I have been using a Muscle Therapy Foam Roller for about two years now. I noticed my outer thighs were getting very cramped, and could literally feel the knots in my thighs. My massage therapist told me my IT bands were tight, and that a foam roller would help work out the knots. I didn’t even know what an IT band was before this conversation. She was right. (She always is).
I purchased a foam roller from Target. You can find them at every big supermarket in the fitness area, or buy on line. A foam roller is very hard so don’t be fooled by the word “foam”. There is nothing soft about it. And it hurts like a mutha while rolling across my thigh – I mean my IT band.
This is the position I use to roll across my pain. And the pain lessens as the foam roller does its magic. I watched a video on YouTube to learn how to properly use the foam roller. The link above to a foam roller on amazon.com comes with a video. I would suggest that if you have a specific area you want to target, you just cue that into youtube and watch how to relax your particular area.
Foam rollers are great relieving any kind of muscle tightness, so you can use for your back or shoulders too. It’s good for stretching out your muscles after a workout too.
If you have never tried a foam roller, and have some stiffness that just will not go away, do some research and see if one would help you. For about $20 it is well worth the gamble to see if it helps you.
PS, my son the mega athlete, told me he tried a foam roller once at the gym and it didn’t hurt him at all. He didn’t understand what they were for. People like him don’t have pain, or they are just such trained machines they take care of themselves better than me. It’s painful, I dread doing it, but much like working out, it always feels better afterwards!