Does anyone know if self myofascial release works and if so does it have to be a foam roller used?

Sorry put this in a blog but think it should be a question. It sounds feasible that this is what I need to do but on reading up have seen suggestions of a tennis ball etc being used but don't want to waste my time going through the motions of something that wont work.

If anyone knows anything about this or has used it I would love their feedback.

Thanks Karen


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13 Replies

  • I've read various articles suggesting you can use a tennis ball or a rolling pin. A tennis ball is minimal cost and you can probably do the exercises in front of the telly, I think I'll probably give it a go. I have a foam roller but it really is hard work so I'm thinking I'll build up to it gradually. This looks a good site:

  • Definitely worth giving it a go with a tennis ball before buying a foam roller mind it doesn't look like it will be that easy rolling with your weight on it. Thanks for the link it will show me exactly where to place the ball.

  • Yeah, it's the supporting your weight on your wrists while on the foam roller that is most difficult.

  • My wrists are pretty week due to a bulging disc in my neck so not sure how I will manage that but am going to give it a try, thanks.

  • Scientifically, there now does seem to be (as yet unpublished) research that it works according to this article on Running Physio website.

    My sports physiotherapist recommended I use one for my Illiotibial Band. It may have helped, but it's hard to say for definite as I was still having massage and acupuncture from her. I use it after after run and roll my IT band, quads and occasionally my calves if they're tight.

    I tried with a tennis ball, but found it less efficient as it kept rolling away and took much longer to do. The foam rolling is part and parcel of my after-run stretching routine.

  • Thanks for the link thats great.

  • I bought a foam roller as my calves are really tight. It is painful to use but I think it helps. Cost me £9.99 I think. If you buy one go for the white which is the least dense, not the blue which is if you are more advanced apparently :-)

  • I didn't realise there were so many choices so will look for a white one incase the others are for the more advanced too.....thanks for the advice.

  • Actually I beg to differ. I bought the blue solid foam roller and yes, it was sore when I first used it, but I don't think a softer roller would have felt as effective for long. In fact when rolling my IT band last week I wondered if I needed an even harder roller now. I know a few people here have the knobbly type of rollers. Maybe I just need to be a bit more focused with the blue one and hold it on the actual hard points of my muscles s bit longer...?

  • Does anyone use it before a run? I swear by mine but always use it after a run.


  • Well I am going to get one as it does make sense to what my problem is. I am having physio on my neck and back and we are working on lots of knots there so expect I am riddled with them and need to work on them all. Last night and this morning I actually used an avon cellulite roller on my legs(thought better than nothing until I have a foam roller) and found the tender spots and today managed my first 30 minute run. i wont say my thighs weren't sore but I didn't have to stop after 20 minutes like last time so think it actually helped. Will use this until my roller arrives but boy did it hurt when I found those tender spots!!

    Thanks for all your help x

  • I use my foam roller every day if my quads feel tight and always a couple of times post run on run days, over the course of the day. Definitely helps.

    I support my weight on my forearms so no strain on the wrist. Foam rolling isn't much fun but it does help!

    Some gyms have an electric massage roller machine that you can hold various parts of your anatomy against, they're really great too.

  • Thanks I think using my forearms I would be ok but definitely not my wrists. I wish my gym has the electric one though that sounds great!!

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