Lifestyle Physio Cronulla Blog

Foam rolling. Yay or Nay?

Should we be doing it or is it the next fitness craze?

Studies have found that rolling DOES decrease muscle stiffness. This occurs 10-30 minutes after rolling and we think can last for around 12 hours.

How does it work?

We used to think it was a lengthening of the muscle tissue. But we know now, as measured by an intra muscular compliance meter (imagine volunteering for that!) that it is an improvement of blood flow and water content in the tissue. Studies have also found that modulation of the nervous system may occur with rolling.

When we roll we stimulate the sensors in our muscles which triggers our diffuse noxious inhibitory control (DNIC) – yep what a mouthful. The DNIC is involved with hormone release that affects our perception of pain.

SO, while we might not initially be any more flexible our tolerance to stretching improves as the reduction in pain allows us to stretch more, for longer or further.

So back to our question, should we roll or should we not?

We should.

Rolling in conjunction with a graded and progressive stretch and strength program will give you gains in your range of motion, your functional strength and ultimately your pain tolerance.

Want to know more? Get in touch. We can help.

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