Myofascial Release for Arms

Dose

Roll each arm for 2 minutes per night until symptoms resolve, then once per week to maintain mobility.

Purpose

Muscle and nerve tension in the upper arms and forearms can contribute to pain in the elbow, wrist, and hand. Stretching and releasing all parts of the forearm and upper arm will aid recovery.

Method

This exercise can be performed with a foam roll or ball of any kind. Start by kneeling and reaching one arm directly out to the side. Place a foam roller underneath the forearm so that the roller is parallel to the body. Roll the forearm and upper arm across the roller, turning the arm to get the top and bottom of the forearm, and adjusting the roller closer and farther to the body as needed. 

Spread the fingers as you roll and push the fingers directly away from you to stretch the muscles in the forearm. To roll the back of the upper arm, place the roller on the opposite side of the body as your arm and reach across your body. After you have rolled the calf for 30 seconds, place the roller underneath the other arm and repeat. 

You can also use a massage ball on the shoulder and upper back, upper arm, and forearm. Place the ball between your upper back and wall and roll back and forth across the muscles, pausing when you roll over a tender point to hold it under continuous pressure until it softens or becomes less tender. Continue along the muscles of the back of the neck and on the outside of the shoulder and chest.   

Common Mistakes

• Not making the most of self-massage. Using a roller or massage ball is a great way to relieve symptoms, and they are very user-friendly. You can roll any part of the body, and it is likely you will find tender points that feel better after you roll them. Don’t be afraid to explore and experiment on different body parts.