During my first season of roller derby in 2010, I sustained a fairly serious knee injury. No, I didn’t actually realize it was serious at the time at all. And yes, it has effected me up until this day. I was skating at the local roller rink, and fell when another skater locked wheels with me. I did not have gear on, and I landed on my knee. Once you join roller derby and are taught to fall on your padded knees, it becomes instinct. So even though just a year before I would have likely fallen entirely different, after starting derby, I went straight to the knee. Ouch!
It hurt at the time, but I had no idea how long lasting the injury would actually be. It began crunching immediately with movement (particularly squats and stairs), and would become achy and painful throughout the day. I continued playing derby, and just assumed that it would heal up on it’s own. Was I ever wrong.
So about 2 months ago (yes, I went over 5 years before dealing with it) I went to go see a Chiropractor who came highly recommended. Dr. Angela works is a co-founder and practices out of Cadence Chiropractic and Sports Therapy, and she had done wonders for me. She put me on a strict rolling regime of two times a day, working on three separate parts of the body: my sub-occipitals, gluteus minimus, and piriformis. I won’t lie, I was skeptical. Roughly a year before, I had purchased the Travel Roller 4.3, and left it pretty neglected until Dr. Angela.
So off I went, roll happy. I rolled twice a day, experienced some pain, got used to it, and admittedly missed a day here or there. Whatever the case, the next time I went to see Dr. Angela, the strength in my body had increased, and my knee was beginning to feel better! She also does Active Release Therapy on me during our appointments, which I think helps significantly as well.
**that’s not me ^^
So here’s the thing about rolling. Rolling your muscles will keep them activated, which allows them to support your joints properly. So even though my issue was in my knee, we started at my neck. What I didn’t mention is that I have also had a bad shoulder for the past year, and that pain went away very shortly after I started rolling my neck. It’s all connected, imagine that.
There are actually far more benefits to rolling than I had imagined. It helps with blood circulation which in turn keeps your immune system functioning the way it should. Rolling helps to release the daily stress we put on our muscles, which is cumulative. It aides in athletic performance, injury treatment and prevention, mobility and stability, myofascial release, pain management, and even core strengthening.
So here I am, almost two months after my initial visit (and three visits in total) with Dr. Angela and the beginning of my rolling regime, and I cannot sing the praises of rolling loud enough. My knee is significantly better, although I know it is a long road ahead of me for it to be completely healed. It doesn’t hurt to go up stairs. I can do step-ups and any kind of squat without pain, and the achy feeling doesn’t happen nearly as often. As a skeptic, I am blown away. As a recovering athlete, I am motivated and inspired to turn on the beast… pain free.