Ditch the Foam Roller and Any PT that Told You to Use Them

Foam rollers have become very popular in the health and wellness community. You won't find them at Breaking Through.  Let's dive into why so many professionals lean on the foam roller and why you should ditch your foam roller and any physical therapist that prescribes them.  In the end, the answer to your ailment; whether it be pain, injury, performance or injury prevention, is movement - not mashing muscles with a foam roller.

Foam Rollers for Tight Spots? Not!

Have a tight spot? If you use your foam roller to “roll” out these “tight spots,” you're applying trauma to the area when you foam roll it. When you have a tight muscle, or a painful area like your IT band, that is a symptom that your body is telling you something is dysfunctional. Every muscle you have has a nerve that stimulates the muscle, which is called the neuromuscular junction. When you use a foam roller to mash into the tight area you are not correcting, or fixing, anything.  Instead you are causing trauma to that area. As a reaction to this trauma, the muscle is being forced to relax, which is the OPPOSITE of what we want our muscles to do. (15 min video from Institute of Human Anatomy explaining their reasoning why foam rolling could be doing more harm than good: "Is Foam Rolling Bad for You")

Foam Rollers Cause Muscles to Relax - Not Good

If foam rollers cause muscles to relax, isn't that a good thing? Especially if they feel so tight that it's causing pain? When a muscle relaxes, it becomes unable to contract normally, they way it was designed to do. Yes, you do gain short term flexibility. HOWEVER, a relaxed muscle loses joint stability, strength and increases your risk of injury.  Relaxing muscles also causes your performance to decline. We should never decrease strength and joint stability for flexibility gains.

Foam Rollers Weaken Nerve-Muscle Connection

These foam rollers have become a fad for trainers, physical therapists, etc. If a physical therapist has recommended you use one, get an explanation  based upon human physiology. The bottom line is that applying pressure weakens the nerve-muscle connection and there is no good explanation to cause a poor nerve-muscle connection.

Related Post: Is Stretching Bad for You? Why Stretching is NOT Your Friend.

Related Post: Understand Sports Injury Basics to Get Effective Sports Injury Treatment


In this video, Dr. Josh explains how our bodies communicate with us by generating pain and how physical therapy sessions at Breaking Through are designed to restore your function, while decreasing your pain in less sessions and with long-lasting results. Contact the Physical Therapists at Breaking Through IT for a free consult, or schedule your initial assessment today and be on your way to sports injury rehabilitation or  a pain free active lifestyle.


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