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If you’re a regular gym user, top club runner or someone who regularly participate in outdoors sports activities or fitness classes and events, you probably have used a foam roller for fascia release purposes.

Personal trainers and physiotherapist alike have been very outspoken about the use of foam rollers and their potential benefits to alleviate the iliotibial band tightness (ITB). Both groups have as many practitioners advocating the use of foam rollers as those warning against this type of therapy.

Research has shown that there isn’t conclusive evidence yet regarding the benefits of rolling the ITB. Certainly, this have been supported by different positions taken by the industry professionals. Some of the studies show that these is no clear benefits to rolling the ITB , while others show a clear correlation between the practice of rolling it regularly and the alleviation of ITB tightness.

The current discrepancies on the matter brings different professionals to suggest one or the other theory. Some of them will support their arguments with scientific research or/and data, some of them in less accurate arguments but with their own personal experience.

And meanwhile we’re waiting for a conclusive research study that throws some more clarity on the matter, more and more professionals are taking positions and offering arguments whether the foam rollers are useful or not to treat the ITB.

In my opinion the benefits of using the foam roller on the ITB outweighs the benefits or not using it. I could include a long list of research studies here to back this up, but I prefer to leave that up to the reader to make their own conclusions.

As a coach an athlete, the feedback that I have from my athletes and myself after rolling the ITB has been extremely positive, reporting immediate relief of joints crossed by the ITB and low back.

I do recommend also to use the foam roll on other areas like quads, hamstrings, calves and glutes for a much better result and reducing tightness overall. If using the foam roller on the ITB is particularly painful, there are some techniques than can help to apply less pressure on the area and still being effective.

For further information about foam rolling, or to book a fitness consultation or training session please contact Francisco at Born to Train today!

Foam Rolling