Exam Room – Roll It Like the Pros
Foam rolling can significantly decrease your chance of injury
By Dr. Chris Miller
Foam rolling is one of the most underrated and missing tools in most golf warm-up routines, as well as in most people’s workout warm-ups. Foam rolling is a crucial part in adding distance off the tee, in playing pain free golf and most importantly in reducing the risk of future injury. Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and the other members of our team have access to daily soft tissue work with our professionals here at ChiroSport Specialists. Most golfers don’t have access to professional help daily so self-myofascial release, in the form of foam rolling, is the next best thing you can do for your golf game.
The benefits of foam rolling include:
- Increases blood flow
- More range of motion and flexibility. More mobility in your back and hips improves rotation which can equal more distance. Back and hip flexibility help you get more distance with less effort.
- Decreases your chance of future injury
- Reduces muscle soreness
Myofascial release is any type of body work helping to increase blood flow to the body. Massages, manual therapy and foam rolling all fit in this category. Foam rolling is one of the best options for the average golfer because it can be done by yourself with only a roller.
Foam rolling increases blood flow to the muscles, warming them up for movement, which is important before golfing and before working out. It helps with increased range of motion by allowing your muscles the release they need to be as flexible as possible. Foam rolling can decrease your chance of injury by reducing overuse of muscles from the golf swing and breaking down scar tissue build up. The best part of foam rolling is that it can help reduce muscle soreness with the increased blood flow to the muscles, which allows you to return to the gym better, and to the golf course ready for another round sooner.
When is the best time to roll
- Before activity
- After activity
- Off days
Foam rolling increases your muscle texture and pliability, by rolling before activity you will be able to get the most out of your stretching routine. Rolling after activity is more of a recovery tool as it acts like a massage, flushing your muscles to help them recover faster. This is the same reason to roll on off days, days you’re not at the gym or on the course, as it helps to maintain your range of motion and reduce any soreness from earlier activities.
What to roll:
- TFL- Muscle on the side of your hip
- Hip flexor- Muscle on the front
- Thoracic spine- Mid-back
- Lats- Underneath armpit on your side
We advise avoid rolling the lumbar spine, or lower back, as it is a very sensitive area. There is not as much padding, and there are many nerves coming out of this area. If your lower back is sore or in pain, come visit us for a personal evaluation and manual treatment. Our website, YouTube channel, Facebook or Instagram page have our informational videos, or better yet, come visit our office for a personal tutorial on how to roll like the pros.
A little myofascial release goes a long way. Just five minutes before you go to the course or before you workout can make a big difference in mobility, recovery and injury prevention.
ChiroSport recommends you roll daily, but at the very least every other day. However, if you are new to rolling, just a couple times a week can still show immense improvement.
Keeping the roller visible in your living room or having one at the office increases your chance of seeing it and therefore using it. Don’t let your foam roller get lost in the closet because if it becomes out of sight, it will be out of mind. There is a chance that you can over-roll as your muscles need recovery time. You wouldn’t get a massage every single day, so rolling 3-4x a day has the possibility to do more harm than good, over stressing your muscles rather than helping them release and recover.
Dr. Chris Miller treats all types of patients, ranging from average patients and professional athletes, including PGA Golfers and the Dallas Stars Hockey Team. For more info about ChiroSport Specialists of Dallas and Dr. Chris Miller please visit www.chirosportspecialists.com or call (972) 239-0010