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Tigard Physical Therapy

Tigard Physical Therapy

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Massage Rolling: An Introduction

posted on January 7th, 2016 under Massage Rolling

Massage Rolling Balls

What is Massage Rolling?

Massage Rolling is a muscle release technique that works far beyond traditional stretching or foam rolling. This method uses a variety of different sized balls as stretching tools to promote flexibility, improve range of motion, and much more. Whereas the foam roller treats the body as one whole muscle, the ball is three dimensional and targets specific muscle groups. It allows you to get in and around joints such as the hip or shoulder. At Tigard Physical Therapy, we often integrate Massage Rolling into our treatment programs. Our trained staff offers individualized instruction to teach you the proper form.

Get on the Ball

Massage Rolling for the hamstrings.

Massage Rolling is a self-care technique that mimics the work of a massage therapist. The results are similar to having myofascial release applied to your body. The method uses 6- to 10-inch balls to help stretch the muscles, increase circulation, and free soft tissue restrictions in your body. It is usually performed in a specific sequence, and can be performed on most muscles – even the face! This stretching technique can be safely performed by almost anyone: young or old, individuals recovering from injury, or people looking to enhance their current fitness program.

Lying over the ball, your body weight is used to apply pressure to targeted muscles. Each rolling sequence has a specific start and end point, working muscles from where they begin (the origin), and rolling toward where they attach (the insertion). This process helps to stretch and elongate the muscles.

The Benefits of Massage Rolling

Massage Rolling is different than traditional fitness regimens. You don’t need access to expensive equipment, and you can achieve results without spending hours stretching. This technique can:

  • Relieve pain and tension
  • Improve flexibility
  • Improve posture
  • Prevent sports injuries
  • Stretch and tone muscles
  • Promote healing
  • Build core strength
  • Realign the body
  • Remove restrictions in your body
  • Break down scar tissue


“I was introduced to Massage Rolling while training for a marathon and treating a hip flexor injury. I was skeptical at first, but quickly began to experience the benefits of Massage Rolling. As my training increased, I learned additional methods for massaging the various muscle groups in my legs and core, which was a perfect complement to my regular physical therapy appointments and sports massages.

Since then, Massage Rolling has become an integral part of my training. I perform it after every run no matter if it is 3 miles or 20 miles. I have no doubt that Massage Rolling has helped speed the recovery of my hip flexor injury and shin splints, but also prevented classic running injuries like hamstring strains and IT-band issues. I can’t imagine my running success without Massage Rolling.”

Inessa V.
31-year-old runner
Nike Women’s Marathon Finisher 2009

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