May 23 2018
One runner-dermatologist shares the causes behind this common runner’s woe, plus tips to prevent it.
“Why cause pain to get out of pain?” If you’ve struggled with the agonies of foam rolling or deep-tissue massage, you can probably relate to this statement by Sue Hitzmann. The former fitness instructor who hosted “Crunch TV” on ESPN has morphed into a guru who teaches people how to heal. Her program of DVDs, books and equipment you can use at home or in studios with certified teachers is called the Melt Method.
Her exercises might look similar to foam rolling, which often uses a harder roller to release the fascia that covers muscles. But her movements are much smaller and targeted with a soft roller to address what she calls “stuck stress,” which causes aches due to connective-tissue dehydration, compression, neurological imbalance and faulty body sense.
For this foot treatment, try to keep your head up and not look at your feet. Instead, use your body sense to feel if you have the ball in the right spot. You can stand next to a wall or chair to help you balance, if necessary. Keep the pressure tolerable, and if you feel pain, back off.
Soft roller or towel
For most of the exercises, you’ll need a soft roller or rolled-up beach towels or a traditional, firm roller wrapped in a towel, blanket or yoga mat.
The Melt Method sells its own soft ball, but you can use a cushy dog ball or a Kadima or paddle ball.
For this method to rehydrate cells and connective tissue, you need to drink water. Hitzmann recommends sipping it consistently throughout the day.