Of all the DIY additions to chiropractic care, none is more recommended than foam rolling. This method has been around for decades, but has seen a significant rise in popularity throughout the 2000’s. At OneHealth Chiropractic, we often recommend adding it to your arsenal of health-maintaining weapons.
The over-arching goal of foam rolling is to lessen tension in the body by helping to release adhesions that can build up in the body as a result of daily stresses. Adhesions are irritated, dysfunctional areas of muscle, nerve, or lymph tissue that form when fascia or scar tissue attach to other healthy soft tissues and, in a sense, restrict normal movement. Instead of a gliding motion, those tissues become more “sticky” and limited. Many times the tightness or tension one feels is due to muscular adhesions that have built up over time.
While it is a very effective daily habit to integrate into your life, foam rolling will not take the place of getting soft tissue work (i.e. massage) from a professional. A foam roller does not have intuition, perception, or a college degree. The user may possess these qualities, however self-release techniques like this can only hit a limited amount of muscles from a limited number of angles. A certified massage therapist will be able to clean up any missed areas that foam rolling leaves behind.
Lastly, many times patient think they can “pop their own back” by using a foam roller. While audible sounds may be heard when using a foam roller, do not mistake these as adjustments. When a chiropractor adjusts the spine, he or she is using precise palpation techniques, x-ray, nerve testing, etc. to determine exactly which vertebrae need corrected at any given point in time. This is why people who often self-manipulate their neck or low back finally have to go to a doctor of chiropractic to truly fix the underlying problem and thus, get better.
So, what can you actually implement right now that will immediately begin to benefit your overall health?
If you are looking to add foam rolling into your daily health and wellness regime, consider working on the following areas for 1-2 minutes each: