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Golf Balls And Five Fingers

by Tyler Hurst » on Jan 02, 2011 7

(The video at the end contains feet. My feet. If you have a foot fetish, get a towel ready. If you hate feet, you probably shouldn’t press play.)

I hurt in weird places now. Ever since I started running in Five Fingers, the old pains that plagued me – most notably in my lower back, hips and knees – have gone away. I’m also stronger, quicker and I feel lighter when I hit the ground.

But don’t start thinking I’m some skinny, long-distance running freak. I’ve been running in Vibrams since September 2009 and wearing them full time since March 2010, but my body isn’t completely acclimated yet. This was never more evident than after my 10.11 mile run on Thursday, because after I finished and for the next two days, my left foot really, really hurt.

It didn’t feel like I stepped on a rock, it didn’t feel like I pulled anything and it only hurt on the bottom of my foot when I took a step. I tried stretching, ice and heat and nothing worked. And then I remembered the golf balls.

A few months ago, a physical therapist from Custom Chiropractic had told me to start using golf balls on the bottom of my feet to help break up something to do with my tendons and that if I didn’t, I’d feel pain similar to plantar fasciitis. Seeing as how I’ve never had that (but my dad has and regularly receives shots for it), I had no idea how I’d diagnose myself. She said if I had a weird pain that I couldn’t otherwise pinpoint, that would be it. And to buy some golf balls.

Apparently the golf balls help achieve the same type of release that foam rollers mercilessly allow with my IT band, so it seemed a good idea. She also told me that it was going to really, really hurt, and that I should stand on them for as long as I could, as there’s no way I could apply enough pressure with my hands, nor could most non-physical therapy people.

Pain to end pain? Sounds ridiculous, but after having painful, deep-tissue massages relieve pain in the past, I followed her advice and grabbed some used golf balls from a friend who lives adjacent to the Biltmore Golf Course.

I stood on them, rolled them around under my feet and gritted my teeth against the pain. I swear I actually felt the tendons (?) in my feet relaxing and now almost 18 hours later, my feet feel great. Check out the video to see how I did it.

(I’m so sorry for this video. I wanted to do more, but grew frustrated at my limited abilities and I decided in the end it wasn’t any more beneficial to you if I talked more or was featured, so I just shipped the feet part and went with it.)


  1. Chris Lee

    January 02nd, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Any suggestions on how to do the same on a locked up calf? Tried to run again after my 1st run a couple days ago & no way yet.


    • Tyler Hurst

      January 03rd, 2011 at 9:32 am

      Baseball, with or without help.


    • Alex F. Fayle

      January 04th, 2011 at 11:54 am

      I use tennis balls for my hips which often hurt. They give ever so slightly so don’t hurt as much as other balls but definitely give relief. I also use them for my neck and I’ve used them on my thighs and calves before.


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  3. Tyler Hurst

    January 04th, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I use tennis balls for my hips, too. Not hard enough to use on my feet though.

    Sometimes I use a baseball for the really bad knots in my thighs.


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  5. research247

    August 04th, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I hurt my left arch and ankle when I first got my five fingers. I walked without injury in regular shoes all my life yet like the various web pages say, start slow and work up to a long walk.


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