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Best Foam Rollers for trigger points - Buying Guide: 2022

Muscle pain is a real problem when it becomes chronic. Not only because it is annoying to suffer from, but also because there is often no known cause or apparent reason for it. When this happens, you may be suffering from a myofascial trigger point.

Myofascial trigger points are areas of tension located deep within muscle tissue that cause pain. Fortunately, with the help of a foam roller, it is possible to release these tension points and avoid the pain associated with them.

What is the best foam rollers for trigger points?

321 STRONG - Deep Tissue Massager Roller with Spinal Canal
  • Size: 32,3x13,3cm - 12,75x5,25in
  • Material: EVA foam
  • Colors: 5 Models
  • Weight: 453gr - 1lbs
  • Density: Medium
  • Provides a deep massage with less effort
  • Three different surface textures
  • Capable of working large muscle groups
  • Texture designed to stimulate blood flow
  • Too intense for some people
  • Some people prefer a softer roller
Myofascial release, and activation of blood circulation are the main benefits you will get immediately with the 321 STRONG cotton material roller. If you're looking to have your own personal masseuse, don't hesitate to choose this muscle repairer. This foam roller is constructed with high quality materials that generate precise contact in those areas that need to stimulate blood circulation.

When you use this health ally on a daily basis, you will begin to notice a great change in the tone of your muscles and joint flexibility, which will help you achieve better sports results. This massager is considered as a good tool to prevent injuries, you will only have to use it frequently on the affected parts. In some overloaded muscles the benefit of its use may take longer than it should.

Gimme 10 - Foam Roller for Deep Tissue Massage
  • Size: 33x12,7cm - 12,9x5in
  • Material: Polypropylene (EPP), EVA Rubber, Polyurethane
  • Colors: 6 Models
  • Weight: 775gr - 1,70lbs
  • Density: Medium
  • Perfect for runners, yoga, pilates, etc
  • Three different textures and hardnesses
  • Different models to choose from
  • Provides a deep massage with less effort
  • Too intense for some people
  • Several users report noises with prolonged use
For those who enjoy hiking, cycling and any sporting activity and wish not to miss any workout, the Gimme 10 Foam Massage Roller is the ideal product that you should never forget at home. It is designed with a 3-level intensity spike pattern that is used to act directly on the areas that suffer the most stress. In addition, thanks to its technology it is possible to improve blood irrigation to eliminate toxic substances and lactic acid.

The weight and size, collaborate to move this massager, so you can not make excuses to miss the activities you enjoy most. It is suitable for use by anyone who performs pilates, yoga or who needs to be standing for a long time. Among the most outstanding features is its length and diameter, although these aspects may be uncomfortable in certain injuries.

321 STRONG - Medium Density Deep Tissue Massager Foam Roller for muscle pain
  • Measurements: 31,7x14cm - 12,5x5,5in
  • Material: EVA foam
  • Colors: 15 Models
  • Weight: 326gr - 0,72lbs
  • Density: Medium
  • Different designs to choose from
  • Texture designed to stimulate blood flow
  • Too intense for some people
Many people think that a foam massager is intended for high performance athletes, while this has a lot of truth to it, it is not always the case. A high quality foam massager like the 321 STRONG is the ideal product that can be used by anyone new to massage therapy. Its use requires getting into the correct position to stimulate pressure between the body and the roller to relieve muscle tension.

An innovative design that delivers just the right density of foam to stimulate myofascial release points. By increasing blood flow, the foam roller is an ideal tool to improve sports injuries and achieve faster recovery. It can be used for plantar fasciitis, cervical pain and low back pain, among other ailments. The durability of the materials is good, although in some cases it may fail.

