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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    543

    Foam Rolling...to roll or not to roll?

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    I am a confirmed believer in the value of rolling out my muscles as soon as I can after a long ride (or even a short one)... I think it really helps me to recover from the tight hamstrings and knotted up quads and tight IT band. I've had a massage therapist tell me it does help rolling out the IT (side of thigh) area, keeps it from affecting other areas, knees and hips especially. But I've read recently, and also had two physical therapists tell me that it is NOT a good thing to roll that IT band, that's it's SUPPOSED to be tight. Very conflicting. I still do it, but try to be gentle about it and not lay a lot of pressure while I'm rolling.

    Has anyone else heard the same info, or had issues rolling out the IT area?
    "Don't go too fast, but I go pretty far"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    I don't really have any expertise, but since no one else has responded, I'll just chime in with what I've read and heard from other bodyworkers (PTs, LMTs, DCs, DOs).

    I've never had ANYONE tell me that I'm supposed to have trigger points. There's a school of thought that too much static stretching can be bad for athletic performance, and maybe that's what your PT is talking about. But when the fascia is knotted, ropy and desiccated, I've never heard from anyone that it's supposed to be that way. When the fascia can't slide freely, it pulls the muscles and bones out of alignment all along the kinetic chain. You probably notice how you don't have to fight as hard to keep your feet aligned after rolling out your hips, right?

    The only two "bad" things I've heard about self myofascial release are (1) not to overdo it - if you have a lot of adhesions and/or long-standing trigger points, it can be better to work them out a little at a time than to cause so much microtrauma that it takes more than a day to heal; and (2) not to think of it as an excuse for not correcting the misalignments that led to the trigger points to begin with.

    HTH - just my thoughts after LOTS of bodywork and reading since my injury 3-1/2 years ago -
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,143
    I thought about responding, but, I have even less expertise than Oak!
    I have on-going SI joint issues, as well as various hip/back funkiness. I use the foam roller for tight hamstrings and hips, and a lacrosse ball to work the SI joint when it gets out of alignment. I don't spend a ton of time, as too much, especially with the lacrosse ball can hurt more than help. Since both my PT (MacKenzie trained) and LMT prescribed this, I do it. When my son was racing and had severe IT band issues, the PT prescribed the foam roller and it totally "cured" the issue.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    FWIW, the NY Times has a story this week about the US women's soccer team's recovery protocol, and foam rolling is part of it.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    543
    Thanks Oak and Crankin, I appreciate your viewpoints. The NY Times article is interesting. I've been foam rolling for several years now, and try to be consistent with it especially after longer rides. Just wondering if anyone else had read/heard the conflicting info on the IT band in particular. I am careful rolling out that side area and to avoid bony areas, as that can be the most uncomfortable area to roll out, but always felt that it was more helpful than not. And like you said maybe it's about not overdoing it. Which makes sense, right??!
    "Don't go too fast, but I go pretty far"

 

 

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