Fascia is a flat band of tissue below the skin that covers underlying tissues and separates different layers of tissue. Fascia also encloses our muscles.
The Use of Foam Rollers for tension release.
While there are often arguments about the benefits of this type of treatment many allied professionals use and recommend the use of these foam rollers in the belief that they release tension in the body. I myself believe they offer real relief for many people. The foam roller not only stretches muscles and tendons but it also breaks down soft tissue adhesions and can also assist with some types of scar tissue. By using your own body weight and a cylindrical foam roller you can perform a self-massage or myofascial release, break up trigger points, and soothe tight fascia while increasing blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues.
The superficial fascia is a soft connective tissue located just below the skin. It wraps and connects the muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels of the body. Together, muscle and fascia make up what is called the myofascia system. For various reasons including disuse, not enough stretching, or injuries, the fascia and the underlying muscle tissue can become stickier and stuck together. This then results in an adhesion and it can restrict your movement. It can also cause some pain, soreness and reduced range of movement by the body there-by restricting our movement.
Myofascial release is a technique where gentle massage and pressure is applied to the soft tissues while at the same time traction is applied to the fascia tissue around the body. This technique results in softening and lengthening and the release of the fascia and breaking down adhesions between our skin muscles and bones.
Myofascial release has also been shown to relieve various muscles and joint pains particularly in the area of the ITB (iscial tibial band) hip pain, thoracic areas and does certainly assist with better flexibility and improves range of movement.
Foam rollers with a bit of practice can allow you to target just about any muscle group. Stretching in general does seem to loosen and free up the myofascia in our bodies. With a good stretching regime, a foam roller and a visit to a good yoga class will do wonders to keep us all moving more freely and help with the prevention of injuries. Give it a try.
By: John Hart
Master’s In Education” (Disability/Rehab) Newcastle University Australia
“Grad Cert Education” Newcastle University Australia
“Diploma of Sport and Recreation”
“Cert 4 Personal Training”
“Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Coach”
Member of ASCA (Australian Strength and Conditioning Association)