Our Thoughts on Foam Rolling – Scratching the Surface of Effectiveness

Our Thoughts on Foam Rolling – Scratching the Surface of Effectiveness

November 6, 2014|By Eric Owens|No Comments »
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If you have ever used a foam roller or a “runner’s stick” to loosen up a tight, inflamed muscle before or after exercise, then you know the process is painful.  Is the wincing we endure actually targeting the source of our pain or is it merely scratching the surface?


Throughout my personal training career I have used all kinds of tools on my clients after our sessions, but it was not until I became a Delos pain specialist that I realized that what I was trying to do for my clients as a trainer wasn’t very effective.  I know this because so many of my Delos clients are foam rolling on a regular basis and still suffer from pain and stiffness.


At Delos, we believe that the main reason foam rolling falls short is because it doesn’t hold pressure long enough to stretch muscle tissue and fascia apart. Rolling over tissue with a foam roller or other similar tools only scratches the surface when it comes to taking care of muscle pain and tightness.  Muscles and fascia are intertwined layers of tissue stacked and twisted amongst each other. The foam roller addresses the top layer of muscles.  It doesn’t fully break apart the hyper-contracted tissue that is causing symptoms of stiffness and pain by pinching on nerves and limiting blood flow to the area.


By treating only the superficial layers of an area, long lasting pain relief or reduced stiffness are limited. In addition, foam rolling is relatively random – sometimes delivering too much pressure and sometimes not enough, which leads to unpredictable and often insufficient results.  As a Delos therapist, I am trained to identify the congested tissue and find specific lines of tightness on a muscle to maximize the results in a systematic way. I focus on deep, controlled, sustained pressure when treating the muscle from all angles.  I am not only breaking up hyper-contracted muscle tissue and “knots,” but I treat the entire length of the muscle including the tendons. As a result, the entire muscle has restored function and health.

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