Foam Rolling Technique
As most of you know, a very important part of our practice is the treatment of soft tissue dysfunction. This may be in the form of a muscle “knot”, chronic scar tissue, or post-surgical stiffness. We have many names ie “the doctors of knotology” and “the Marquis de Sade” to name a few. In spite of the many terms of endearment, at OrthoWell, we get our patients better- Faster! because of our approach. A very important part of your recovery has to do with your home program. Every conditioning program should include stretching, strengthening, cardio, and a close fourth should be self-massage and/or self-mobilization. Many of you have experienced “the twins” (my double tennis ball massager) as well as the foam roller. It is important to address your chronic “knots”, scar tissue, and muscle sensitivities in order to promote optimal tissue dynamics and to prevent future pain syndromes related to poor tissue dynamics.
The following video highlights our foam rolling strategy for your lower extremities. Each muscle group should receive 5-10 passes along the foam roll. The amount of weight you impart upon the roll will be dictated by your tolerance. Yes, this should hurt! Only mild to moderate pain, nothing severe. Use your arms and opposite leg to control the pressure being applied. Try to identify key areas along the way that may need additional passes. Yes, over time, the pain will subside and your pressure will increase. Consistency is the key. Ideally, stretching and self-massage should happen daily. Here is a run down of what is happening in the video.
1. In the first part of the video, I am treating the quadriceps. Longer muscles need more attention. Perform 5-10 passes each at the upper end, middle, and lower end of the muscle.
2. Turn 45 degrees and perform the same treatment at the junction between the quadriceps and iliotibial band(ITB). Pay close attention to the lower end near your patella.
3. Turn another 45 degrees and, in the same manner, treat directly along all three aspects of the ITB.
4. Next, turn over and treat your upper glute area. Cross one leg over the other as shown. The leg that is crossed is the side you are treating. Perform 5-10 passes.
5. Move down to the hamstrings and treat the upper, mid, and lower ends. Place your opposite leg on top of the treatment leg in order to impart more pressure.
6. Next, treat the calf muscle. Place the opposite leg on top for more pressure. Treat the entire length of the calf. You can also perform an up/down ankle movement in order to help glide the stiff tissue while imparting pressure onto the roll.
7. Finally, treat the inner thigh or adductor muscle group. It may be easier to use the 6” roll to treat this area effectively. You can purchase a white 6” roll which is the same material as the 4” or you may purchase the black roll which is firmer than the white.
Keep on rollin’