Myofascial release therapy is one of the best ways to deal with chronic pain caused by shortening of the fascia of muscle tissues in diseases such as myofascial release syndrome or fibromyalgia, chronic conditions that result in a problem for the quality of life of the sufferer.
One of the best products for self-massage is undoubtedly the electric foam roller, which thanks to its vibrating function manages to generate a more pleasant and effective effect than the classic foam roller that we all know. That’s why today we’ll show you how to choose the ideal vibrating foam roller for you.
How can myofascial release therapy improve my health according to science?
Myofascial release therapy is a massage technique that although it has been little studied by conventional medicine, millions of users around the world claim to have a considerable improvement in their quality of life since they begin to implement it to relieve chronic and intractable pain. Although it has been little studied by science, it is still a therapy based on massage or massotherapy, so we can intuit that its benefits will be the same.
Among them we can highlight the following:
- It improves the circulatory system: the friction generated with the skin during the massage process causes the capillaries of the skin and the blood vessels of the musculature to dilate, which automatically increases the blood flow in the treated area considerably. In addition, when the muscles are massaged, they begin to generate histamine, a very beneficial substance that enters the bloodstream to be dispersed throughout the body, causing the blood vessels to dilate and strengthen causing an improvement in blood flow in a generalised way.
- Strengthens muscles: by improving blood flow and dilating the vessels in the muscles, the muscles are better able to absorb the nutrients we consume when we eat and hydrate, making them stronger and more resistant to injuries of all kinds.
- Eliminates tension in muscles and joints: massaging makes the soft tissues stretch and reduces tension in them, making both muscles and joints feel more relaxed and free of stiffness due to the stress that accumulates over time.
- Better synovial fluid: by increasing blood flow and allowing the soft tissues to be better nourished, the bursae of the joints are strengthened, allowing them to withstand more synovial fluid so that thanks to this, there is better shock absorption when doing high-intensity sports.
- Increases the speed of nerve transmission: massage therapy generates an increase in the excitation threshold that accelerates nerve responses and improves the transmission of these signals, which will improve both muscle response and reaction speed, as well as the basic functioning of several vital organs.
But myofascial release therapy is not limited to these benefits, since being oriented to a specific task, we can mention other benefits such as:
- Releases tension in the fascia: the deep tissue that connects muscles to joints, blood vessels and nerves often shortens as a result of accumulated tension from stress, or loss of nutrients and elasticity as a result of age.
- Increases the range of joint movement: self-massage with the Foam Roller is an excellent exercise that will provide elasticity to ligaments and tendons, which in turn will increase the range of joint mobility in a natural way, making them more resistant to injury.
What should I consider when choosing the best electric massage roller?
Now that you are clear about the benefits you will receive by performing myofascial self-release with an electric Foam Roller, it is time to know in detail all the aspects you should take into consideration when choosing your vibrating foam roller.
Therefore, we will now tell you what they are:
The first thing you should take into account is the dimensions of your roller, as these will determine its usefulness and how many parts of your body you will be able to exercise with it. In this sense, the two dimensions that we must take into account are the width and the diameter of the roller’s circumference.
The ideal length is at least 30 cm (12 in), which is the average width of an adult’s back, so any roller with this measurement or slightly more than this will be ideal for you. As for the diameter, generally try not to exceed 14 cm (5.5 in) as this will be the distance your body will be suspended while using it, and in some areas such as the back and neck it can create tension if it is raised too high.
In this case the materials will define the durability of the product, but also the quality of the vibrations and their effect on the muscle tissues. In this case, the best material is undoubtedly vinyl acetate or EVA rubber, which is soft on the skin, and allows the percussion of the vibrations to be better transferred to the user’s soft tissues. It also retains its shape for a long time despite repeated use.
Other alternatives to EVA are PE or Polyethylene, and PTT or expanded polypropylene. Both are good options although they lose their shape and firmness over time, so they are generally used in non-vibrating rollers, although you can find models on the market with vibrating percussion, but their durability will not be the same.
The power of our Foam Roller is directly linked to the vibration. This is important to bear in mind because, contrary to popular belief, you do not need a very high power to achieve an efficient massage with the vibrating roller. The simple action of myofascial massage is efficient enough to relieve pain and achieve effective myofascial release, and only a few revolutions are needed to boost it.
