An important consideration to remember when training, is to make sure you look after your body when you have finished your workout. You will see a lot of the clients and trainers rolling around on the ground with blue foam rollers, rolling pins or cricket balls, so what are they doing?
Fascia is the soft tissue component of the connective tissues that are found around the joints of the body as well as muscles. The fascia can become restricted from overuse in exercise and often results in pain. Myofascial release involves the use of various tools to treat impaired muscleculoskeletal function that is resulting in pain or loss of range of motion. The aim is to relax contracted muscles, increase circulation and lymphatic drainage and release tension between the muscles and overlaying fascia.
It can be Direct release (deep tissue work), which involves applying constant pressure from knuckles, elbows, foam rollers, cricket balls etc. The aim is to elongate and stretch the fascia, while mobilising the muscle tissues. While Indirect release is gentle stretching to guide the fascia to unwind itself until free movement is restored.
Formed only in muscle tissue, trigger points are palpable nodes in muscle fibres that built up during frequent exercise from either acute or chronic muscular overload, direct trauma or stress. Irritated trigger points can refer pain either locally or to another location in the body usually along nerve pathways.
Treatment of trigger points also involves adding direct pressure long enough to release the tension and deactivate the site, but not too long or hard that it bruises soft tissue or risks damaging surrounding organs. Once trigger sites have be deactivated, use stretching to elongate the structures affected along their natural range of motion.
Ask the trainers for more information, or tips for common trigger point sites and I hope to see you rolling around the gym soon!