Daily Mobility Exercises by Dr. Kelly Starrett Forums General Not feeling a release and/or feeling sore after rolling/smashing/flossing?

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    • #666792

      Apologies if this is a basic part of mobilisation that I’m missing, but I rarely, if at all, feel like I get a ‘release’ when I’m mobilising my legs, hips and glutes. Quite often in fact I end up feeling really sore the next day – not exactly bruised, but certainly feel like I’ve given the muscles a beating. I’ve tried everything from 2 mins of different techniques up to 10 mins on a larger area (like my quads), with everything from a hard nobbly roller to a slightly softer flat one, hard lacrosse balls, a small peanut, 12cm ball, even partner quad smash, but never seem to get that relief that people say they feel. I do feel straight afterwards like the pain has been eased a bit, but think that’s just down to the rush of blood and chemicals to the tissues from the pounding I’ve been giving them?

      The closest I’ve gotten I think was a few night’s ago when trying out (2 min/side) patella pouch and (3 min/side) couch stretch – afterwards lying in bed I felt like a massive tension had been lifted from my quads. But I tried it again last night and didn’t get that same release and instead just woke up in quite a lot of pain and discomfort today.

      I should add that I’ve been dealing with inhibited glutes and chronic tension/hypertonia in my quads for more than the last year (before that I had back pain for over a year but think now this was a misdiagnosis by 2 physical therapists and it was in fact a glute issue. The weak glutes were only ‘diagnosed’ about 8 months ago and I’ve made great improvements in getting them working again. Sadly whilst being treated for my ‘back’ I was advised to not stretch my legs (so as not to over-exert my back) so ended up developing this major tightness in my quads and hamstrings. That led to what I has been tentatively diagnosed by several other PTs as right hip flexor (maybe specifically iliopsoas) tendinopathy and a pain around the tendon insertion of my vastus lateralis again on the right side, which again has tentatively been diagnosed as tendinopathy. The knee pain gets progressively worse as the day goes on, despite me trying to vary my sitting and standing for work regularly (every 10-20 mins switching it up). I’ve been wroking on mobilisations for a couple of weeks now and some days think I might be feeling looser, but then other days the soreness and tightness seems to really return with a vengeance.

      It’s worth noting that neither of these pains show any signs if I’m squatting, so I’m currently working a few days behind on the 14 day squat mobility challenge as well as performing couch stretch daily and attempting other leg mobilisation daily. Like I say, straight afterwards and then for a chunk of yesterday my quads and knee felt pretty good after working on my suprapatellar pouch (although the knee pain did come on over the day) but then didn’t work last night – was I overdoing it by doing it two days in a row? Before doing it last night I did 3 mins of pressure wave, smash & floss and contract & relax on each leg over my VL, rec fem and anterior hip, so that might have exacerbated the soreness today?

      Any advice would be appreciated!


    • #666797

      Sorry, just to add that I don’t know if the proximal knee pain is tendinopathy, as it would be in the right place but I also have several really painful areas along my VL that hurt when I try to do any sort of work on them. But I can never seem to get them to release or to feel substantially better. I’ve had one physio try dry needling into my quads and elicited a lot of twitch response both in my rec fem and in my VL, but no real lasting help.

      Is it simply a case of needing to work on my problem areas for shorter/longer and every day, or give myself a break between sessions more. Strangely, my knee pain does sometimes feel like it’s actually eased for a while after practicing my squatting!

    • #699904
      Kaitlin LyonsKaitlin Lyons

      Hi Andy,
      Are you seeing any improvements with what you have been working on?
      Have you done a search to see if there is a mobility coach in your area who may be able to help you get started?
      It sounds like you have multiple things going on.
      Yes, movement and activity can help ease pain.

      You may be going after a symptom vs where the issue originates.
      Here is a Pro episode to check out on not see change.
      Pro Episode # 21 – Pro-User Request Friday: Not Seeing The Change? You Need a Systems Approach.

      You could be going too hard or using too hard of a tool for what you are ready for given where things are at.
      Could be doing too long of a time on a particular area. More isn’t always better.
      Do you know where you would see the biggest change?
      I’d start there.
      Spine first then move out to the hip/shoulder.
      I’m not exactly clear on what you are asking for help with.

    • #728169
      AvatarJohn Johnson

      I have never understood the hard white foam rollers, other than from the “no pain, no gain” perspective. Most deep tissue massage techniques (i’m a massage therapist have changed radically over the years. Connective tissues releases when you can relax and breathe in to the process. If you have to tighten up and bear it, the tissue has no ability to release.
      As far as balls go, Yamuna Body Rolling is the ultimate in body rolling. Yamuna, the developer, is a pioneer. She spent years finding a source for her balls that allows the tissues to release and unfold.
      I hope this helps.
      Best of luck.

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