Although many rollers are capable of generating over 2000 RPM, you will most likely not exceed the average intensity level of about 1000 RPM, and may want to go down to 600 RPM when working on areas such as the back or neck.
If you have previously owned an electric massager, you may feel that 2000 RPM is too low as massage sticks or the most basic of foot massagers can reach at least 4000 RPM, but bear in mind that these are different products, and using more than 2000 RPM in myofascial release therapy can lead to more problems than benefits.
Unlike power, having a wide range of speeds is 100% beneficial, as this will allow you more customisation options. This is not to say that a 6 speed electric foam roller is more powerful than a 4 speed, both can be capped at 2500 RPM, but with the former you will have a greater variety of options on the way from the 1000 RPM to the 2500 RPM it is capable of generating.
Because of this you will have a greater amount of intensities that you can apply to different muscle groups, as on the back it may only be enough to apply around 600 revolutions, but on denser muscles such as the pectorals or legs, you may need to use 1500 RPM or more. So having multiple speeds at your disposal will allow you to use the same product on more parts of the body for targeted work.
This is undoubtedly one of the most important features to consider, as it would be a crime to run out of battery in the middle of a myofascial release or pilates session. In this respect there is not much to say, the more milliamps the battery contains, the better it will be for you. However, don’t get your hopes up with long battery life, the top end of the range has a maximum of 3500mAh, which will allow you to use it for about 3 sessions of 30 minutes without needing to be charged again.
The textures are an extra that is always valued in a foam roller, as this generates direct stimulation on the honey, which allows a generalised feeling of relaxation, which will make it much more pleasant to use the roller. But it also allows dedicated pressure to be applied to various parts of the body.
You can find a huge number of textures on the market, but you can be sure that the difference in the efficiency of the massage between them is practically nil, or at least there is no scientific study that proves any variation in this regard. So whichever one you choose, it will be the right decision.
It is important to buy from websites or brands that offer a 30-day money-back guarantee in the event of a manufacturing defect. This not only reflects the company’s confidence in their product, but will also give you security and confidence in your purchase. All our products come with a 2 year warranty.
Everyone is always looking for the cheapest product, but what you should be looking for is value for money, i.e. value for money. You should choose the most important features of your ideal Foam Roller and put them above all else. In this sense, the most logical thing to do is to prioritise battery life, dimensions, materials and vibration speeds. Sacrificing aspects such as unnecessary power and textures. This will allow you to get the best vibrating roller for you at the best possible price.
How to use an electric vibrating massage roller?
There are two ways to use the vibrating foam roller; to improve sports performance and to release myofascial tension. Here’s how they both work.
Improving sports performance
The most important benefits for athletes and sportsmen and women are to increase muscular endurance, improve joint range of motion and strengthen and give elasticity to the soft tissues to make them more resistant to injury. To do this simply include a full body Foam Roller routine in your weekly routine, and do at least 3 sessions a week
Using the Foam Roller is simple, you just have to:
- Turn on the foam roller.
- Choose the speed of the vibration, remember that this will depend on the area of the body to be worked, but never exceed 2500 RPM.
- Adopt the position that will stimulate the part of the body you want to exercise.
- Roll slowly from side to side or hold the position for several seconds.
When you finish, be sure to stretch your body well to stay relaxed for longer and better assimilate the lactic acid you will generate during the exercise.
Release myofascial tension
If you regularly suffer from muscle soreness in the area where you’ve been injured in the past, or anywhere else for no apparent reason, your fascia may be harbouring some trigger points. Fascia is the tissue that connects muscles to blood vessels, bones and nerves, and over time it tends to shorten in some areas, creating a point of tension in the muscle tissue there.
Using the Foam Roller can be an ideal alternative to reduce their appearance and relieve the pain they cause. In addition, it will also release a huge amount of tension in your body that can lead to worse problems if it builds up in the future.
What you need to do is:
- The first thing to do is to locate the trigger point. This is done by feeling around the area of pain or the muscles adjacent to it, until you locate a small spot or band of muscle that feels tight or hard.
- Once you have done this you should turn on and set the power of your foam roller.
- Now take the necessary position to position the trigger point on the surface of the vibrating foam roller.
- Proceed to roll over it or hold the position for several minutes. The session to achieve an effective release should be at least 20 minutes.
Although foam rolling is most effective in preventing trigger points, once they start to appear, they become a chronic problem known as myofascial pain syndrome. That’s why practising with it regularly should be a healthy habit that we should all adopt.