Rollga - Muscle release foam roller for calf, leg and muscle relief
  • Size: 45,7x15,2cm - 18x6in
  • Material: Foam
  • Colors: Orange, Black
  • Weight: 181gr - 0,40lbs
  • Density: Soft
  • Optimal size for proper massage
  • Texture designed to stimulate blood flow
  • No material specified
Choose a mat and lie down on it, then place the Rollga self-massage sion and achieve faster myofascialfoam roller on your calf, thighs or back and start creating pressure gradually. This will make the blood circulate more fluidly, which will help relieve pain, reduce stiffness and prevent the onset of some injuries. As you will see, its use is simple and is not only intended for professionals who need a quick recovery, but for anyone who wants to relieve their pain.

Its contoured shape fits precisely to the muscles, avoiding contact with the tendons and bones of the body . This increases efficiency and ensures more efficient elimination of toxins. Its three hard foam channels contribute to the oxygenation of the fibers, but be aware that in some back injuries this revolutionary design is not efficient.

AMFit - High Density Foam Muscle Roller for sport and runners
  • Measurements: 91,4x15,2cm - 36x6in
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Colors: Black
  • Weight: 453gr - 1lbs
  • Density: Extra high
  • Designed to stimulate blood flow
  • Provides a smooth rolling experience
  • Easy to use
  • Able to work large muscle groups
  • Too soft for some people
  • No grooves or 3D texture
If you don't have time to go to a massage therapist and want to keep your muscles flexible, choose the AMFit self-massage roller. Its design, constructed with expanded polypropylene foam, allows you to maintain control during your sessions, which will help you to increase or decrease the pressure on your body. Remember that massage therapy is an ideal complementary treatment to prevent injuries and correct the stiffness of bad body postures.

You can also use this professional massager to warm up before workouts or to stretch after a demanding activity. When you start using it on a daily basis, you will prevent delayed muscle soreness, which will help you to train without any limits. Keep in mind that it has no protruding areas, so this roller may not be very useful for deep tissues.

Brazyn - Portable Foam Roller for Home, Gym, Office, Travel and Athletes
  • Dimensions: 40,6x17,8x6,6cm - 16x7x2,5in
  • Material: Foam
  • Colors: Purple, Pink
  • Weight: 680gr - 1.50lbs
  • Density: High
  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • Perfect balance of softness and firmness
  • No material specified
Relieve tension and achieve faster myofascial release with regular use of the Brazyn aluminum bamboo roller. You will increase the flow of blood circulation to all the muscles in your neck, back, waist and legs, which will help you avoid injury and also help you recover faster from strains and contractures caused by lack of training or warm-up.

It can be used by high performance athletes and by anyone who wants to reduce stress levels. It has a strap with which you can turn the roller into a flat mat, which will serve both to use it on your feet and to save space in your backpack when you move it. The multi-level bearings are made of good quality materials, although in some cases their durability and performance is poor.

CanDo - Heavy Duty EVA Foam Roller with Half Round for Rookies
  • Measurements: 91x15x10cm - 36x6x4in
  • Material: EVA foam
  • Colors: Blue
  • Weight: Not specified
  • Density: High
  • Provides a deep massage with less effort
  • Easy to use
  • Able to work large muscle groups
  • Texture designed to stimulate blood flow
  • Does not specify weight
  • No grooves or 3D texture
In those people with a high level of sedentary lifestyle, the use of the CanDo semicircular foam roller massager is an important alternative that should not be overlooked. The design, the technology used and the quality of the materials are fundamental aspects to achieve the necessary flexibility in muscles that are tense due to lack of activity. But that's not all, the arrangement of its small tips can also be used by professional athletes who want to prevent muscle injuries.

It is ideal for use in the back because its size does not generate excessive pressure on the spine, you can also use it in plantar fasciitis. In addition, by not moving during the self-massage sessions, it is possible to precisely control the area of the body where you want to stimulate blood circulation. Please note that the first results may take some time if you are not an expert user.

