Effects of Foam Roller for Muscle Soreness

Everybody has experienced sore muscles from time to time. Whether it be from working out, running, sitting for long periods of time or just bending over too fast, we all know how muscle pain can affect our daily lives. There are a number of therapies that can used to treat muscle soreness and pain. Massage therapy, electrical muscle stimulation, Graston Technique, cold-laser therapy, and classic stretching are all commonly used methods of reducing muscle spasm and decreasing pain related to muscle soreness. This particular study discusses another technique that can be used as an at-home therapy called foam rolling, or roller massage. The study looked at two groups of men, both of which had hamstring muscle soreness induced by performing deadlifts. At the next visit, one group received 10 minutes of foam rolling on the hamstring, while the other group simply rested for 10 minutes. Measurements of muscle soreness, range of motion and pressure pain threshold were all measured after treatment and the two groups were compared to one another.

The study found that there was a significant improvement with soreness, range of motion and PPT in the group that received roller massage. This can be applicable to athletes, weekend warriors and anyone else that experiences muscle related pain.

Specific and cross over effects of massage for muscle soreness: randomized controlled trial.

Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2014 Feb;9(1):82-91.


There was a significant group by time interaction for soreness (p < 0.0001) and PPT (p = 0.0007), with the massage group experiencing reduced soreness and increasing PPT compared with the control group. There was no group by time interaction for ROM (p = 0.18). At 10 min. post massage there was a significant reduction in soreness of the non-massaged limb in the crossover control group compared to controls but this effect was lost 30 minutes post-massage.


Massage with a roller device reduces muscle soreness and is accompanied by a higher PPT of the affected muscle.