Roll fibro pain away

The Thera-Roll®, which has deep grooves on its surface, gets to the trigger points to release them more effectively.

by Betsy Timmerman — 

One of the most effective and affordable tools for pain relief is the foam roller. Often used for relaxing muscles after workouts, athletes really appreciate the relief they get from post-exertional tightness after a “roll out.”

The foam roller is an excellent way to release trigger points in painful fibromyalgia muscles. If done consistently, this form of “free” therapy can have you feeling better in short order.

Almost any muscle in the human body can be freed from the ropey and tight feeling experienced with myofascial pain or fibromyalgia.

To use a roller effectively, you need to get on the floor and literally sit on it to loosen tightness in the buttocks and hamstrings. As you roll slowly and carefully while balancing with your arms on the floor, you will feel the muscles release. You can roll onto your side to target the iliotibial band and onto your tummy to get the hips, pelvic muscles and quadriceps.

It is best to hold each section you are working on for about seven seconds. This is enough time to release the trigger points, which keep the muscles tight. You will gain more range of motion and freedom to stretch than was possible before. Stretching is crucial to keeping your pain under control, and the foam roller does an excellent job of stretching the fascia, as well as getting to the underlying muscles and connective tissues.

If you cannot get off the floor easily, smaller rollers can be used with a chair. Target your inner thigh muscles by simply standing and squeezing the foam roller between them.

I prefer using the Thera-Roll®, which has deep grooves on its surface. These grooves get to the trigger points to release them more effectively. When used once or twice a day, you will find that you are able to stand straighter, walk farther and breathe easier.

Do not underestimate the necessity of addressing the amount of tightness you experience. The looser you become, the more energy you will have, and your pain will reduce with each session.


Betsy Timmerman is a certified myotherapist and exercise therapist, a fibromyalgia educator and a therapeutic lifestyle educator (helping people through food planning, supplementation and exercise). She works with people who suffer from pain but specializes in fibromyalgia recovery plans for patients stuck in their recovery., or 623-251-7547.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 32, Number 1, February/March 2013.

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