The concept of a foam roller for self-myofascial release came back in the early 1980’s, when a physical therapist was coaching broadway dancers. The broadway dancers were using large foam cylinders for balance while practicing kicks and stretches. Their coach, the physical therapist, would massage the hips of the dancers to release tension in the fascia. This release of fascia would increase the range of motion in the hip and allow for the dancer to move freely and without restriction. This brought comfort and better performances. During a recital their coach determined it was too much for him to continuously massage these performers and thought to use the foam balancing cylinders as self massage tools. The result was a success.
What Does The Foam Roller Do?
The foam roller is mearly a tool to release unhealthy fascial adhesions surrounding the joints, muscles and body. We use the foam roller to manipulate and break down the adhesions and restore the myofascia layer.How Do We Benefit From Self-Myofascial Release?
- Increase range-of-motion
- Enhance flexibility
- Increases blood flow, which boosts healing response.
- Wakes up the neuoron receptors
- Speeds up muscle recovery
- Hydrates the fascia
- Restores unhealthy fascia
- Releases tight knots in the muscle tissue, also known as Trigger Points.
Technology In The Foam Roller Industry Is Changing
Foam rollers began as a flat cylinder, why? Because that is what the dancers were using for balance. It was cheap and light-weight. Several years later, foam rollers were made out of EVA Foam, a spongier material. The EVA foam was textured and wrapped around PVC for additional support. The hollow core saved the manufacturer money, as EVA foam material was expensive. The hollow core tends to warp and the EVA foam becomes unglued with use. As this style gained popularity, several companies began changing the textures of the foam roller to allow for deeper therapy and more pressure across various points of the roller. Now the best foam rollers are contoured to fit the body, they are made of recyclable EPP foam and have a solid core for support and stability. The contoured shaped foam rollers allow the user to control or vary the pressure and change the angle at which the pressure is applied. The new precision technology of a foam roller like Rollga avoids bone structure and allows the fascia to move through the roller instead of across it. This is more comfortable and effective.
Foam rolling and more specifically with a foam roller designed to fit your body has many benefits, the goal is to find what works for you.