Over time, as our bodies change with age, we face a shift in our muscle tissue. Muscles tend to lose more elasticity. The connective tissue around the joints is prone to cramping and tension, which can be a key factor for chronic pain. Recovery might take some time longer.
These are changes we face and have to work with.
Nevertheless, chronic pain should not be the norm, and there are so many effective ways to work against it.
Several studies show that foam rolling is an effective treatment to improve blood circulation, reducing tightness in connective tissues and muscles and a potent way to recover faster from muscle fever and chronic pain, such as knee, back, neck, hip, shoulder, elbow pain, etc.
Foam rolling has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years due to health and fitness experts explaining numerous benefits to the public.
So, what is foam rolling?
Foam rolling is a self-massage method using tools such as foam rollers and massage balls to facilitate myofascial relief.
You can ease muscle tension by using your body weight and rolling around tight areas with a specifically designed tool. As we get older, it is vital to keep our muscles and tissue healthy, strong and mobile. Tight spots can have a tremendous effect on our well-being and our ability to function normally.
Foam rolling is a low-priced and easy way to keep you healthy at home.
What are the benefits of using a foam roller?
Increases blood circulation
How to improve your blood circulation? The compression of the connective tissue and muscles allows the body fluids to be distributed more evenly throughout the targeted spots after rolling. The blood and lymphatic circulation can thus be enhanced and improved. Toxins and waste material can be flushed out more effectively due to better circulation.
Eases painful spots/areas
How to ease pain and painful muscle spots? Tight muscle spots can cause a lot of pain which nearly everybody knows. With foam rolling, these knots can be targeted directly, and pain can be relieved. Paired with the right breath work, you can feel ease in a concise amount of time.
Increases joint flexibility
How to enhance joint flexibility? Insufficient exercising or wrong exercising can cause stiffness and tightness in the joints. To set the record straight, joints don’t usually get stiff, it is the tissue that surrounds the joints (muscle insertions, tendons, ligaments). Foam rolling is a great way to relieve tight spots around the joints and therefore make them more flexible and mobile. NOTE: Do not directly roll your joints!
Promotes natural movement pattern
How to increase natural movement patterns? Muscle imbalances can cause enormous unnatural movement patterns. If these patterns are then continued, they can cause chronic pain, joint malpositions or feelings of numbness (due to nerve impingement). Foam rolling is an excellent way to counteract muscle imbalances and impaired movement patterns.
We have designed a little sequence you can do at home, which only takes a few minutes a day. If you are insecure about specific exercises, please refer to a health professional for advice. Make sure to hydrate well and stay active with Meglio.
Before you start:
If you do foam rolling for the first time, a softer version of a foam roller is an excellent thing to start with.
- Never roll your joints.
- Roll in multiple directions to get a feeling for how to use your tool.
- Foam rolling shouldn’t be extremely painful. It should relieve pain and aches and feel good.
- Avoid holding your breath throughout the entire process and work with the breath.
Let’s get started:
1 MIDDLE BACK RELEASE
Sit down to your mat on the floor. Place a foam roller horizontally behind you. Keep your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor and engage your core.
Interlace your fingers behind your head and come down to the floor in a very controlled motion. Your mid-upper back should now touch the horizontally placed foam roller. You should feel the foam roller pressing against your mid-upper back. On your exhale try to release yourself down and let your head (if possible) rest on the floor. Stay there for 1-2 minutes and take deep breaths.
When you are finished, roll to your left side by pivoting your knees to the ground, following with your elbows and shoulders. Press yourself up to a seating position by pressing your right hand firmly into the ground.
MODIFICATION: You can do this exercise on a chair in a seated position, as well.
NOTE: Skip this exercise, if you are suffering from stabbing back pain and/or ask a health professional for support.
2 ROLL YOUR BACK AGAINST A WALL
Stand close to a wall with your back facing the wall. ?Place a foam ball, roller or peanut between your back and the wall.
Roll now up and down your ‘sweet spots’ by bending and extending your knees. Circle around, play around with the direction which feels right for you. Make sure not to pass your toes with your knees. When you have a tight spot, hold it there for 20 seconds, work with your breath and move on.
3 ROLL YOUR QUADS
Turn your left side towards a wall. Make sure to be straight in your back and engage your core. Find a stable foundation with your feet and slightly bend and lock your knees.
Place a foam roller, ball or peanut between the side of your front upper leg and the wall. Lean gently in until you hit the spot and a ‘feeling of pressure’ you can work with. Adjust your rolling tool to a few different spots down the side of your quad muscle, starting from hips to just above your knees. When you are done, turn around and repeat on your right side.
4 ROLL YOUR FEET
Get seated on a chair in an upright position. Make sure to have a steady object (desk) in front of you to hold on to. Place a foam roller, ball or peanut horizontally under your feet.
Bend your knees to a 90° angle. Now start rolling the soles of your feet by moving your feet back and forth. Intensify the massage by rolling just one foot at a time and bringing more weight to your foot. Roll for 1-2 minutes or longer. This is a great exercise you can do while f.e.: watching TV or reading a book.
5 ROLL YOUR FOREARM
Sit upright on a chair with your core engaged. Place a foam roller, ball or peanut horizontally on a desk in front of you.
Keep your palm facing downwards and place your wrist on your rolling tool. Very slowly and with control and some pressure, roll the bottom side of your forearm forwards until you reach your elbow. (Stop right before it) Hinge from your hips and keep your spine straight while rolling forward.
Place the rolling tool again to the starting position and now, turn your palm upward and roll the upper side of your forearm. When you are finished, take it to your other arm.
Do you suffer from chronic pain and stiff joints? There are numerous ways to get flexible, strong, relaxed and healthy. Join Meglio with a foam rolling sequence for the elderly to keep you fit and happy.