When should fascia training be avoided?

published in Fascia April 14, 2021

In which cases should you avoid training with the BLACKROLL®?

Fascia training is fantastic. Anyone who has already experienced the effects of a good rollout will agree. In spite of this, many people remain uncertain.

If you don’t know whether you can perform self-massage with foam rollers etc. due to pre-existing illnesses or medical conditions, then this article can help.

01

When do we discourage the use of the foam roller?

Essentially, there are three symptoms that exclude the application of myofascial self-massage on the affected area. These three “hard contraindications” are:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Acute pain

These symptoms occur in almost all cases of acute trauma and conditions such as fresh injuries and thromboses. During the initial phase of recovery, inflammation levels are very high. Rolling on severely inflamed areas can worsen your condition. In this case, the use of the BLACKROLL® is not recommended.

02

When is caution advised with fascia training?

In some cases, you simply have to make up your own mind as to whether the practise of myofascial self-massage is advisable. Here we speak of so-called “soft contraindications”. In these cases you should clarify with your doctor as to whether and in which form treatment would be appropriate . In case of localised problems, parts of the body that are not affected can generally be rolled without any cause for concern. With certain clinical pictures (e.g. a slipped disc) the treatment may even be of benefit.

The following are counted among the soft contraindications:

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease whereby the bones within the body become thinner and more porous, thus making them more susceptible to breaking. All bones can be affected by it. Under certain circumstances, the pressure you exert on the foam roller with your body can be too great, and can favour a break. Caution is therefore advised.

Taking blood-thinning medications

If you are taking anticoagulant drugs, fascia training can cause increased bruising. The first glance in a mirror following a session with the foam roller may then be somewhat alarming. Therefore: always acquire your doctor’s consent before you start.

Slipped disc

Slipped discs are a controversial subject of discussion. In case of back pain, it is generally not the discs that are the root of the issue. Oftentimes, it is muscular-fascial hardenings that are triggering the pain. In this case, you can contribute to the alleviation of the pain with appropriate therapeutic support and using exercises to be performed at home. If you are suffering from an acute herniated disc, we advise against rolling directly over the affected area. In any case, the pain experienced will direct us accordingly.

Fibromyalgia

Conventional medicine discourages self-massage if suffering from fibromyalgia. However, there have been highly promising observations indicating that fascia training can also help those affected by the condition. What’s more, treatment with BLACKROLL® tools has proven positive, especially in patients for whom traditional treatment methods have failed. Regardless, you should take the condition seriously, and consult with your attending physician before commencing the training.

Rheumatic diseases

Diseases affecting the locomotor system, which are not caused by acute injury or tumour diseases, are referred to as rheumatism. These diseases are highly individual, and ultimately, only a doctor can decide whether a BLACKROLL® massage is appropriate. As a general rule, fascial massage has positive effects on the metabolism. Many of the body’s repair mechanisms are stimulated. Use of the foam roller can favour a positive outcome.

Joint replacement

In normal cases, joint replacement poses no problem. Improved surgical techniques and modern artificial joints mean that we can resume normal sporting activity following a sufficient rehabilitation period. However, the surgery may represent a contraindication, as any intervention carries with it a fundamental risk. Whether and when you should resume rolling following surgery should, in any case, be discussed with your attending surgeon.

Tumour diseases

The problem with tumour diseases is that there is a concern that massage therapy can result in the cancer spreading. Determining whether this is actually the case will require further study. However, if in doubt, it is better to take a step back and forego training with the roller.

Pregnancy

You should also consult your attending physician if pregnant. Whether or not the foam roller should be used during pregnancy depends on what stage of pregnancy you are in. During the first and final trimesters, particular caution is advised. In addition, sensitive reflex zones on the soles of the feet, on the inner thighs, and on the calves should be avoided. It is generally advised that you reduce the pressure intensity.

Fascia training during pregnancy
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03

Conclusion: Contraindications for fascia training

Ultimately, every person is unique and perceives pain in different ways. Any recommendations we provide should serve merely as a guide. The final decision always lies with you. Listen to the signals your body sends you. If in doubt: it is always better to ask your doctor’s opinion one more time. If he/she gives consent, and all the lights are green, then there is nothing to stop you using the BLACKROLL® foam roller. So, all that remains is for us to wish you lots of fun training!

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