Teeter - Textured foam massage roller for deep tissue muscle relief
  • Measurements: 66x12,7cm - 26x5in
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Colors: Black
  • Weight: 2Kg - 4,50lbs
  • Density: Extra high
  • 2 Textures with different densities
  • Different sizes
  • Provides a deep massage with less effort
  • Texture designed to stimulate blood flow
  • Too intense for some people
  • Harder and heavier than most
Don't wait any longer and choose a comfortable, flexible and safe product. The Teeter self-massage foam roller will help you reach deep tissues and relieve tension in your shoulder, back and neck muscles. Best of all, you won't need anyone's help to get the benefits of massage therapy, just rub the massager over the affected area and you're done!

After a few minutes you will begin to feel significant relief, brought about by improved blood circulation. The size helps anyone get the full benefits of myofascial release and massage therapy. The wavy edges will conform to your body and simulate the hands of a physical therapist. Please note that this product has two densities, which can be a bit uncomfortable if you don't know which one to choose for your situation.

Moji - High Density Foam Roller with Muscle Heat Therapy for Exercise Recovery
  • Size: 33x10cm - 13x4in
  • Material: Foam
  • Colors: Blue, Black, Green
  • Weight: 775gr - 1,70lbs
  • Density: Extra high
  • Suitable for microwave heat therapy
  • Easy to clean
  • Texture designed to stimulate blood flow
  • Perfect balance of softness and firmness
  • No materials specified
  • Several users report durability issues
You can choose anywhere to use the Moji foam roller. This is because its size, flexibility and weight will help you regain your muscle elasticity faster and eliminate the symptoms of muscle injuries. Choose any part of the body where the soft and facial tissues are severely compromised by stiffness caused by stress, poor posture or by the accumulation of toxins in their fibers.

It can be used by anyone without deforming its design. By simply lying on the floor it is possible to achieve the ideal pressure to reach the strategic points that generate pain. But this is not the best, you can combine massage therapy with thermotherapy, since it is possible to place the roller inside the microwave to generate therapeutic heat. Keep in mind that, in some cases, the duration of the heat is short.

TriggerPOINT - Self-Massage Foam Roller with Video Exercises
  • Measurements: 3x14cm - 13x5,5in
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Colors: 7 Models
  • Weight: 582gr - 1,28lbs
  • Density: Medium
  • Perfect balance of softness and firmness
  • Three different surface textures
  • Users report it is too small
The manual operation mode and high-tech design make the TriggerPoint foam roller your own professional masseuse. Thanks to the benefits you get from daily use, you can relieve pain, recover faster from discomfort caused by excessive workouts and improve blood flow. The self-massager is ideal for treating stiff calves, hips and eliminating neck knots caused by poor body position.

You can enjoy massage therapy on all the deep muscles that cause pain in your back and legs, as it has a revolutionary system of support points. Its foam surface includes tubular bands and hard tips to better adapt to the patient's body. In some advanced muscle disorders, the density of the foam may be low.

Video: How to use Foam Roller?

The types of foam rollers for muscle massage you should know about

What are trigger points and what causes them?

A trigger point is an area where the myofascial tissue has shortened, causing it to contract and creating a palpable point or area of tension. This can happen for a variety of reasons, from a poorly treated muscle injury that causes permanent damage, to age-related loss of nutrients and tissue elasticity.

In any case, the trigger point represents one of the main causes of pain in high impact athletes or the elderly. The most problematic aspect of these points is that they usually cause refractory rather than direct pain, meaning that they usually do not hurt intensely in the exact area where they occur, but in an adjacent muscle or muscle area that does not appear to have a direct connection to the area where the trigger point occurs.

What is fascia?

To understand what a trigger point is, you need to know the tissue in which it occurs. Fascia is a fine tissue network that connects muscles with their respective blood vessels, nerves, bones and joints. Thanks to it, the complex systems of the nervous system, skeletal muscles and joints work together harmoniously as one.

This tissue not only acts as a connector, but is also an important support for muscles and nerves, as it provides stability to the connection of the two. But not only that, because it is also responsible for absorbing the shocks generated by the various motor activities that we perform every day.

