The back of the neck, shoulders, lower back, hip (s), knees, ankles, and heels. What do they have in common? They are the places in our body that most often have pain or discomfort. A common source of pain can be muscle tension from overuse or, in some cases, from use. Things like driving, working on a computer, standing in line, sleeping on your side, or any number of daily activities can create the conditions for tense muscles. Affected areas often develop “knots” that can alter the optimal length of a muscle and disrupt the way it normally moves. When this happens, everyday movements can become laborious and painful. The “knots” must be released so that the muscles can relax and return to their normal working length.
One possible answer to your prayers could be a simple foam roller. This simple device is used to perform a technical flexibility called auto-myofascial release or foam roll. Simply put, you use it to relax tense muscles and
Myofascial self-release works by applying pressure to the muscles with a foam roller. A mechanism in your muscles detects pressure. Your body then sends a signal to the knotted muscle telling it to relax. Some muscles will relax immediately, while others will need repeated treatment. Be aware that the sensitivity you experience when putting pressure on the knotted muscles can range from mild to severe. Don’t let this be an impediment to potentially freeing yourself from the pain of “learning to live with it.” If you are persistent and consistent, you will start to see results.
Another thing to consider once you’ve relaxed your knotted muscles are the things you do throughout the day that might have caused you pain in the first place. Unless you change those movement patterns, muscle pain will continue to plague you. The easiest thing you can do is take frequent breaks from things like working on a computer, carrying a bag / backpack in a certain way, or doing a particular exercise for weeks or months.
Instructions for rolling up the foam are as follows:
• Roll slowly (1 “per second) over the muscles.
• Do not roll on the joints.
• If you find a sensitive area or a “lump”, press and hold for 20 to 30 seconds or until the sensitivity decreases by 50%, then continue.
• Take a deep breath while holding a “knot” and relax.
• If the “knot” is too intense, go ahead and come back to it later.
• Myofascial self-release can be done daily.
The use of this technique is not recommended in diabetic people who have lost the protective sensation in the lower extremities. It is also not recommended for anyone during pregnancy or who has hypertension, coronary heart disease, intermittent claudication / peripheral artery disease, and osteoporosis.