A few months ago, I had a laparoscopic surgery performed on my ankle. A small bone fragment that I had from a fracture had to be removed. And even though the procedure was minor, it’s still a surgical procedure which the body has to recover from. I was recommended swimming and massage therapy from my surgeon, which I wanted to start as soon as the stitches were removed from my foot.
A friend of mine works at a remedial/sports/deep tissue massage clinic, so naturally, I went to him for an advice. He told me that half an hour massage session costs about $50 if not even more, and as a student with a part time job I just couldn’t afford it. However, he told me about the next-best thing – a massage roller.
So as soon as I got home, I sat down on my computer and found a massage roller that I can massage my foot with. I also googled about the advantages and disadvantages that both therapy and a massage roller have, and I quickly found out that while there are small differences, the benefits and the similarities far exceed the differences. Both help recovery, you can perform a self-myofascial release, improved blood circulation and increased joint range of motion.
For those of you that don’t know, a self-myofascial release is a technique that massage therapists use. In order to achieve the release long-duration, low-load dragging force is applied across layers of soft tissues. This technique of release is achievable by the roller as well as a therapist. Next, by performing these movements, you improve your blood circulation. And as you all probably know, blood carries oxygen throughout the body, which is crucial to your overall health.
For myself personally, the most important benefit of a massage roller is the increased joint range motion and improved flexibility of my ankle. Before the surgery, my ankle movement was very limited. After the surgery, it was significantly improved, however I still couldn’t perform some movements without experiencing slight pain. Roller exercises greatly increased the flexibility and the range of motion my ankle had.
The best thing about all of these benefits? They come at an extremely low cost (a roller costs a fraction of the cost of ONE therapy sessions) and are extremely versatile products. You can use them to deal with almost any type of pain, and to improve workout recovery. You can use them to gain muscle strength and to stretch out before workouts. Very versatile indeed!