Rolling out tension offers much needed repair to sore muscles.

Over the past few years, foam rollers have become a staple for many a fitness routine. For physically active folk, foam rollers provide the kind of deep tissue muscle relief that hurts a bit, but in the good way, providing relief from tense, overworked muscles.   

Gary Taylor, owner of Go! Running, says he sees a spike in foam roller sales at his store in January when local runners start upping their daily mileage in preparation for the Little Rock Marathon.  

“Rolling is similar to a deep tissue massage,” Taylor said. “It helps relieve soreness by breaking down muscle adhesions and/or scar tissue. Used regularly, it even helps to lengthen muscles and prevent the onset of overuse issues. Some people just like [using] a roller as it can be very relaxing.”

Taylor recommends looking into Trigger Point brand foam rollers, which are made with a PVC pipe core that keeps its shape and lasts longer than other brands. For a less aggressive fix, look for rollers without PVC pipe.

For runners in particular, Taylor suggests focusing on a few different areas to help reduce pain and get back on their regular running schedules. 

“Common areas of the body are the calves, to remove soreness from long runs, and even loosen calf muscles to alleviate pain from plantar fasciitis; the hamstrings for similar reasons; the buttocks to relieve piriformis syndrome; and the back to help sciatic pain, or to just relieve tension,” Taylor said. “Many other areas such as the IT band and neck can all benefit from being rolled.”

To shop Go! Running’s foam roller selection, head to their website or stop by the store for a consultation.