all, foam rolling for knee pain.
WHAT EXACTLY IS FOAM ROLLING AND HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT?
As mentioned earlier, it is an SMR technique. This means that it is an alternative therapy that can be used to treat your skeletal muscle immobility and pain.
It does this through relaxing the muscles that have contracted, improving blood, lymphatic and oxygen circulation.
It also stimulates your stretch reflex in muscles, helps in relieving inflammation, and is a great tool for increasing your joint range of motion. It is also an effective exercise for preventing joint pain.
CAN YOU FOAM ROLL EVERY DAY?
Absolutely! Foam rolling is a therapy that you can engage in for ten minutes a day—this ad up to 70 minutes in a week.
BEST FOAM ROLLING EXERCISES
While there are tones of foam rolling exercises to try, there are best ones for your knees.
It is important to have in mind that the more weight you place on your roller, the greater and more painful the effect will be.
However, you can always reduce the amount of weight you place on your roller if the SMR exercise is not intense.
The ITB is the short form for iliotibial band and can have a great problem for most exercisers or runners. It is located on the outside of your thigh, from your hip to knee.
Consider putting your legs together to increase the amount of weight on the roller for more pressure and effects.
This form will see you lie on your roller with one side. Your roller should be under the lowermost leg. Roll up and down, and repeat the same to the other side.
This form will see you sitting down, forming an L with your body. Your hands should be at the sides of your hips.
Put the roller under your legs and move up down so that the roller goes from up the back of your knees to just below your gluteus maximus.
If you need more pressure, consider crossing one leg over the other and using one hamstring at a time.
In this one, you will lie on your belly and rest on your elbows. Place the roller under your thighs. Roll up and down from the tops of your knees to the tops of your thighs.
Similarly, if more pressure is required, you can cross one leg on top of the other one.
However, be keen not to extend your lumbar too much.
5 WORST MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN FOAM ROLLING FOR KNEE PAIN
As mentioned earlier, foam rolling could be that one solution you have been looking for to ease those frequent knee pains.
However, if not done right, you risk irritating and injuring yourself further.
To help you get it much better in your next sessions, below are 5 worst mistakes to avoid when foam rolling for knee pain.
FOAM ROLLING DIRECTLY ON THE AFFECTED PART
While it might make more sense that if your IT band is hurting you roll directly on the hot spot, it is not right.
Your body does not work this way for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, when foam rolling for knee pain, rolling directly on it will constantly create more inflammation on the area, further tensing the muscles.
Secondly, the pain in your knee doesn’t need to be directly coming from there.
For instance, the trouble with your IT band is not typically a result of an injury to the band itself. Rather, the pain sometimes comes from surrounding muscles attached to the band such as your butt.
Rather than focusing on the affected areas, consider foam rolling around the areas surrounding your knee muscles.
Once you have tackled the surrounding areas, roll back to the knees and be gentle at first.
FOAM ROLLING QUICKLY
You might consider foam rolling for knee pain quickly due to reasons such as trying to brisk through the injured part to avoid more pain or, rolling quickly to get it off your list.
However, none of these will give you proper results of releasing your fascia and relaxing your knee muscles.
Alternatively, while rolling much faster makes you feel like you are circulating your blood flow, releasing the fascia actually takes time.
Be thoughtful during rolling and think of it like melting through the thick fascia.
STAYING ON THE SAME SPOT FOR LONG
You may have taken 5 to 10 minutes rolling on your knee, thinking that it will lead to positive results much faster.
However, this might irritate your nerve or damage your tissue which can cause inflammation and bruise.
Alternatively, while foam rolling for knee pain, be gentle at first. If your knee is having too much trouble, you can always come back for another session after a day.
USING POOR POSTURES
Be sure foam rolling is not a joke. You will surely break a sweat.
ITB positions require you to balance yourself on your arm. This might be difficult, especially if you have it as an after cool after your workout sessions.
Alternatively, do not approach foam rolling haphazardly. Stay focused throughout the session. If you find that you are too tired after your workout sessions, consider returning to foam rolling for knee pain after resting.
EXPECTING RESULTS IMMEDIATELY
As mentioned earlier, the fascia is a very thick muscle and is full of a fibrous web of tissues. As such, it can never be released with one roll.
Alternatively, remain patient throughout your foam rolling for knee pain as your body undergoes the therapy to correct the injuries.
BENEFIT OF FOAM ROLLING
EASING YOUR MUSCLE PAINS
Foam rolling is beneficial for easing sore muscles and reducing inflammation.
According to a study on Pub Med, 8 male participants found evidence that foam rolling after exercise may help reduce delayed onset sole soreness.
In this study, men who are physically active foam rolled for 20 minutes after exercise in addition to 24 and 48 hours after exercising.
INCREASE YOUR RANGE OF MOTION
Foam rolling for knee pain especially may increase your range of motion, boosting your flexibility and performance.
Researchers found the evidence to this in a study published in Pub Med. In this study, 11 athletes engaged in foam rolling combined with static stretching. This led to higher flexibility in their performance.
HELPS YOU TO RELAX
Many people find foam rolling relaxing. This is because it breaks up the tight muscles in the affected areas like knees.
In a study on Pub Med, foam rolling significantly reduced stress. In this study, 20 females took part. Those who foam rolled recorded lower stress levels compared to those who didn’t.
Foam rolling is great to release tight muscles, especially in your joint areas like your knees. However, if you have tears, do not practice it until you get clearance from your doctor.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]