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SMR Issues: Tired or Bruised Muscles?


I have a question regarding self myofacial release. One of my clients is a pro squash player. She is 18 years old with upper, lower and LPHC distortion patterns. I have been using the roller with her for about six sessions, but her physio has advised her not to continue using it as he believes it will fatigue the muscles too much, especially the day before a match. Obviously, I will not go against what her physio is advising, but I would like to know your views on this. Also another client of mine has complained of bruising after using the SMR technique. Has this been found to happen before?


We have a couple of issues here I think need clearing up.

First, the advice from the physio will always overule the trainer. We aren't qualified to diagnose! However, being a certified trainer, the course you have completed will have supplied you with the knowledge of how these rollers work. If you believe in what you do and you believe in how self myofascial release works, then it is your duty to present the physio with everything available on this topic (see "related articles" at right). The articles on this site on SMR are in my opinion written by some of the best in the business. I am not saying disobey the physio, but I am saying that ignorance can cause huge problems in life. If you have presented all of this information to the physio, then that is about as far as you can go. Remember, they are qualified to diagnose problems!

The second issue is the bruising. I have never seen anyone bruise from the roller. There are a couple of reasons this could be happening, though.

  1. Your client may have a deficiency/condition in her body that causes bruising involving any kind of pressure. Get her to see her doctor for a check up.
  2. How old is she? The older we get, the easier we bruise. If the big roller is too intense, then try a two inch roller. Once they feel ok with this and they become conditioned, this may help the problem. If not, then maybe you will have to work out some sort of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation program for them.

I train all kinds of people from professional athletes to seniors, and I have never had any problems with this before. All that says to me is that everyone is different and hence should be treated that way.

Always be aware of different situations. Never be frightened of them! I hope this helped.