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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dry needling, a week later

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!


  1. Shoot. I was hoping to hear back that you had some success.

    I saw results when I did deep needling on my IT Band, but I went for maybe 5 sessions and did a lot of strength/conditioning on top of that.

    I'm trying to just stretch and stretch and stretch and tennis ball and hopefully get it resolved.

  2. I'd say rest rest for a bit. Take a bit of time off and see what happens. Ugggh, so frustrating. This injury thing gets in the way so much. Wish I could take you out for an "injury sucks" drink! I responded to your comment about StrideBox but here it is again...really should get your e-mail address in my contact list again.

    "Honestly Gracie, I don't think this would be a product that I would necessarily get because I know what I like and I stick to it. However, I disagree that most runners are picky. So many runners are new to racing and running and this is a great way for them to get to know new types of nutrition and products. So, I may not want this every month but so many runners would. And yes, you aren't a new runner so you know what you like ...$15 on that is better money spent....I agree." :)

  3. Oh Gracie. Hugs! I am so sorry it didn't help. At this point I think I would see a real doctor so you can KNOW 100% what you are up against and get a real recovery plan. but only if there is someone good (experienced with sports stuff) that you would feel confident in.

  4. This sucks! I know I would run through it, but I'm an idiot and probably haven't had this serious of pain. I would rule out an actual doctor, mainly because I'm an idiot - but I'm sure a doc is just gonna tell you to rest it, which you can do without seeing them. I don't know. But it sounds like you need rest for now.

  5. I know exactly what you mean. I've rested, gotten deep tissue, self trigger-pointed, stretched, iced, heat pad, compressed... my glute/ham problem. Still hurts. Don't really want to fork over $ for a doc appt because I've been assuming they'll just tell me to RICE. What to do! Uggggh. I'd have more faith in doctors if my previous doctors had left a better impression.

  6. Bummer about your lingering injury. I hate injuries!!! If you go to a MD, I would choose a sports medicine one that is very familiar with runners. Good luck and keep us posted!!

  7. Sorry this didn't do the trick Gracie. I can imagine your frustration. Not sure what all types of strategy you have used at this point, but deep tissue might help- with the right therapist. It can be painful, but something tells me you are willing to go through pain to get this better.

  8. You forgot BEER. Beer-Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevate. BRICE!

  9. It's so hard to give "advice" sometimes... I think you should listen to your gut instinct. That's what I always do no matter what anyone tells me.