Rolling with a Purpose: The Do's & Don't of Self-Myofascial Release
You just want that nagging pain in the front of your hip or along your shoulder blade to go away! So, you jump on your foam roller, roll up & down, side to side, all over hoping to get rid of that pain! What if there was a technique to rolling to better help you alleviate those trouble spots? A methodical way that you can use to get rid of those aches & pains for good…it’s called self-myofascial release!
First, what is fascia?
Our bodies are covered in connective tissue called fascia. Imagine your fascia as this interconnecting web, kind of like a body suit that helps support, connect, and protect different types of tissues throughout our body. Our fascia can adapt over time and recover, however in order to do so it needs to be/stay hydrated. Self-myofascial release techniques help to hydrate our fascia, allow for remodeling of our tissue, and helps our tissues get back to gliding and moving. Our “body suit” needs to be able to move and glide, and if for some reason it cannot, we can develop those trigger points or aches and pains.
Secondly, what the heck is self-myofascial release?
Why rolling just any which way is not the most effective thing? Self-myofascial release is using various tools such as foam rollers, balls, and other props to manipulate your muscles and fascia. Self-myofascial release is a technique that will help empower you to:
drastically improve your mobility
ease your aches & pains
help improve your performance
aid with injury prevention
In order to get all of the amazing benefits of self-myofascial release, you want to make sure you know what muscle you are targeting, the direction those fibers run, apply the correct amount of pressure, and roll for that right amount of time (30-60 seconds in each spot)… rolling with a purpose. After using this technique, it is equally import to follow up with either more mobility activities or stability training or bother to create that balance and get rid of those aches and pains!
30-60 seconds in each spot (if overdo can lead to more tightness)
Try to work around the area- take a more indirect approach- look at areas above or below trouble spots
Know which muscle you are targeting & fiber direction
More is not necessarily better- can lead to feeling more restriction
Roll in any which direction without a purpose
Stop if reproducing or making your pain worse, sharp or shooting pains
More pressure is not necessarily better
Do you have hip or knee pain?
Pain with going up and down stairs, running, or squatting? Do you think that your IT band could be the culprit?!? You might want to check out your TFL! If this muscle is really tight it can pull on your IT band giving you some trouble.
Try this self-myofascial release technique:
Find the bone in the front of your pelvis move 1-2 inches to the side
Place the ball on that spot & lay down over the ball
Move around until you find that spot…you’ll know where
Breathe & sink into the ball for 30-60 seconds
See if you can find 1 other spot & repeat
So, let’s get back to that nagging hip pain!
I love this self-myofascial release technique to help improve your hip mobility & ease the pain. Check out this technique here on my Youtube channel. Now, there can be a number of reasons for this pain, but give this a try followed by some strengthening exercises. I know you will notice a dramatic difference, especially knowing some key do’s and don’ts of rolling!
Do you have questions, not sure where to start, having some pain with rolling, or just not sure which will benefit you the most? Email me and I am happy to help you!
Want to learn even more about rolling with a purpose? Come check out my Roll, Release, & Restore workshop at (click to sign up) fit2shine studio on December 15, 2019 3-5pm. Make sure you sign up early to save your spot & to get the early bird special! Space is limited!
Happy Rolling with a purpose!
Dr. Melissa Oleson PT, DPT, E-RYT, CDNT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Bachelor of Nutritional Science
Certified Dry Needling Therapist
Registered Yoga Teacher RYT 200
Integrative Nutritional Health Coach
Working toward RYT 500 hours with Yoga Medicine