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This blog is another opportunity to feel grateful. Thank you, dear Universe, you continue to bless me with recovery and health.
I was introduced to a lightweight, cylindrical tube-like structure by my Iyengar Yoga mentor. He asked me to roll it through my pain and work on the affected muscle tightness and knots to reduce the sensation of muscle pain.’’
I had never imagined that my life would change from ordinary to rare with unimaginable symptoms. The diagnosis of my rare disease left me racing against time.
Pre-diagnosis I lived a cheerful life full of activities. I loved to ride on my favourite road, play table tennis, and take a walk on the beach.
But times change……..
In 2016 I was diagnosed with a rare disease called Isaacs’ Syndrome. Isaacs’ is a neuromuscular health condition that stems from muscle hyperactivity. My lift post-diagnosis underwent a drastic change. In the process, I also discovered that I had Lyme disease. Lyme is a bacterial illness that gets transmitted through ticks. I was also accompanied by Glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye-related disease that damages the optic nerves. And Membranous Glomerulonephritis is a progressive kidney disease.
My identity crisis
I realized that grief doesn’t just apply to death, it also applies when one loses the ability to live life up to the mark.
At first, I struggled to get a diagnosis. And then some years down the track, I wear a badge of being a rare and chronic patient. There was so much relief, confusion, and many other revelations. I never realized that my rare disease would cripple my thoughts and make it physically extremely challenging.
I was hyperactive with a list of symptoms with lots of muscle pain. They just added to my current body of literature with neuromuscular problems. Muscle tightness and tension with fasciculations and cramps became a common phenomenon. I had intense body pain and weakness with poor digestion and immunity. Many a time, I went out of breath with active mental stress.
After having discussions with my doctor, I discovered that there was muscle degeneration. My rare and chronic diseases were altering the connective tissue properties. The result was a progressive decline in muscle mass and strength functionalities.
Since then, I began to perceive things differently than I did before.
Today, I’m reflecting on something that I implemented in my daily life for pain relief, and it worked. Though using a Foam Roller for muscle pain management might sound simple and stupid…………but it works!!
Post-diagnosis, I started to educate myself about what I was dealing with. The facts opened up and I understood myself better. I learned to accept my vulnerabilities and respect them.
The Beginners Guide to Foam Rollers
Foam rollers are cylindrical tools designed for self-massage. They are muscle tension-releasing devices.
They benefit the core muscle issues and help with pain and muscle tightness. They are known to send messages to the brain to calm the nervous system. The process helps relieve inflammation and increase movement. The technique has lately gained immense popularity.
I was prescribed to buy a smooth and denser form of roller that is gentle on the muscles. The decision was based on a roller’s ability to almost benefit everyone.
I tried to understand some details before including it in my daily routine:
A form roller is usually cylindrical with its length varying. It is available in a range of shapes and sizes. It can be used as a warm-up exercise which enhances blood flow. It increases muscle flexibility and reduces tension.
The most important question for me was to check the safety measures.
Is form roller safe for me?
Generally, it is considered safe.
They prove good for muscle tightness. However, it should be avoided if one has a serious injury, muscle tear, etc. It is safe to consult a doctor in such cases. Also, rolling over small joints is not recommended.
I did my trial and error before a suitable pick. Generally, my use was pre- and post-yoga sessions.
The results were quick. After a couple of sessions, it proved a great tool in reducing my muscle soreness and stiffness.
The best way to use a roller
- Start with light pressure and build it up with practice.
- Adjust the pressure as it might get painful due to muscle weakness.
- Roll muscle tissues and avoid the joints like knees and elbows.
- Regular use is better.
My foam roller played a crucial role in managing my muscle pain and discomfort. The exercises using it helped in alleviating symptoms.
My after-use benefits
- It is less time-consuming and portable due to its lightweight.
- It eased my muscle-related pain, especially the tension in my back and thigh region.
- It improved my range of motion. Comparatively, I felt flexible.
- It broke my muscle tightness which otherwise remained throughout the day.
- I felt relaxed the rest of the day with an easiness to move better.
- I could continue with my yoga regime with better energy levels.
- It worked on my core flexibility with an increase in blood flow.
Sharing a foam roller is not wise. There are obvious health concerns associated with sweating, etc. Even if you are the sole user, cleaning the roller surfaces is recommended as it digs into a dirty floor or mat.
To sum up
Foam rolling can be an effective way to ease muscle tension. It can be an important tool for reducing aches and pains. It can be used as an effective technique for cooling down after exercises.
It is recommended to talk to a doctor before adding any new tools to your daily exercise routine.
Though researchers might be on their job to highlight further integrities on the subject but in my experience, it is a great low-cost and self-massaging tool.
It works well for my kind of need. It justified its place in my self-care routine to instantly ease pain in my glute, tailbone region, and hamstrings.
Having said that doesn’t mean that a form roller is a cure to all.
The views expressed above in this article are the author’s own and do not represent any kind of medical advice.