By: The One on One Team

Are you dealing with musculoskeletal pain or feel significant restriction when you move? If so, the problem may reside in your fascia… and foam rolling can help!

What is fascia?

Fascia is the 3D spider web of biological fabric that holds together and separates our organs, muscles, and bones. Think of fascia as the pith inside an orange. With the skin of an orange removed, the pith holds together and separates each section of the orange. Fascia serves the same purpose inside your body.

Your fascia works as one unit to allow muscles and joints to properly move through ranges of motion. Healthy fascia is strong and pliable, allowing movement to occur efficiently. Conversely, unhealthy fascia can become so stiff that it causes movements to feel limited and potentially painful.

If you have musculoskeletal pain or discomfort, the cause of your issue could reside in your fascia. Stiffness and “trigger points” exist in unhealthy fascia, which causes movement to feel “tight” or dysfunctional. If this sounds familiar, foam rolling can help.

3 Foam Rolling Techniques

The foam roller is a self-myofascial release tool that can conveniently treat your fascia and help you move better. Here are three foam roller techniques that you can apply today:

Technique 1: “Roll and Hold”

To perform the roll and hold technique, place the desired muscle on the roller then roll slowly through its length. Then, when you find a “trigger point” hold the spot while taking deep breaths to promote relaxation.

Technique 2: “Pin the Tool”

To perform the pin the tool technique, begin by placing the foam roller on the area of your muscle that is most sore. Then, flex and extend the joint on the opposite side of the roller.

Technique 3: “Cross-Fiber Friction”

The cross-fiber friction technique involves horizontally rolling across the muscle fibers. This strategy is especially helpful when foam rolling the muscles around the spine.

Move more and stay hydrated to keep your fascia healthy.

Lack of movement causes muscles to tighten and fascia to compress around those tight muscles. By simply moving more in a variety of directions, your fascia will not become solidified in one tight shape or pattern. Also, since fascia consists mainly of water, proper hydration gives you the best chance to improve the health of your fascia. Aim to consume half your body weight in ounces of water daily.

Start incorporating foam rolling into your movement prep and recovery and regeneration to improve the health of your fascia and reduce the risk of injury.