Runners Article

Richard Rossiter Brings Powerful Injury Prevention,
Injury Relief Program to Cincinnati Runners

Have you temporarily hung up your running shoes because of plantar fascitis or a chronically painful hamstring? Have you been sidelined because of knee pain, a sore hip, heel spurs or compartmental syndrome?

Richard Rossiter wants to get you back on your feet soon — and pain-free. He’ll introduce his powerful Rossiter System stretching program at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 8, at The Running Spot in O’Bryonville (third floor). He’ll also conduct a three-hour workshop 1-4 p.m. Saturday, May 24, also in O’Bryonville.

Rossiter is a connective tissue specialist who began looking for non-drug, non-surgical approaches to pain relief in the 1970s, when chronic shoulder pain nearly cut short his career as a commercial helicopter pilot. He found relief from connective tissue work (Rolfing), became a certified advanced Rolfer and worked with a neurosurgeon to develop powerful two-person stretches to prevent and alleviate chronic pain.

Since the 1990s, he’s implemented Rossiter System in U.S. companies and factories to help employees prevent and reverse work-related overuse injuries. Now he’s introducing his pain-busting program to Cincinnati athletes at The Running Spot (we carry the Saucony shoes he likes!)

Unlike static, one-person stretches, the Rossiter System involves powerful two-person stretches that change the nature of connective tissue. One person uses his or her foot to add weight at specific areas of a partner’s body, while the partner executes a set series of directed stretches and movements. The techniques have names like Elbow Torque, Hole in the Shoulder, Knee Wave and Rocking Ham, and they’re showcased in Rossiter’s 2006 book, “Step out of Pain the Rossiter Way: Powerful Two-Person Stretching Techniques for Head-to-Toe Pain Relief” (2006; Bookmasters International).

“You’ll know your pain is connective-tissue related if it leaves immediately after these simple stretches and techniques,” says Rossiter, of College Hill. “If your pain moves, or if it changes, you’re dealing with trauma to the body’s connective tissue. These stretches are powerful techniques for restoring tissue to its natural, loose, supple state. If the pain doesn’t leave, the problem is more serious and you should consult a doctor.”

Rossiter’s workshops are approved for continuing education credits from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, the Ohio Physical Therapy Association (and four other states), and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

What do athletes say about these techniques? Tim Zack, former Eckerd College (Fla.) pitcher, says the Rossiter techniques kept his elbow loose and pain-free and ensured that he didn’t miss a game during his high school and college careers.

“My calves are always tight, and a few Calf Crunches really loosen them up,” says Tim Bedinghaus, 17, a Walnut Hills High School cross-country and track team member. “But I’ve found the most relief for a pulled hamstring. The Rossiter techniques worked better and helped me recover quicker than just icing and resting the hamstring.”

And says Richard Hoska, a Minneapolis competitive runner who took Rossiter System training in the fall of 2002: “The Rossiter System works very well for running-related injuries, especially plantar fascitis and hamstrings, even low back pain. It’s a little different and some people don’t know how to respond at first, but I give it big a thumbs up. It’s a very effective approach to pain.”