Foam Rolling

Ever heard of ‘foam rolling?’ It is a form of self-massage that can increase flexibility and decrease muscle tension. This week, Dr. Christine Major from Active Living Chiropractic shares more info about this technique.

From Dr. Major:

Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release. What that basically means is that you are releasing adhesions between the muscle tissue and the surrounding connective tissue or fascia. It is performed by using a person’s body weight for pressure while rolling over a hard foam roll. Foam rolls come in a variety of sizes and shapes, but they all rely on the same principle. Foam rolling interrupts the cycle of cumulative injury, which involves muscle imbalance and spasm, inflammation, and adhesions (sometimes referred to as trigger points). The pressure caused by foam rolling can increase blood flow to an area, and can also relax muscles by activating the stretch reflex.

The mechanisms mentioned above are those responsible for the many benefits attributed to foam rolling, including: decreased muscle pain and soreness, increased range of motion, improved tissue recovery, and better athletic performance. Although there are no hard and fast rules established for foam rolling, it is generally accepted that rolling an area for 30-60 seconds is sufficient to reap the benefits. It is recommended to foam roll before and after a workout. Pre-workout rolling can aid in warming up the muscles, leading to better performance and a decreased injury risk. Post-workout rolling has been shown to decrease muscle soreness up to two days later. It is important to note that when foam rolling, it is expected that there will be some moderate discomfort, but it should not be unbearable. Furthermore, foam rolling should never lead to bruising. When performed correctly, foam rolling can be a simple, quick, and inexpensive way to treat your muscle aches and pains at home.

Got more questions about foam rolling? Visit Runner’s World website or stop by the medical tent for a free 5-minute massage and ask!


Dr. Christine Major
Active Living Chiropractic has two locations in Beaverton and Hillsboro providing the most scientifically evidence-based care in a relaxed, warm, and caring atmosphere. Active Living Chiropractic is a team of healthcare professionals that recognizes that every patient is unique. Dr. Anita LeBlanc, Dr. Justin Jelen, Dr. Christine Major, and Dr. Guillermo Bermudez believe in working in partnership with their clients to achieve optimal health and peak performance.