Image source: Huffington Post A More Balanced Discussion on Foam Rolling By Drew Hume experiencing knee discomfort and you’ve been told it may be related to the IT Band, this article provides a great demonstration of how to roll out the surrounding muscle tissue instead of the Band itself for relief. When rolling the muscle tissue the pressure that a foam roller supplies does two main things: helps to disperse adhesions and scar tissue, and flushes used blood out of the muscle, drawing new blood to the area and with it, more oxygen and nutrients for muscle repair and healing. The thing we need to be sure of is that our pain tolerance matches the intensity of our foam rolling. If we’re experiencing too much pain, any benefits of tension relief will be short-lived, if gained at all. At greater intensities (than we can handle) all of our surrounding tissue tenses up in response to pain. More Pain is NOT more gain. Instead of going past this edge, try working up to greater intensities by approaching your pain edge, breathing during the experience, and ensuring that you are comfortable enough to allow all of the surrounding areas of muscle to relax. For better results overall, finish a foam rolling session with stretching. Take home messages: Don’t roll your IT Band, always try to focus on muscle tissue, and only go up to the edge of your pain threshold, not past it. I hope this helps feed a more balanced conversation on foam rolling! Drew.