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Thursday, 5 May 2011

Enter the foam roller

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Having had a day off yesterday- which may have included a little wandering in the hills, and a small amount of climbing, - nothing serious, and nothing that could be construed as physical training- my legs are still feeling a little heavy.

After some consideration of posture, and reading up through some muscle balance and myofascial books I have recognised that I appear to have a small amount of what some body workers would call "Lower Cross Syndrome".
Basically, my Pelvis is being anteriorly rotated- in effect giving me increased curvature of the lumbar spine, the impression of a slight belly, and the apparent inability to touch my toes because of short hamstrings.
Now, the reason for all this is tight quads.

My quads are quite strong, and it would seem, do not like switching off- when I sit, when I stand, when I do anything, they are constantly on- Rectus Femoris - the main one which crosses both the knee and the hip joint is the main culprit. As it is on all the time, a Reciprocal Inhibition effect causes my glutes and my hamstrings to switch off- causing the tiliting of the pelvis.

The result of this over years and years appears to be that the thorocolumbar fascia - the fascia that connects around the lower part of my back has gradually been shortening and tightening - helping to keep my pelvis in this position so as to take the strain off the rectus femoris (and, probably psoas as well). Isn't the body wonderful at adapting- even when you dont want it to.
Net result, I can't touch my toes, not because of short hamstrings, but because of an anteriorly tilted pelvis- the result of tight hip flexors- rec fem and psoas.

What to be done? Apart from long and continuous massage - which although nice, would not necessarily be time or effort efficient, I shall be using the foam roller with a veangeance for a while. My Rec Fem needs some severe work being done on it, and that can be done most efficiently with various massage techniques. However, I can make my time on the table more productive by foam rollering my quads on a daily basis. Not exactly steamrollering them into submission, but if I can help them relax, and roll out the adhesions between the muscles, loosening off the fascia around them, it will mean that the therapist doesnt have to spent 20 mins of their time each time I see them. They can concentrate on the important stuff which will actually help me rather than try to to maintenence on my legs which I can quite easily do on my own.

Right I'm off to find the roller.


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