This month, Harvard Medical School’s “Harvard Health Publication” released an article about the benefits of using a foam roller to relieve muscle pain. While their post was aimed at men specifically, there are equal benefits to women who run, lift or are active in many other ways.
Many patients who complain about knee pain may actually be suffering from Iliotibial Band (IT Band) Syndrome. This long, fibrous tissue is tough to stretch but rolling the quads and hamstrings on a foam roller may be one of the best ways to target the IT band and stop the pain.
Foam rollers should be ideally used every day. The hard foam cylinders are also great warm-up tools and excellent to cool-down with to prevent cramping and help prevent the tension that follows muscle breakdown.
Check out Harvard’s illustrated guide on how to roll and some helpful tips for safe use. Fleet Feet Sports, Syracuse carries The Grid Foam Rollers from TriggerPoint, which have various patterns of raised areas to mimic a massage therapist’s hands and a hollow core to access deeper muscle tissue.