Foam Rollers are amazing. If you have never seen one, it is a cylindrical tube, about 3 or 3.5 feet long and about 7 inches in diameter and it is used to roll along the body to stretch and ease muscles pre- and post-workout. Additionally, it is used as an exercise prop in order to increase the intensity of certain workouts. For example, in Pilates one can lay on the foam roller so it is underneath the length of the spine, and it creates a balance challenge when moving ones arms and legs. The core has to work overtime to keep the body still as it is now lying on a moving cylinder instead of on the floor!!
Here is a foam roller in action:
By rolling it along the outside of the quads, one can loosed the hip flexors all the way down to the knee. Oftentimes, knee pain can be attributed to tight hamstrings and quadriceps, and therefore rolling out those muscles for 5 minutes each evening helps to alleviate knee pain. Try it for 3 weeks; if tight muscles and pains are not diminished, you can hold me to a free Pilates class (where we will deploy the foam roller)!!
Check out this link for some great foam roller stretches: