Monday, August 12, 2013

Using a Foam Roller

After doing 3 marathons in 3 week, I began to finally feel the side effects. Talking to other runners I told them where I was hurting, which was the outside of my knee. I was told it was Iliotibial Band Syndrome(also known as IT band), a typical runner's related injury, due to overuse, and common among women. Oh no I thought! There was no way that I was going to be able to take time off from running.
 Well I figured this was bound to happen to me, considering all of the marathons I've done lately. I had never had any running injuries before, so I didn't know how to go about handling my problem. I was told that I could continue to run as long as I wasn't in too much pain, and to start icing it after my runs.  Incorporating cross training into your workouts also gives your running muscles a break, while using different muscles during the activity.
In addition to those suggestions, I was told to get a foam roller. Now I've seen these before. A cylinder shaped piece of foam that supposedly helps with these type of issues to release the lactic acid build up in your muscles during your run. I hardly thought a piece of foam would help with these problems, but I was wrong. Before buying one I thought I would borrow my friend's first to see if this is something I was even going to use or if it would help. The first time I used really hurt! I thought to myself well it must be working. I decided to finally make the purchase and get one myself.
 I've been using the roller after my runs for several weeks now, and I can definitely tell a difference. It doesn't hurt when I roll, so it must be working! And my leg has improved greatly since I've started. I even did a 12 mile this past weekend, and felt great afterwards. Now if you have a serious issue that has been bothering you, a foam roller is not going to solve all your problems, but it definitely gets the kinks out.
If your muscles ever feel tight after long runs, try a foam roller. If you continue to have problems with certain areas, then you should see a specialist.
To read more about IT Band Syndrome, what causes it, how to treat it, and how to prevent it. 
Do you use a foam roller?  If so, what made you start using it?


  1. I LOVE my foam roller! My trainer stressed the importance of using it after I had ITBS. If I am consistent w it I feel great and notice a difference when I slack off!
    Karen @karenlovestorun

  2. I love foam rolling! It is the best part of CrossFit haha.

  3. I use a foam roller and think it has helped alot to keep me injury free. However, then I do something stupid like bend too low for a tennis ball and injure my piraformis muscle, or squat too low in TRX class and injure my quad muscle. The foam roller is a great way to be proactive with your leg muscles.

  4. Oh yes, IT band syndrome. I've been battling that since March. I found out a huge part of the problem was my shoes, so I've switched, but I still need to strengthen. That darn IT band twinged a little yesterday during my workout so it was a barrage of rolling and icing.

  5. I love foam rolleing! I got one for injury prevention :)