You’re running a half marathon in less than a month and your training regimen has been derailed by a nagging IT band injury (iliotibial band). While not a debilitating injury, your sore IT band continues to flare up despite using anti-inflammatory medications and countless ice packs. Instead of calling it quits, curling up on the couch, and settling for a respectable finish at the local 5k fun run, try using a firm, long foam exercise roller to restore your range of motion. Before you know it, you’ll be bounding around the final bend, crossing the finish line, and snapping a congratulatory picture.
Runners love to run, and at iHealthSphere, we like to help people get back on their feet or prevent injury altogether. Foam rolling has long fallen under the radar as a way to treat sore or tight muscles, but it has begun to gain popularity in recent years.
What is “foam rolling”?
Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial (self-massage) release that applies pressure to aching trigger points found in your muscle tissue. These trigger points or muscle knots are caused by a restriction of the muscle’s soft tissue (fascia) that stems from overuse. When muscle groups are overused, the surrounding connective tissue swells and suffer from inflammation.
Self-myofascial release (SMR) has increased in popularity amongst physical therapists as it improves range of motion without sacrificing muscle performance. A physical therapist equipped with a foam roller typically asserts 30 – 60 seconds of intense pressure upon each ailing muscle group. This can often cause a patient acute discomfort. Like a deep tissue massage, however, the temporary tenderness ultimately leads to pain relief, reduced soreness and expedited recovery. While this therapeutic method used to be reserved for serious athletes, the practice has since become mainstream and been adopted by the masses.
Benefits of the Long Foam Exercise Roller
You’ve probably slid your back along a standard foam roller before, but the Long Foam Exercise Roller goes a step above by providing additional length to facilitate balance training. Boasting a length of 90 cm and a medium girth, this foam roller is incredibly versatile and can be used for purposes other than rehabilitation. Along with improving flexibility, the Long Foam Exercise Roller is perfect for building a strong core and toning abdominals. It’s the perfect companion for your beginner’s Pilates or yoga class because the extra surface area lends crucial support that keeps you upright, while still challenging your major muscle groupings.
The Long Foam Exercise Roller is crafted entirely from resilient, lightweight EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) foam. This non-toxic, rubbery material is stress-crack resistant which keeps the roller’s soft cylindrical mold from faltering under a heavy burden. The Long Foam Exercise Roller satisfies irritated fascia tissue because its EVA foam provides the ideal amount of density and stability. In contrast, many competing foam rollers are made from highly porous polyethylene foam that inevitably loses its shape when exposed to humidity and intense use.
Improve your balance, hasten your rehabilitation and release muscle tension by using our Long Foam Exercise Roller. Before getting started, consult your physical therapist to confirm that the foam roller exercises you’re practicing are an appropriate treatment for your ailment. Refrain from using your foam roller on bones, joints and your lower back. If you’re interested in trying self-myofascial release, browse our varied selection of foam massage rollers.