Every time we suffer an injury, the myofascial tissue that covers the injured muscle suffers damage that, if not properly repaired, causes the muscle to shorten. This also occurs due to poor nutrition, mineral deficiencies, poor hydration, and even the age-related loss of elasticity of muscles and soft tissues. It is this shortening that facilitates the occurrence of the so-called myofascial trigger points.

What is myofascial pain syndrome?

When fascia is shortened too much, permanent damage is caused to the entire fascial structure. Multiple trigger points are then created at the same time, resulting in tremendous simultaneous muscle pain. This condition is called myofascial pain syndrome and is a chronic and irreparable problem.

Myofascial pain syndrome is often confused with fibromyalgia, another chronic condition in which multiple muscle pains occur throughout the body. The difference is that in fibromyalgia, trigger points are not considered the likely cause of the pain.

What are the symptoms of a trigger point?

Myofascial trigger points have quite idiosyncratic symptoms, which is why they are constantly confused with other conditions such as fibromyalgia or simple muscle injuries that occur for no apparent reason.

Among these symptoms, the following can be identified:

  • Acute and persistent pain.
  • Occurs after the muscle has been subjected to severe wear and tear.
  • Pain when trying to use the affected muscle.
  • Sensitivity when touching the painful muscle.
  • Sudden onset of tingling and cramping.
  • Instability of the muscle.
  • Imbalance and instability of the joints after a sprain.
  • Ringing in the ears.

What are the advantages of using the foam roller to trigger points?

The foam roller is undoubtedly one of the best ways to combat myofascial pain syndrome without resorting to drug therapy. It is a foam roller used to massage and release tension in all muscles and joints, which brings a tremendous amount of benefits, such as :

  • Relieve myofascial pain: the first benefit is that you will naturally relieve the pain caused by the trigger points, so you will find the myofascial pain syndrome much less uncomfortable thanks to the analgesic effect.
  • Avoid muscle soreness: the whole-body exercises with the foam roller relieve the muscle fibers, preventing the regular formation of trigger points and thus reducing the regularity of this pain.
  • Strengthens joints: myofascial release therapy with the foam roller strengthens the soft tissues of the joints, making them more stable and less prone to injury.
  • Increases RMA: Training the joints with this product increases the range of motion of the joints, making them more flexible and less affected by trigger point formation.
  • Endorphin release: after a complete program, your body will release endorphins due to the activity performed, but also due to the large amount of tension you have released from all your myofascial and muscular tissues.
  • Avoid DOMS or muscle soreness: If you are one of those who suffer from stiffness or DOMS the day after a workout, you can use the foam roller to reduce the intensity of this discomfort and even prevent it from occurring as frequently again in the future.

How do you relieve trigger points using the foam roller?

Now that you know what myofascial pain points are, it's time to learn how to eliminate this ailment by using the foam roller on a regular basis so that you can also reap all of its benefits. Below are step-by-step instructions on how to remove trigger points from your body using the foam roller.

Find the sensitive point

The first thing you need to do is find out where the trigger point is located. This can be difficult at first, as they are not always located in specific places. While there are areas that are more or less prone to trigger points, like the back or hamstrings, the reality is that they can occur anywhere on the body.

What you need to do to identify such a point is the following:

  • Using your palm and fingertips, gently massage each muscle of your body. It is best to do this with light circular motions and without exerting too much force on them.
  • The myofascial pain point looks like a tight knot involuntarily held that way, or part of a muscle in the same condition.
  • In areas you can't comfortably reach, such as your back, stick out your chest and tense your back as you move your shoulders up and down.
  • As you do this movement, pay attention to whether a section of muscle feels numb or produces mild pain such as stiffness, even though you haven't done any exercises recently, which indicates a point of tension in the fascia.

Myofascial release exercises

During the foam roller exercises for fascia liberation, the roller is placed directly on the muscle tissue. This allows for effective self-massage, releasing tension in the deeper muscle tissue and thinning trigger points. They all work on the same principle, rolling over a specific muscle or muscle region.

