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Posted on 09-30-2015
While most people have seen foam rollers at the gym and fitness centers, few know the injury prevention powers of these handy physical therapy tools. Foam rolling following any kind of physical activity can aid in tissue recovery and injury prevention. The positive impact of foam rolling on soft tissue can be usually felt immediately after treatment in the form of improved comfort and flexibility. Foam rolling engages the treated soft tissue in what is called myofascial release, relieving tightness, soreness, and improving tissue function and mobility.
The advantage of myofascial release is that it can be self-administered with the use of a foam roller. With the guidance of a physical therapy professional or a certified personal trainer, patients can enjoy the benefits of myofascial release while applying various foam rolling techniques to their own body. The rolling motion produces increased blood flow not only to the treated area but throughout the body as well. With increased blood flow, flexibility, and range of motion, the body has the ability to decrease inflammation and recovery time after strenuous activity. Shorter recovery times translate to more successful workout sessions and thus better fitness results.
The calf muscles greatly benefit from myofascial release, which is why most therapists recommend regular foam rolling of the calf area. These muscles are under stress during most exercise regimes and can easily become torn or strained, which can extend to the rest of the body. Luckily, this can easily be avoided with regular myofascial release. Rolling up and down the leg and holding the roll for 10-20 seconds on particularly sore areas will yield excellent results. Rolling the front of the thighs (quadriceps) will also yield excellent results that can positively affect mobility in the hip and low back areas. The upper back is another excellent area to treat with a foam roller, as its effects will extend to the arms and neck. In addition to the benefits of rolling these 3 general body areas, a physical therapist can prescribe soft tissue release treatments as needed to treat individual conditions and injuries.
In addition to foam rolling, our practice offers a number of other physical therapy protocols that effectively prevent and treat fitness and occupational injuries. Our licensed team offers a variety of in-house soft tissue mobilization and restoration services including The Graston Technique, ART, medical massage therapy, therapeutic ultrasound, cold laser therapy, electric stimulation, kinesio taping, acupuncture, and more. For additional information on our non-surgical sports medicine treatments, which are available at our state-of-the-art physical rehabilitation facility in downtown NYC, please visit http://livingwellnewyork.com to review our list of available therapies, contact our staff, or book a consultation.
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