The first priority of any self treatment plan should be to restore mobility to the injured area and surrounding muscles. An injured muscle wants to protect itself by staying in a tight, protectected position. This keeps it from being over stretched into further damage and from having to contract through it’s full ROM. The problem with this is that it’s not always painful, especially not in the case of common overuse injuries. If there is one thing the body is good at it’s compensating. When one part doesn’t work, others are called in to pick up the slack. This is bad! We want to stop this from happening and work to get those muscles out of that closed up, tight position. The first way to do that is through self muscle massage using one of the tools below.
- You can elongate or stretch out the muscles ( in other words, work parallel or in the same direction the muscle runs ).
- You can work perpendicular to the muscle (known as cross friction and used to break up specific adhesions).
- You can apply sustained pressure to the muscle (known as trigger point release and used to relieve muscle spasms).
What you need to get started:
A foam roller and a tennis/massage ball.