Here are some of the simplest and most beneficial exercises and positions you can perform:

  • Rolling in the fascia lata and gluteus medius: lie on your side and raise your hamstring, resting on the elbow of your forearm. Then we place the foam roller just to the side of the hip, so that the middle gluteus medius and the waist rest on it. Now all you have to do is use the supporting arm to roll the roller from the top of the thigh to the side of the pelvis. When you are done with one side, turn to the exercise on the other side. This movement should be maintained for at least 5 minutes.
  • Back Roll: Lie on your back and place the foam roller directly behind your shoulders, at the base of the trapezius muscle. Now lift your hips by leaning on your legs to form a bent bridge, and stretch or take them to roll over your entire back with the foam roller. As you do this, lean slightly to the right and left to massage the erector spinae and lower back muscles.
  • Rolling the hamstrings: Lie on your back, place the roller under your hamstrings and raise your pelvis by leaning on your arms. Now, with the help of your arms, roll your hamstrings over the foam roller from the back of your knees to your buttocks. Then move to the opposite position by lying on your stomach and lifting your back with your hands in the shape of a plank to roll again, but this time on your quadriceps.
  • Rolling on the jagged muscle: as in the first exercise, we lie on our side, but this time we roll on the jagged muscle located on the side of the torso in the chest area, just below the armpit. We raise our hips, lean on our legs and stretch the arm that is on the lower side, and with the other arm we help ourselves to gently roll up and down to massage the entire muscle. Hold this position for 5 minutes and then switch to the next side.

Regularity of sessions

The regularity of the foam roller sessions depends on how severe the problem is. If the trigger points are sporadic, doing the exercises once or twice a week may be more than enough to relieve you of the pain and enjoy all the benefits the product offers you. With this regularity, you'll achieve a greater range of joint motion, better blood circulation, more fatigue-resistant muscles and more elastic soft tissue, so trigger points won't form as easily in the future.

On the other hand, if your problem is as severe as myofascial pain syndrome and trigger points are abundant in your myofascial tissue, the regularity will be determined by your trusted physical therapist. Usually it is enough to apply the remedy three times a week, but some specialists recommend daily application.

In any case, you should not consider this regularity as a constraint, but as a new habit to acquire in order to achieve a better quality of life without muscle pain. Besides, it's not a very demanding routine, because with the exercises we recommend above you can loosen up practically every muscle in your body and be done in less than 30 minutes.

Progressions

Although it may sound simple, the reality is that not all foam roller exercises are easy to perform. Some positions are very demanding, especially those that require you to hold a plank or support your body weight on a limb for minutes at a time. That's why it's important to increase gradually so that you enjoy each routine and it doesn't become torture.

The areas where you should gradually increase the intensity are as follows:

  • Duration of Exercise: Most foam roller exercises are about time, not repetitions, which means holding a position for 5 minutes or longer. Achieving these times is very difficult at first, so it is advisable to start slowly with 30 seconds and increase as you get stronger.
  • Positions: Positions are crucial, as maintaining poor posture during a training session can cause more problems than benefits. Although it may not seem like it, some positions are more difficult than they look and require some strength in the stabilizing muscles of the trunk. It's best to practice the more complicated positions without the foam roller for a few days first; then add the roller and hold the position without rolling over it; and when you feel comfortable with the previous two steps, move on to the product.
  • Rolling: Rolling on the foam roller is not as easy as it looks; you must maintain a slow, steady momentum that moves slowly and obliquely through each muscle. This works the stabilizing muscles such as the abs, mid-back and lower back for both strength and anaerobic endurance. You can roll in one direction only at first, then take a break and try rolling in the other direction until you are skilled enough to do it more easily.
  • Regularity: developing the anaerobic endurance and courage for long foam rolling routines should be a personal goal, and you should establish a non-negotiable regularity for your routines. This is important in the beginning as you learn everything you need to know to perfect the exercises, and it is also the stage where you begin to adopt this practice as a healthy habit.

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