Foam Rollers! The newest wonder tool! They do so much! What's the real story though? We all know marketing is powerful. Foam rollers have made some manufacturers a ton of money. But, do they REALLY do all they claim to?
Full disclosure, I have one but don't use it often. I was curious enough and did some more research. Surprise! There's plenty of articles to wade through (wild thing this Internet...). Eventually, I found one recent enough, reputable in its research review, and in plain English (we can't all be peer review clinicians, right?!).
Want the Cliff's notes?
More research is needed to better understand how foam-rolling produces certain effects. As for actual effects, the strongest evidence suggests there are potential benefits to flexibility (short-term and long-term). For the two other most commonly marketed benefits: improving athletic performance and post-performance recovery, its inconclusive. There's very little research.
The article went on to debunk 11 other fantastical claims about foam rolling, including that it can reduce cellulite. If you're interested, it's a quick and interesting read. Here's the link: https://healthybutsmart.com/foam-rollers/