Just wanted to give the quickest of updates on the running/PT situation-
First off- I am running! (If 15 miles on Sunday wasn’t a good indicator already ). Secondly, I am definitely still in physical therapy. I love the therapists I see- and one of the treatments that I receive is incredibly effective- in fact, if I hadn’t begun this therapy I am not sure if I would be running at this point.
Those of you that know me outside of the internet, know that I am talking about Trigger Point Dry Needling. Much like trigger point massage, the therapist locates the portion of the muscle that is in spasm; but instead of applying pressure to the area to get the muscle to release, an acupuncture needle is inserted into the muscle (acupuncture needles are of a non-tissue damaging gauge), and then manipulated through the tissue until many small (and sometimes large) spasms occur (called twitches), with the intent of causing the muscle that is IN spasm to go OUT of spasm.
You Tube Video on Dry Needling (watch this at some point- but it does have video of needling- so if you are queasy about needles, maybe wait or skip)
Things people ask me (other than to not talk about getting needled so much… ha):
-No, the insertion and manipulation of the needle is not painful (unless a nerve is hit. the technique relies on the patient giving good feedback to the therapist. Burning or electric sensations require the therapist to choose a new insertion point- that sensation does not last).
– The most uncomfortable part of the treatment are the actual twitches. I have been dry needled for plantar faciitis directly into my heel and into the smaller muscles of my foot- this was not comfy at all. Dry needling in the calf can produce really large twitches much like a charlie horse- which can be painful momentarily. Other large muscle groups such as the glutes can produce huge twitches- but I personally did not find these to be painful.
-Most surprising is that when the muscle area that has been specifically bothering YOU is located within the tissue and it causes a twitch- you often feel the twitch in all of the “connective areas”- for example, I have an area of my soleus that is particularly bad- and it had been causing inner ankle pain. When the therapist needled the area of my soleus that was in spasm, I could feel it EXACTLY in the part of my ANKLE that had been hurting.
-Since lactic acid is usually released during the twitches, muscles that have been stimulated are usually quite sore immediately afterwards and for up to a day.
– Depending on how tight the muscles are and how easily they release, you may feel pain relief after 1-2 sessions. After 2 sessions on my calf it was loose enough that I could run. I’m not cured yet, however- I still have strengthening to do- because the muscle tissue is tightening back up relatively quickly after exercise.
I have PT tonight and will likely be receiving my third treatment using the dry needling technique. Even though it is not exactly super comfortable- I am almost looking forward to it because I know that my Thursday and Friday runs are going to be SO MUCH BETTER.
Any questions? Anyone else try anything new in PT?
Also- for tomorrow’s recipe- Dessert or Appetizers???