The Runner’s World article, “The Truth About Foam Rolling. It works but not for the reason you think” by Michael Easter for Men’s Health (it first appeared there), begins by saying that many “believe that foam rolling works by steamrolling your muscles, breaking up scar tissues and lengthening the muscle tissue.” That caught my attention. Guilty.
Doug Kechijian, a doctor of physical therapy at Peak Performance in New York City was interviewed by the author in this piece. He explains that foam rolling doesn’t physically alter the muscle, but rather works by signaling to the nervous system that it’s OK to allow tight muscles to relax.
I did not see a reference provided for this particular view and could not locate one readily in the scientific literature to support the mechanism that was described. However, studies which demonstrated benefits to foam rolling before or after runs or intense workouts are mentioned. If you were waiting for a convincing reason to start rolling, Easter provides easy-to-understand information on the topic that might do the trick, regardless of the underlying specific physiology.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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