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Foam Roller ≠ Doctor

Posted Jan 28 2013 3:10pm

I love that people are taking their {running} health seriously by stretching, cross training, yoga-ing, foam rolling and being generally awesome, responsible runners.

You go.

CT  CTH rollerfit.jpg

Pink devil.

I’m proud of all of you.

But we need to talk about something. Like, how the foam roller isn’t a doctor. I know all the articles are telling you that if you foam roll til you can’t walk anymore and stretch all day every day that your IT Band syndrome will miraculously disappear.

Wrong.

Just…wrong.

But why? Well, because injuries are complicated. It’s not just confused, pissed off muscle fibers that tangle up for no reason. There are lots of reasons.

Like opposing muscle weakness.

Like funky foot patterns.

Like terrible running form.

Like tightness somewhere seemingly unrelated (but it IS related ‘cuz everything’s related!)

Like misaligned structures in your foot…

…or hips…

…or head or neck or ribcage or scapula.

You get the picture, right? There is no amount of foam rolling and stretching and icing that can realign your pelvis by joint manipulation of your hip flexors and activation of your glutes.

See? That’s a lot for someone who’s NOT a physical therapist to diagnose and do. First of all, you can’t manipulate most of your own joints. It’s just not happening. Second, you can’t watch yourself run from all angles to diagnose imbalances. And third, you can’t treat yourself.

Just 'cuz I wear the scrubs doesn't mean I treat myself. I have a whole list of professionals I see for my bod.

Just ‘cuz I wear the scrubs doesn’t mean I treat myself. I have a whole list of professionals I see for my bod.

Let me ask you a question? Did you go to school for an extra 2-4 years of grad school and get licensed by the state and are you considered an expert in the field of musculoskelatal movement? No? Oh.

THEN WHY ARE YOU DIAGNOSING AND TREATING YOUR INJURIES???

I get it. You know a lot about your body and running. You’ve maybe “fixed” this problem before (but did you if it came right back when you ramped up your mileage?).

But you’re not an expert. You’re not a doctor.

Yo. Bad form.

Yo. Bad form.

If you have a problem, see a doctor. Most physical therapists these days are doctors of physical therapy. They are experts. This is their thing. Go see them.

The foam roller is not a doctor, nor is it a cure-all for running injuries. Get it taken care of before it keeps you from your next PR.

Now go out and run.


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