So, I've been needled, I recovered, I ran, and I'm here to report.
I was sore after needling - like, can't walk quite right sore in the calves. So I took off a few days. Then I ran on Saturday and felt amazing: I did a progression run and it felt pain-free and easy (except for the part where I'm fat and out of shape).
But Sunday the pain returned. It's now back to where I was before: I can run, but every time I land on my left leg and sink down on my bent knee before pushing off, I feel pain in the biceps femoris tendon behind and slightly above the knee. After I run, there is diffuse pain across the area when I foam-roll, and I can dig into the tendon and feel one sharp, painful spot about the size of a quarter. The directions from my PT are, "Run on it, but don't go crazy". So, no crazy for me.
I think that my improvements Saturday were more due to resting the injury for two days than from needling. I've noticed that rest improves pain initially, but then when I do exercise, the pain that follows is much worse: as if the area grows tight with rest. Then it seems like my pain is worse and my recovery is set-back. This is why I've opted for frequent light exercise instead of complete rest.
I am not saying that the needling didn't help at all - I think for the right kind of injury it could be invaluable. The tightness in my right hip flexor is gone, completely gone, after just one needling: and I think that problem had been there for almost a year (I am doing some strengthening and stretching to maintain now). But so far it's not helping whatever is happening in my left hamstring.
I'm not sure what to do next. I rested, iced, compressed, and followed all the rules for an acute injury. Now I'm stuck in the recovery phase. Should I just take a full month off and see what happens? Continue PT? Ignore and run through? Finally see an actual doctor? So tired of this!