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What is Self Myofascial Release and how can it help your pain?

What is Self Myofascial Release and how can it help your pain?

Greg Sterner, Licensed Physical Therapist, Owner Fitness Together Point Loma Personal Training Gym

Top 6 Benefits of Self Myofascial Release or Foam Rolling

A lot of gym goers would probably start their workout routine with a warm-up. Yes, fitness experts would definitely suggest to warm-up because it prepares our muscles for the exercises that you will perform. Besides a warm-up, fitness experts also recommend to massage or roll your muscles before starting your workout routine. Let’s find out why.

Self-Myofascial release (SMR) or foam rolling is a type of soft tissue therapy that focuses on the nerves and connective tissues. According to Michael Clark, CSCS, in order for you to understand the magical effects of foam rolling, you will need a basic understanding of kinetic chain. Our body is a kinetic chain, which works as an integral functional unit. It exists interdependently. If one joint is not working efficiently, then the other joint will compensate, which will lead to muscle imbalances, tissue overload, fatigue, and injuries. Let’s say that you want to perform squat, but your hamstrings are tight which restricts the range of motion. Because of the muscle restrictions, joint motion is compensated, thus sending wrong signals to our Central Nervous System (CNS), which might lead to imbalances, injuries and the like.

According to National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), here are some benefits of Self Myofascial Release:

1. Corrects Muscle Imbalances

SMR helps our muscles relax and at the same time provides optimal length-tension relationship, which helps avoid muscle restrictions when we perform an exercise, so it will give a positive feedback to our CNS.

2. Improves Joint Range of Motion

SMR can basically break the knots (which restrict our range of motion) in our muscles, which can help us use our full range of motion.

3. Relieves Muscle Soreness and Joint Stress

SMR speeds up recovery because of better blood circulation in the body.

4. Improves Neuromusclar Efficiency

SMR is good for blood circulation hence, it also provides better oxygenation in our muscles.

5. Relaxes our Muscles

Foam rolling helps our muscles relax by activation of sensory receptors connecting our muscle fibers to our tendons.

6. Provides Optimal Length-Tension relationships

According to Joe Hashey,CSCS, foam rolling lengthens your muscles and breaks up adhesion and scar tissues.

Today I thought I would demonstrate some not so cookie cutter great shoulder releases you can perform with two tennis balls to increase range of motion with a shoulder that is painful or impinges. These three exercises will increase movement at your gleno-humeral capsule thus freeing up motion and decreasing pain.

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