Foam Rollers – Do they actually help you after exercise?

We see these foam rollers used wherever exercise is undertaken, with those using them swearing by them, confidently pronouncing that their muscles are more relaxed after using the roller after exercise.

However is their confidence based in fact, or is this another fad that is a success due to marketing?

Tom Myers wrote a fascinating piece on foam rollers and it is certainly worth a read.

What is happening inside when you do foam rolling or use any types of balls or tools for self-myofascial release (SMR)?

For starters, you cannot foam roll fascia exclusively; all the other cells – nerve, muscle, and epithelia – are getting ‘rolled’ too.

In epithelial and muscle tissues, the water is squeezed out of the tissues, and then is sucked back in when the pressure moves on or is taken away. Like squeezing a sponge over the sink and then letting it fill again while doing the pots and pans, this is generally a good idea. As the old bedouin proverb has it:  “Water still: poison!  Water moving: life!” Advice for Self-Myofascial Release with a Foam Roller