I firmly believe foam rolling has changed my body. I have always been very active in a variety of sports, and I have always had some sort of ache or pain. Last November 2013 I decided to commit 10-20 minutes daily to foam rolling and stretching.
It hurt at first, and I hated sitting through it, but very quickly by body began to shift. I was performing better in the gym, and I wasn't walking around with that nagging ache and pain somewhere.
In simple terms, foam rolling is using a roller on all muscular parts of the body (not bony parts) to loosen the fascia that covers the muscle. The fascia that covers a muscle gets tight for a variety of reasons (movement patterns, jobs, wear and tear, lack of exercise, muscle imbalances, injuries, too much exercise, etc). The tight fascia also can form adhesions. I like to think of this like a bungee cord. If our muscle is the bungee cord, we can stretch it and lengthen the muscle, which increases our flexibility, but the fascia that surrounds the muscle can still stay tight. Say for example we tie a knot in the bungee cord, this represents a muscle adhesion (where the muscle has become so tight in one area). When we go to pull the cord (stretch the muscle) we will not stretch out that adhesion (knot). By using the foam roller we can dig right into that adhesion and relieve pain.
The more we foam roll the more we dig into those adhesions, and tight fascia. As result our body moves with less restriction! You feel looser, and amazing!
It hurts to begin with because you are dealing with years of tight muscles (foam rolling is similar to a deep tissue massage). It is common to feel pain, but make sure you aren't feel so much pain that you are injuring yourself! Take it easy. Foam roll slowly, the slower you can go the better. Stop on any really tight spots, hold it there, and take some big breathes, allowing that fascia to release.
You can buy foam rollers anywhere from $30-$100.
Foam rolling is just another tool to allow your body to feel better, prevent injuries, and perform better.
Give it a try, don't wait, seriously, I wish I started many years ago!
Heres is the link to my video: