"Am I doing this right?"
I became suspicious of self-myofascial release (SMFR) about 22 years ago. I got an IT band syndrome and a great sports doctor recommended foam rollers. It was an immediate relief, but the relief did not last.
Despite my best foam rolling efforts, I continued to struggle with hip pain. When I was working on my National Academy of Sports Medicine certification in 2004 and they strongly recommended SMFR, I thought to myself, "Well, maybe I'm wrong, they're one of the leading nationally recognized fitness organizations."
In the mid-2000s, the SMFR prevailed as a standard fitness recommendation. And the marketing of these techniques has been so successful that people today simply assume that fitness is a direct pressure on the tissue. Over the past decade, I have seen increasingly sadistic devices (harder objects with a smaller surface, including concrete blocks with notches) associated with increasingly draconian instructions from fitness "experts" and even therapists.
However, it is nonsense. What really happens to the body when it experiences this concentrated pressure in one area? Potential nerve damage or destruction of the blood vessels.
What can high pressure SMFR actually do?
The cell is a fluid pouch. Once broken, it can not collapse. Evolutionary biologists have wished for more than a hundred years that the composition of a cell could but not form a cell. You can take the entire contents of a eukaryotic cell with you and you never get a functioning, living piece of tissue without an intact membrane.
They put too much stress on a cell, and it breaks and is forever irreparably destroyed. This applies to heart cells, nerve cells, muscle cells, bacteria, as you call it.
The laboratory tested pressure to break up circulatory vessels is 1
The Science, The Math and the Truth
Let's say you weigh 220 pounds (that's 100 kg). Let's say 90% of your weight is not on the lacrosse ball. That leaves a mass of 10 kg. This means that the force acting on the ball is 98.1 Newton.
The diameter of the lacrosse ball is 63 mm with a "flat surface" of 3 969 mm ^ 2. Yes, there is an inclination on a ball, and soft tissue will wrap around the ball so that the tip of the ball will roll Sphere and the largest point of notch in the tissue will experience a significantly higher kPa than our calculation here. And this calculation is 24.72 kPa.
Remember that the true peak pressure is higher than this. And the bursting pressure for cells is 11-13 kPa. We were also extremely conservative and said only 10% of the ball's weight on the ball. Even if you weigh only 110 pounds, you are definitely flirting with permanent damage. The elasticity of skeletal muscle cells was estimated to be 24 kPa (2). However, the elasticity of nerve cells is given in hundreds of Pa (3). Hundreds Remember that we've talked about thousands so far.
The nerves are rated in Pa. The pressure exerted directly by a lacrosse ball is measured in kPa. Cells break down in hundreds of pascals (Pa). They exert pressure in thousands of pascals (kPa).
Is all foaming rolls bad?
Is there a reason for mild foam rolling? Probably. Is there any reason for hand pressure from therapists? Absolute. There is extensive clinical evidence for this.
But does it make sense for people with little to no knowledge of anatomy and physiology to put extreme burdens on the tissues or to find the most painful places and exert pressure on them? Definitely not. "Relief" is probably an actual nerve damage and / or a permanent myofibril and blood vessel destruction.
I would argue that even light foam rolling is suspect to a layman if it does not clearly create a road that leads away from the progressive irritation you have experienced.
Keep It Light
I apologize for ever recommending customers to SMFR or teaching aspiring trainers. The truth is, light pressure is probably okay, but the SMFR believers do not teach that.
Note the following:
- Light to light pressure can actually help create a positive stimulus.
- Moderate Excessive pressures are by definition fatal to human health.
I am worried that we are causing nerve function deficits and blood vessel damage to a whole generation of fitness enthusiasts. In fact, most honest coaches who are deep in their minds know that athletes have never gone up after taking high-pressure SMFR.
The end of an athlete's peak performance is often marked by the onset of a high-pressure SMFR. But maybe this article marks the beginning of the end of the high-pressure SMFR.
Facts and Fiction on Foam Rolling
Does Foam Rolling Have to Harm?
- Gonzalez-Rodriguez, David, et al. "Mechanical criterion for the breakage of a cell membrane under compression." Biophysical Journal, vol. 111, No. 12, 2016, pp. 2711-2721., Doi: 10.1016 / j.bpj.2016.11.001.
- "Endothelial, heart muscle and skeletal muscles have varying viscous and elastic properties as determined by atomic force microscopy." NeuroImage, Academic Press, Nov. 14, 2001, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002192900100149X.[19659026SpeddenWhiteetal"ElasticityCardLivesNeuronsMeasuredbyCombinedFluorescenceandScanningForceMicroscopy"BiophysicalJournal2012;103:868-877101016/jbpj201208005