Some like it HARD-Rolling on a PVC Pipe vs softer approaches

A recent conversation made me start thinking about whether all this rolling of muscles on foam rollers, yoga balls or PVC Pipe was creating burst veins/broken capillaries on rolled parts and whether the entire concept of fascia relief was just a bunch of BS.

Add to that-if releasing the fascia that formed to support injured areas was a good thing at all?

For those who exercise often or those who used to exercise often and never stretched before or afterwards, the concept of loosening up the connective fascia tissue offers an enticing belief that fascia is the evil maker of all aches and pains AND that it can be manipulated into submission by rolling with any apparatus hard or soft.

Hmmmm.

Or is fascia release just a trendy gym fad?

In talking to people who use their bodies for a living professionally, their knowledge of how to use or not use the various rolling and massage tools exceeds what the old fart gym rats would have or come to believe as taught by their instructors.

All they know is they feel better and they gladly offer testimonials for how rolling on hard PVC pipe rollers has changed their lives for the better.

Is that point of view really about that people want everything fast? That slow and steady doesn’t win the race and that the time-starved just want relief NOW?

About 10 years ago I popped my hamstring and was out of commission from doing anything that included jumping or running. So I started doing yoga.

I walked into the intermediate yoga class and the haughty instructor asked me if I had every taken yoga.

Uh, no.

But I am flex-y except for my busted hamstring. She let me stay and I took yoga faithfully for months after I regained use of my hamstring. She was a great teacher. I stopped yoga when it became the gym in-thing and the classes became a competition where people fought to be in the front on their certain mat and all the BS that is not truly yoga.

Anyway.

I nursed myself back to health slowly over 3 months-had a few acupuncture sessions.  This time in my life was before PT was my go-to answer for anything that hurt.

OK

I like to think of myself as knowledgeable enough to use an apparatus properly-so, couple that with the fact that the instructor is a self-promoting d*ck, so I’ve never been to class.

Obviously mostly because the person is a d*ck.

So I’ll speak to my own experience with attempting to dislodge my fascia via physical manipulation with a trainer instead of an inanimate object aka PVC pipe.

I tried FST or Fascia something something about a year ago. The concept of breaking up connective tissue that had scarred into place to help me function somehow made sense to me. That I could have increased flexibility was enticing.

I have to admit that the sessions felt good-stretching instead of mashing (the trainer has opinions about mashing via PVC pipe and rollers).  Working with a trainer, the client mainly is stretched to start breaking up the connective tissue (fascia) that has scarred into place.

After my second session I noticed that my knee started acting up. I’ve had IT band type issues that once one thing acts up, everything falls apart.

You know like the song- the ankle bone connected to the shin bone the shin bone connected to the…..

So at this point I went to my third session with trepidation. Instead of working on my legs which were in pain at this point, the trainer worked on my shoulders and neck.

I drew the line at my neck since I was already thinking the FST caused my issues with my knee.

Fast forward a year later-I had multiple sessions of PT to reset my left leg-once one old injury  was fixed another one flared up.  This time around I learned that if I stuck to GENTLE self-massage, ice, elevation and using my vibrating roller pretty much any injury will heal.

From my point of view-the fascia connective tissue had scarred into a place where my old injuries were supported and although not working perfectly, they worked properly.

Lesson learned?

Human beings were created to function and heal on their own meaning the fascia scars have a purpose.

And that PVC Pipe and destroying connective tissues is just a fad.

Seriously, where are the medical studies that support either approach-hard or physical manipulation? Some people may be helped with mashing themselves-but, could they have been helped anyway by another means?

Thought.