Myofascial Release: Get Your Body Back to Optimal Performance
The Cumulative Injury Cycle begins with trauma to muscle tissue; an example could be resistance training. Muscle inflammation and spasm follow, which leads to adhesions (muscle knots). Adhesions create a weak, inelastic matrix that is unable to stretch and decreases elasticity of soft tissue. When left unchecked, adhesions can begin to create permanent structural changes in the soft tissue. The structural change can create problems at a joint; therefore, causing the body to move in an incorrect pattern of motion potentially causing dysfunction at other joints. This will cause the Cumulative Injury Cycle to continue. What will help to stop the cycle is to attack those adhesions through self-myofascial release. To do this, a foam roller is typically used. One area of the body that is prone to adhesions is the calf so I will explain how you would use the foam roller to work out the calf adhesion.
Sit on the floor with the legs stretched long, place the foam roller under mid-calf (to increase pressure, cross one leg over the other) and slowly roll the calf area until you feel a tender spot (believe me you’ll feel it). Once you are on the tender spot, hold it until you feel the discomfort subside. I suggest holding it for a minimum of 20 seconds.
The best time to use self-myofascial release is before you even start your traditional warm-up for your workout. First use the foam roll, then do a light stretch, holding stretches for 20-30 seconds. Then begin your warm-up, whether that is walking on a treadmill or doing a dynamic type of warm-up that may include jump jacks, easy squats, and push-ups. You can also do self-myofascial release after your workout and then be sure to always finish with a good flexibility session, holding stretches for a minimum of 30 seconds. Incorporating this component of flexibility training into your life and/or workout routine, will help to restore your body back to its optimal level of function. However, people who have osteoporosis, hypertension, or women who are pregnant, should check with their physician before using myofascial release.
If you would like more information about myofascial release, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-271-9678.