I was at the gym last week watching people use a hamstring roller. What’s that? It’s a foam roller used to roll out and massage tight hamstring muscles. The problem is that according to one study, it didn’t work. Why?
I’d like to explain by using myself as the example. My back has been a little “tweaky” since my time at Hospital for Special Surgery two weeks ago, where I was in heavy lead for most of the day watching interventional spine cases with one of their docs. Sitting at the computer today, I turned suddenly to the right to watch a touch down on TV and felt a twinge in my low back on the left. After that my left hamstring became tight. Do I need a foam roller? No. I tweaked my left S1 low back nerve which goes to the hamstring, but my back doesn’t really hurt much. Shouldn’t my back hurt if the nerve I tweaked is in the low back? No, because this nerve supplies the hamstring, so anything that happens to this nerve will be felt there and in the lower foot.
So those folks at the gym rolling their hearts out? Take this 5 Minute Orthopedics 2.0 Symmetry Test Now! Muscles are chronically tight either because of bio mechanical problems (you’re moving wrong) or irritated nerves. While a foam roller might be an easy quick fix, it’s also avoiding the real problem and preventing that issue from being addressed!
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About the Author
Christopher J. Centeno, M.D. is an international expert and specialist in regenerative medicine and the clinical use of mesenchymal stem cells in orthopedics. He is board certified in physical medicine as well as rehabilitation and in pain management through The American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.…