As coaches who hear about aches and pains everyday, the response given to most athletes is almost always to utilize a foam roller. That is a pretty sub par answer, (if you ask my opinion), many times the underlying issues are movement/positional related. The big issue to be discussed though is how a lot of times no one ever explains exactly how foam rolling should be done, or discusses if it beneficial to foam roll at all.
Everyday I see people in the gym (and I’ve been one to do it myself), place a foam roller beneath their back and gently roll up and down the spine, or possibly just lie down and use their roller as a pillow.
Soft tissue work is important, and especially for those who already have mobility issues. Foam rolling properly is key for loosening and lengthening the muscles to a point in which they can be put in the right positions.
Many people know where they hurt and where they have issues, but they don’t want to, or don’t understand that they need to go through the discomfort to resolve the issue. So when a person is thinking of hanging out on painful tissues with something that is hard enough to begin breaking it up, seems like the worst option or even the wrong one.
Luckily one of the experts in the field, Vaughn Weightlifting Mobility Coach Adam White, explains in the video below the proper technique of foam rolling, as well as the importance of a varying stiffness of the foam roller itself.