For a long time I went about my business not paying any attention to my shoulders. I lifted weights, ran, stood mindlessly in overcrowded subway cars, and was completely fine.

Then one day, out of nowhere (it’s almost always out of nowhere) I got a splitting headache, and did not know why. It turns out I was overusing my upper traps in pretty much all of my movements. I developed harsh trigger points which restricted my movement and caused my shoulder pain. Needless to say, I was not happy. One thing that has helped me with my trigger point filled body parts is foam rolling, because lord knows my thighs are a muscle knot’s sanctuary.

Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release, and it is a great tool for everybody to use to maintain flexibility and range of motion. What happens over time is that your muscles get overused or improperly used, and trigger points form. Trigger points are contracted and tight sections of muscle that restrict movement and cause pain. In order to maintain optimal athletic performance and to prevent injury, foam rolling is a great and affordable method. It feels like hell when you initially start, but the benefits will definitely outweigh the torture!