Dr. Quinn talks about the limited impact passive mobility implements actually have on structures and physiology.
In regards to mobility implements, there is not a whole lot of evidence to show what type of physiological effect, there’s still a lot of hypothesis, you know, we’ll talk about bringing blood flow to the area, almost creating a squeegee effect, where you squeeze the fluid out of the tissues and then after you’re done rolling, then the tissues come back in. A lot of those things are thrown in as narratives, but however there’s not a whole lot of actual data to back it up. It’s really just all hypothesis and this is an article that’s frequently cited, it’s a 3Dmodel and they’re actually looking at manual therapy not foam rolling but, the forces, as far as compression and shear, the forces that would be required to create changes in fascial tissue like the IT band or the plantar fascia, were very very high, seemingly beyond the normal physiological realm, beyond what would be realistic in the clinic. With the type of forces that you would need to actually shear or change the IT band or plantar fascia, which are common areas that the foam roller accounts for, you would probably need forces that would tear through your flesh.
And so, just thinking about plausibility here, it just doesnt make a whole lot of sense when we talk about the narratives that are commonly put out like : « it’s releasing adhesions »; « we’re breaking up scar tissue ». How are we selectively breaking up the scar tissue that we don’t want but yet sparing the nerves and the muscles and all the tissues that we do want somehow, and not breaking the skin. The plausibility is just not quite there.
If the roller could do those things, well what would a 300lbs barbell on our traps do? You would have permanent dents in your upper traps if that was the type of, if we we’re made of clay in that way. You would never have an adhesion in your upper trap. You’d also never have an adhesion in your glutes because sitting for 5 minutes would turn your ass into a square.
That whole side of « you’re changing your tissues » or molding your body like clay with the foam roller, lacrosse ball or whatever, it’s just not plausible, there’s no evidence currently behind it. It doesn’t mean there’s not an effect there (…) but on the structural side of things, probably not, at least based on the current evidence.
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