International Journal of Exercise Science 15(3): 861-883, 2022. Introduction: Currently, the use of self-myofascial release (SMR) instruments is not uncommon in our society, especially in sports. The most common SMR instruments are foam rollers, roller massagers, and balls. Regardless of the instrument used, the main objectives are to enhance performance and recovery. Nevertheless, many studies point out that there is still a lack of robust scientific evidence documenting the exact mechanisms that explain its true effects, therefore some authors affirm that the reported benefits are anecdotal in nature. Objective: This overview aims to summarize, from systematic reviews, the effectiveness of SMR instruments on performance and recovery. Material and Methods: This study followed the PRISMA principles. Systematic reviews were found on the electronic databases according to an established P (healthy active individuals) I (SMR using instruments) C (other treatment, placebo, sham, or no treatment) O (performance and recovery) S (systematic reviews) search strategy. Additionally, methodological analysis was performed using R-AMSTAR. Results: Initially, it was found 15 systematic reviews. However, after methodological analysis, only 7 systematic reviews had sufficient quality to be included. From those, it was found that SMR using instruments is beneficial to enhancing short-term flexibility-related and recovery-related outcomes. Inconstant data was reported in muscular-related outcomes. Nevertheless, beyond pain during SMR, no major adverse effects were found. Different effects between time, pressure and other instrument characteristics were also found. Conclusion: SMR using instruments can be a safe intervention used in sports to enhance performance and recovery from previous training/competition or between matches.
Ferreira, Ricardo M.; Martins, Pedro N.; and Gonçalves, Rui S.
"Effects of Self-myofascial Release Instruments on Performance and Recovery: An Umbrella Review,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 15
3, Pages 861 - 883.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol15/iss3/10