Oxygen Magazine: Dr. Armin Tehrany shares his expert opinion on the benefits of using a foam roller
The foam roller, technically known as self-myofascial release, is one of the most recommended techniques by doctors and therapist for pain relieve in muscles after an injury or a workout program.
When it was first introduced, the foam roller was used exclusively by professional athletes, coaches, and professional therapist. Today, the foam roller has revolutionized the process of healing aching and tightened muscles for absolutely anyone at the gym, at home, or at the park.
As a form of deep compression, the foam roller aids in normal blood flow to the tightened muscles and improves the process of healthy tissue restoration. However, the overall process of foam rolling can be a painful experience, especially for first-time users and newbies to the foam roller.
How to properly use a foam roller?
Jill Schildhouse, an editor at the Oxygen Magazine Online, had such an experience when she used the foam roller for the very first time. Since she wasn’t familiar with how the foam roller does its magic to the muscles, she decided to live it alone and, in her own words, “collect dust in the corner of her room”.
As the popularity of the foam rollers has been tremendously increasing every day, Jill decided to start her own little research and discover the benefits of the foam roller and how it actually works.
She reached out to Dr. Armin Tehrany and asked him to extend his professional opinion on this popular topic. As an orthopedic doctor who is always willing to share his profound knowledge, Dr. Tehrany gladly accepted the invitation to explain the fantastic benefits of the foam rollers. Moreover, as a person who actively uses the foam roller for his knees and back, Dr. Tehrany was the right person to provide an extensive and profound insight of the advantages of foam rollers in injury treatment and prevention.
“Foam rolling has many benefits, including reducing tension in the muscles and body, aiding in muscle recovery and blood flow, and helping with injury prevention,” Dr. Tehrany said.
“Foam rolling is technically known as a self-myofascial release because it distributes force across soft-tissue layers in the body, which helps the body release the tissue and helps the muscles to lengthen. This aids in overall greater mobility.”
According to Dr. Tehrany, the foam rolling is a form of deep compression, and because it is mostly used at home, it is a personal deep tissue massage. On the question of how to experience its benefits to the fullest, Dr. Tehrany recommended a daily and steady practice of foam rolling.
“My advice is to keep at it and to practice foam rolling daily. Over time, your body will start to reap the benefits of it, and it will start to feel enjoyable rather than painful.”
Simple tips for maximum effects
In addition to introducing the benefits of foam rolling, Dr. Tehrany also shared a few tips on how to properly use the foam roller and efficiently exploit its benefits.
The foam roller allows targeting the muscles that feel most tightened, and it can be used on various body parts. In Dr. Tehrany’s expert opinion, it is important to start with slow rolling motions.
“Try positioning your body on top of the roller so that pressure is put directly onto the muscle that you want to massage. Use your body weight to add pressure, and try to relax as much as possible. Common areas great for foam rolling include the calves, quadriceps and upper back.”
The foam rollers should also be used before and after working out.
“Doing so beforehand helps to reduce tension and gets blood flowing throughout the body, while doing so afterward helps with blood flow and aids in muscle recovery.”
According to Dr. Tehrany’s experience, the most important factor is to roll the foam daily, anywhere from five to twenty minutes.
“Roll slowly, and make sure to keep breathing so that your muscles can relax as much as possible throughout the process.”
Thanks to Dr. Tehrany’s professional advice, Jill gave the foam roller a second chance, and she carefully followed his useful tips and instructions. As she finally started rolling the foam correctly, she started experiencing amazing improvements in her body flexibility and muscle strength.
“I’m happy to report that I’m slowing climbing on board the foam-rolling bandwagon, thanks to Tehrany’s advice. Sure, there’s still some level of ouch, but I think they call that a “good hurt”.