Today, I wanted to address soft tissue restrictions and self-treatment options, that can help improve mobility when stretching just isn’t enough. When you have tried to regain mobility by stretching the muscles around the knee joint – calf, quad, hamstring, and IT Band – the next step to improve motion & address your general knee pain is with soft tissue mobilization. The best way that I have found to do this is with a foam roller. Basically a foam roller is a 3 foot long, 6-inch diameter cylinder of dense foam.
The concept is simple – you will use the weight of your body to apply pressure to tender areas. You can hit the restricted areas in somewhat of a global manner…so, if you are not sure exactly where you are restricted, it’s ok, you don’t have to be as specific; however, because it is not as specific, it is also not as valuable as a massage. A massage can change depth and specificity to reach the restricted tissue(s), but for less than $20, a foam roller is a great solution!
Like a massage, the foam roller targets the muscle tissues and aids in breaking up any restrictions, as well as addresses the fascia that surrounds the muscle fibers. A post by Jina Schaefer at http://blog.mydiscoverhealth.com/2010/05/03/foam–fascia.aspx discusses this concept well. Once you feel the effects of using a foam roller, you will notice an immediate change in your mobility and hopefully a reduction in pain. To get some immediate results for general, unspecified knee pain, follow the attached pictures and video from http://exercise.com/ for the Quads & IT Band. Good luck & let me know your thoughts!
Next post we will talk about how to keep yourself from re-injury by establishing appropriate strength to the typically involved muscles. Balancing motor control will allow you to move properly and limit those repetitious movement patterns that are often the underlying cause of pain.