This is a great question and one I get all the time. Different parts of the body respond to different degrees of pressure and firmness. Similarly, individuals respond in different ways to the firmness of the self-myofascial-release (SMR) tool they use. No matter whom you are working with, though, it is always a good idea to start them out with a soft ball (e.g., a tennis ball) so they can relax and ease into the new sensations of performing self-massage.
According to a report published in the Journal of Athletic Training (2012; 47 , 589–90), anterior cruciate ligament injuries lead to about 113,000 ambulatory-care visits and about 75,000 outpatient surgical reconstructions among active youth and adults in the United States each year. A recent study suggests a potential key to minimizing ACL injury danger among young-adult athletes: neuromuscular training.
Long-distance running continues to attract new enthusiasts throughout the world (Tonoli et al. 2010); its unique combination of benefits can help people to control their weight, improve cardiovascular function and fend off a host of chronic health problems (van Gent et al. 2007; van Middelkoop et al. 2008). But for all these advantages, running is hard on some parts of the body, often leading to lower-extremity injuries (van Middelkoop et al. 2008).
What Are Running Injuries, and How Prevalent Are They?
Young athletes have a significant risk of injury. A recent study questioned whether specific factors could be associated with increased levels of risk.
Presented at the
2013 American Academy
of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Florida, the study featured 1,206 athletes aged 8–18. Participants completed a questionnaire that asked about sports specialization; stage of puberty; and height and weight. Researchers collected the same data on the athletes every 6 months for 3 years.
Bergeron, M.F., et al. 2011. Consortium for Health and Military Performance and American College of Sports Medicine consensus paper on extreme conditioning programs in military personnel. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 10 (6), 383–89.
“Veterans are the light at the tip of the candle, illuminating the way for the whole nation. If veterans can achieve awareness, transformation, understanding and peace, they can share with the rest of society the realities of war. And they can teach us how to make peace with ourselves and each other, so we never have to use violence to resolve conflicts again.” —Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese monk and author (b. 1926)