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Have you ever had hip pain? Lower back pain? What about knee pain? Or the ever-dreaded pulled hamstring? This is where a foam roller comes in.
Did you know that these common issues could be from past injuries/pulled muscles, stress in your body, or lack of movement, like sitting too much?
Foam Roller My Secret Weapon
In 2017 running my first ever Marathon Relay race, I severely hurt my hip. It was the most painful, restrictive, and longest recovery I have ever experienced!
Once you hurt your hip you learn quickly how important it is, not just for mobility, but for EVERYTHING you do!
Sitting down or standing up was EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL as I had to hold onto something to slowly lower down or grab something to pull myself back up, and ABSOLUTELY NO sitting on the ground.
Walking for long distances like going to the mall or grocery, standing for long periods, waiting in line at a restaurant, or walking around an amusement park would put me in such pain that I could barely stand up or move the next day.
I was desperate to find a way to relieve the pain as I did not want to have hip surgery!
I quickly learned that hurting my hip led to so many other issues. Lower back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, headaches, and urinary issues.
What? Urinary issues (yes, constantly peeing my pants because I could no longer hold it)! It was like my whole body was falling apart just from one injury, and not to mention the lack of sleep because I was constantly in pain.
I started yoga, which was helping stretch out some of my muscles, but it was a slow process.
Read my post on Making Your Bed Every Day to end your day with a good nights sleep.
MY SECRET WEAPON
In 2019 I was desperate for some relief and after researching constantly online, I came across this video by Lauren Roxburgh about using a foam roller for your hips & pelvic floor to help break down the fascia that can occur from an injury.
I was desperate for relief so I purchased her foam roller and downloaded the 7-day workbook. It was the SECRET WEAPON I was looking for!
What is a foam roller?
It is a tube of compressed foam that is used as a self-massage to help alleviate tightness.
There are many foam rollers available and I will admit that I have tried a few others. They were small, nubby, and painful to use and hurt my muscles worse. This foam roller is amazing, and I recommend it to everyone.
Why use a foam roller?
On her blog, Laura Roxburgh talks about how foam rolling improves circulation, boosts lymphatic drainage (flushes toxins from the body), reduces inflammation and stress in the body, increases flexibility and range of motion, hydrates your fascia, and most of all helps strengthen the pelvic floor.
Yes, one little tool like a perfect foam roller can do all that!
Use a foam roller with Yoga
I think the best way to use a foam roller is to combine it with yoga and take it SLOW!
I looked at it like this, what if I had hip surgery and the doctor scheduled me for weekly physical therapy and told me it was going to take 5-6 months for recovery.
Yes, it took about 6 months, but it was so WORTH IT! I no longer have hip pain, lower back pain, knee pain, headaches, and I improved my urinary issues. Plus, my sleep has improved immensely.
Steps I took:
- Pick one day a week when you won’t feel rushed
- Start with 10 minutes foam rolling
- Take it slow starting out, remember you have to start breaking down the fascia
- BE PATIENT! It’s like physical therapy, it takes time but it does pay off
- Do 30-40 minutes of Yin Yoga (I love my Beachbody app for the variety of workouts)
- After 2 months, then move to two days a week (I did Wednesday & Sunday)
- SMILE you are doing this for YOU!!
Great for increasing mobility
Now don’t think you only need to get a foam roller if you have an injury.
A foam roller is perfect for preventive health like increase mobility, release toxins, and improve circulation.
I still use my foam roller every day for flexibility and to help keep my body releasing toxins. I also use it to increase my pelvic floor muscles, and it is working!