Friday, January 16, 2009

Myofascial release with a foam roller or massage stick

It's a fact of life with running or any repetitive exercise: things will get sore and tight if we let them. I used to feel how hard and tight my legs were and think that was good. That was until I got hit with my first real case of ITBS. I went for some physical therapy and learned that my thinking was all wrong. If they are too hard and tight, then something ain't right.

Now when I get a bit of pain or tightness, I go straight to my foam roller or The Stick. These tools are great ways to work out the knots via soft tissue massage and Myofascial release.

Here are a few sites I found that show good technique for using these tools:


And a couple books I have found:


I get real good results using these tools and techniques on my ITB and lower legs (front and back). And believe it or not, all it really takes is 10 minutes. You'll feel the difference immediately. The Stick now travels with me to all of my races. It's great for warming up, and post race massage.

Run hard out there...

2 comments:

Spanish said...

So could you give me some tips on healing IT band Problems. I am a pretty advanced runner but have had IT band problems a lot in my career. Now I have been sidelined because of the injury. I have a stick and an old foam roller. I have been doing that but the band is still tight. I would like a long term solution to this problem if you have one so I dont have to worry about this. I love to run but not like this.

Any tips would be helpful, THanks.

Neal Jamison said...

Spanish,

When I was first sidelined by ITBS, I went for physical therapy and they used a treatment called Iontophoresis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iontophoresis). About 5 treatments of this did the trick for me. A couple years later I felt it creeping back, so I went back for 4 more treatments, and I was healed again. Now I run less miles (cut out all the junk), and try to spend more time on the roller. My ITB has been acting up a little lately, so that's why I got the roller back out and did the post I did last week. I'm hoping I can prevent another trip to the PT.

Good luck!