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  • Dr. Joel Whalen

To Foam Roll or Not to Foam Roll?

In recent years foam rolling has gone mainstream. A self-massage technique once only used by professional athletes, therapists, and coaches, foam rolling is now an everyday practice for people at any fitness level.


When muscle pain strikes, our initial reaction is to take an aspirin, rest the muscle in pain, then apply heat or ice. This may alleviate some of the pain temporarily, but when we go back to our usual activities the cycle starts all over. This cycle will continue until the activity causing the flare up is altered and the muscle is given adequate time to heal. This healing can be aided through self-muscle work, typically stretching and self-massage. While the self massage can be easily done with a smaller muscle that is on the front of your body, it is more challenging to apply adequate pressure to the back side of your body.  A foam roller is beneficial because the necessary pressure can be applied without compromising the body's posture.


Foam rolling is a generalized form of ‘self-myofascial release’, this means we try to influence tissues to move more freely, reduce tissue discomfort, increase fluid circulation and promote tissue healing. One of the main benefits of foam rolling, may allow us to live our daily life with reduced pain. By utilizing a foam roller to alleviate pain symptoms, we may experience overall increased performance at home, work and in sports!


How do you use a foam roller? Dr. Joel Whalen, Chiropractor at Louisville Medical Center, demonstrates how to use a foam roller with proper form. If you are interested in foam rolling and how it can benefit you, please contact Dr. Whalen, at Louisville Medical Center.

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