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On Vibrating Foam Rollers
BY DR. MARK HINES
April 7, 2018
About Dr. Mark Hines:
He is an exercise physiologist and biomechanist, based in London, England.
He lectures on various topics relating to human physiology, nutrition and dietetics, exercise rehabilitation and biomechanics.
Mark has also published a variety of books on extreme endurance races, nutrition and health.
Foam rollers have been used and researched for many years, and the addition of vibration technology has been found to improve results. Vibrating foam rollers are typically used as a massage tool to improve range of motion, reduce pain sensitivity, and to improve sports performance. Despite their apparent efficacy there is limited research comparing them to standard foam rollers, although the research that is available is favourable. I am looking forward to conducting various research projects using Vulken’s vibrating foam roller over the coming years.
In August 2017 two independent teams of researchers published results of studies comparing vibrating and standard foam rollers (Cheatham et al., 2017; Garcia-Gutierrez et al., 2017). Although the findings varied, both reported improvements in range of motion following use of the vibrating foam roller, with one of the teams showing much greater improvements with the vibrating versus standard roller. That team also found that pain sensitivity was altered more by the vibrating than standard roller (Cheatham et al., 2017). This was deemed to be beneficial for their use in treating myofascial trigger points. The finding of improved range of motion compared with a standard foam roller was previously reported in another study (Enrique, 2015).
Cheatham, S.W., Stull, K.R., Kolber, M.J., (2017) “Comparison of a Vibrating Foam Roller and a Non-vibrating Foam Roller Intervention on Knee Range of Motion and Pressure Pain Threshold: A Randomized Controlled Trial.”, J Sport Rehabil., Aug 8:1-23
Enrique, D.N., (2015) “The influence of local muscle vibration during foam rolling on range of motion, muscle activation, pain and lower extremity kinematics” Unpublished study for BSc (Hons) thesis
García-Gutiérrez, M.T., Guillén-Rogel, P., Cochrane, D.J., Marín, P.J., (2017) “Cross transfer acute effects of foam rolling with vibration on ankle dorsiflexion range of motion” J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact, Aug, 1-6