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Can Foam Rolling Relieve Knee Pain?

In many cases, YES! Foam Rolling is a great way to promote myofascial release in the connective tissue surrounding your muscles. Foam rolling also encourages circulation and blood flow in tight, hyperactive, and congested muscles, especially the large muscles of the legs. Often times the lateral quads (vastus lateralis) becomes tight due to its dominance among all four of the quadriceps. This can cause the patella to pull laterally and cause aggravation in and around the knee. There are many other causes for knee pain, but oftentimes foam rolling can help release built up tension and provide immediate relief.

Think of foam rolling as a seek and destroy mission. Your goal is to slowly and steadily roll your muscles while feeling for “hot spots”. These are the areas that feel tender or tight. Once discovered, hold steady and breathe deeply as you sink into the roller. Adjust pressure as needed to massage and penetrate the foam roller into these “hot spots”. While doing so, keep in mind it takes at least 20-30 seconds for the muscle spindles to unwind and release. Initially, when muscles sense pressure, they contract and tense up. Try to breathe through the discomfort. You should feel some relief after about 30-40 seconds of rolling on a tender area.

Spend at least 2-3 minutes rolling your legs before AND after a workout to continue to promote myofascial release and balance in your muscles. As always, work within YOUR pain free range and meet YOUR body where it is.

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