Does foam rolling have any impact on the soft tissue of the body?
Before we delve into the science behind the action, let’s just go over what foam rolling is and its intended purpose is.
Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique. It is supposed to help relieve muscle tightness, soreness, and inflammation, and increase your joint range of motion. Foam rolling can be an effective tool to add to your warm-up or cooldown, before and after exercise.
Does it work?
The honest answer is that there is mixed research.
Much like many topics under the fitness umbrella, research is either vague or inconclusive. There are recent studies that suggest that foam rolling is ineffective to any long term effects to the soft tissue. It can improve flexibility but these improvements last no longer than 10 minutes.
Currently, there are no systematic reviews that have appraised the effects of these tools on joint range of motion, muscle recovery, and performance. However, there are and have been many cases where there have been a perceived sense of relief or improvement in quality of movement.
The conclusion to the matter is that if foam rolling is part of your fitness regime; in your warm up, cool down or recovery day, and it works for you, carry on with it. You are doing yourself no harm and even if there are no proven long term benefits, the short term might be just what is needed to relieve discomfort.
Have a question? Then please do not hesitate to ask, we’d love to help.