When Props Become Dangerous: The Limited Usefulness of a Foam Roller

I recently was forwarded an article on how a foam roller may be hurting your body more than helping it in certain situations, specifically stretching sore IT bands.  The article pointed out that in some situations, the IT band is already overstretched due to the gluts not firing like they should during physical movement. When muscles don’t do their part, others come to the rescue and then those become overstressed. Many people, including me, have a difficult time engaging the glute medius. An example is given in the article to test if this issue applies to you. You’ll be in good company if it does. Glut med weakness is very common and can lead to other issues in the body including an overstretched IT band. The bottom line is that if your IT band is tight or overstretched, stretching it further by using a foam roller can really cause harm. As with all props, knowing how to effectively use them and in what movements is key. I recommend you read the article yourself, take the test, and then judge if this problem applies to you. The comments after the article are equally informative so I suggest you take a little extra time to glance at those as well.

http://breakingmuscle.com/mobility-recovery/your-it-band-is-not-the-enemy-but-maybe-your-foam-roller-is

What I appreciated about the article though is that it points out some key philosophies which I’ve hit on in previous blogs: find and address the root issue, use mindfulness in physical movement, and of course take pilates. (That last one was in a comment.) You may want to consider the Foundations Course with Sharon Lightfoot-Pound or Progressive Pilates with Heidi Byrnes but you’ll need permission for the latter. Either way, pilates is an excellent way to understanding body mechanics and movement, all of which will increase your strength and help you live a healthier lifestyle.

One final note: I will no longer be posting for Bria’s blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed the postings thus far and more importantly, found the material informative and helpful to reaching your physical goals. Hope everyone has a safe and healthy holiday. All the best to each and every one of you in the New Year.

 This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker. Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a med­ical emer­gency, call your doc­tor or 911 immediately. The views expressed on this blog and web­site have no rela­tion to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other insti­tu­tion with which the authors are  affiliated.

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