Soft Tissue Work for Prevention & Relief

Discussion in 'Injuries and Prevention' started by Socrastein, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Socrastein

    Socrastein The Boxing Philosopher

    I see a lot of posts in this section that detail injuries, strains, and general pain that often sounds due, at least in part, to poor soft tissue quality of the muscles in question.

    While a lot of serious injuries, such as ligament tears or joint subluxations, can and should be handled by a professional, there is a lot you can still do to help relieve your pain, speed your recovery, and prevent future incidences from reoccurring.

    Even if you don't have any serious injuries or haven't recently, soft tissue work can help keep it that way. It helps improve your flexibility, mobility, tissue quality, and it can relieve the entrapment of nerves and blood vessels that can cause tingling, burning, hot sensations, etc.

    I recommend getting a quality foam roller and a lacrosse ball as a basic self care package to start with.

    Eric Cressey has a fantastic video that shows some key areas to hit with the foam roller.

    [ame=""]Foam Roller Series[/ame]

    Tony Gentilcore also wrote a great article on using a tennis ball (a good starting point if you are really jacked up) for self massage. It includes some detailed information on why your muscles hurt and what the rolling does for them.

    I also highly recommend you get the Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Clair Davies. Gentilcore mentions it in the article, though he mistakenly refers to Clair as a she! You can usually find it at Barnes and Noble or something similar for around $20.

    As a general rule of thumb, healthy tissues never hurt so spend the most time on the areas that are the most painful to press into. You don't have to bruise yourself, use as much pressure as you can handle and over time you will notice the areas that used to feel like agony starting to hurt so good.

    When should you do it?

    It works great as the first part of your warm-up. This will help prevent injury, loosen up your muscles for the workout, and even promote blood-flow throughout the major muscle groups. If you have time afterward, you can roll again to help diminish the amount of tension and soreness you experience the next couple days, as well as to again help force blood in and out of your muscles. I myself and others find this helps a lot with recovery.

    I also have a foam roller and some extra lacrosse balls at home that my wife and I roll around on if we're watching TV or a movie, as do many of my clients. Who thought you could actually improve your tissue quality and posture while watching TV?
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  2. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

  3. Socrastein

    Socrastein The Boxing Philosopher

    Yeah, I thought about including that one and a couple others, wasn't sure how many links is too many.

    I definitely second the recommendation to get a professional massage. Just make sure that you find a really good masseuse, not just a fancy lotion pusher (they're a dime a dozne).

    It should feel like you're being stabbed (it will be very painful), and you should notice you're instantly more mobile and stronger the next day by a small percentage. If it doesn't, you may feel great, but you won't get much long term.

    I saw a guy once who was able to fix an injured muscle I had that had been an issue for years. I nearly passed out from the pain, I felt like I was seized up and could barely breath (it was an injured itercostal muscle). It felt just like when I had first injured it.

    100% worth it. Haven't had an issue with it since, and my squat has improved :) When they know they're stuff, they can fix you and fix you fast. Unfortunately he was in another state, otherwise I'm sure another visit or two would have had me back to normal completely. Luckily I can continue on my own with my [ame=""]thera cane[/ame].

    If you can REALLY, afford it, get some professional Graston or ART performed on you. The ART website has a nice find a provider function.
  4. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    I like Cressey's stuff alot. Rock solid. His lecture on Bulletproof Knee's is great! The vid is out there and kicking around. Let me know if you can't find it.
  5. Custom Volusia

    Custom Volusia Valued Member

    Marked for later viewing when Youtube isn't blocked.
  6. Cavedweller

    Cavedweller Valued Member

    Great stuff so far guys. Thanks very much. Anyone ever had any experience of a device called "the stick" ? There is a physio store near me and they showed me one of these today. Looks like something you could make up yourself for a quater of the price!
  7. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

  8. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    I've got one of these bad boys - [ame=""]Body Back Buddy: Health & Beauty[/ame]

    They should be handed out to Special Forces soldiers as part of their torture resistance training.

    Foam roller is great, but I often just use it to identify exactly where the trigger points are. Then I get to work.
  9. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Nice, I've not seen one of those before.
  10. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    TBH I have always found a way to just use a normal walking stick that you can get from a charity shop to much the same thing.. and for about £28.00 cheaper...


  11. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    I think you'd struggle to get the same level of coverage. Honestly, that thing has been one of the best H+F investments I've made.

    I'd say you wont regret getting one, but that would be a lie. You'll regret it over and over again.
  12. liero

    liero Valued Member

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