The fascia is connective tissue that looks like a web structure. It keeps the organs, muscles and stabilizes everything inside the body. When you have tightness in the body you most likely will have tight fascia not just muscle. When the fascia is tight it can lead to injury or sub-maximal performance.
Self-myofascial release also may loosen up adhesions in muscles which helps to release tension in joints and the muscle itself. Self-myofascial release also helps promote blood flow to different areas of the body just like a massage. Think of self-myofascial release as a massage that you do to yourself.
Here are some reasons why you should add self-myofascial release into your fitness program.
Improves Range of Motion
When a muscle tissue is fascia tight it can decrease range of motion in the joints. Doing self-myofascial release can improve range of motion by removing adhesions in the muscle tissue and fascia. Doing self-myofascial release can help improve proper length tension relationship of muscles which will improve range of motion in the joints.
It’s Better than Stretching
Muscle adhesions also called knots are not fixed by stretching alone because it doesn’t release the knot when you pull on it harder. Doing self-myofascial release before stretching is a better idea because the knot will be loosened up or released before doing the stretch that will improve range of motion and reduce pain more than stretching alone.
Helps With Pain
Self-myofascial release is a great way to release pain points in a body. If you’ve ever gotten a massage you know how good you feel after. Doing a massage on your own has similar benefits and it only costs you the price of a foam roller. One way self-myofascial release helps with pain is that it may release nerves which allows the body to send signals freely. Nerves run along muscles and fascia, when the muscles have knots then can interfere with nerve signals. The nerve interference may cause pain even when the area with pain isn’t injury. When this happens, it’s called referred pain.
Another way self-myofascial release can help with pain is by improving range of motion in the joint. When muscles are bound up around a joint your body will sense the limited range of motion in the area and cause pain to prevent damage to the area. Breaking down the knots with a foam roller or ball can free up the tissue around the joint relieving pain.
Speeds up Healing
Self-myofascial release is a great way to get back to your favorite activities. One of the best ways to speed up healing is to increase blood flow. Many doctors will recommend massage to improve healing across the body. Blood flow allows the body to carry damaged tissue and nutrients to the area to help it heal. When a muscle or the fascia is tight is may reduce blood-flow slowing the healing process.
How to get Started
If you’re new to self-myofascial release you may want to hire a personal trainer for a session or two to show you how to do it properly. If you don’t have the money for a trainer in the budget you can pick up a book on the subject, find a video online or search for the article on google. When starting out look for problem areas in the body if you have knee pain you might have tight hamstrings, quads, or glutes. When you foam roll you’ll need to find tender spots and roll on them for a few minutes. When starting out self-myofascial release can be painful but after a few sessions you can do it without a problem.
Self-myofascial release is a must if you have pain or you want to improve range of motion. Doing self-myofascial release is less expensive than massage and can be done at home using a foam roller. If you’re new to self-myofascial release you might need to hire a trainer or get a book on the subject.
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