Today I went to physical therapy to get some dry needling done. Let me just tell you, it’s really weird!
Dry needling uses acupuncture needles to work on trigger spots in the muscles where knots and tightness have built up. After poking the trigger spots with the needles to find the center of it, a stimulating electrode, similar to what’s used in stimulation therapy, is attached to the needles. This causes all kinds of crazy muscle contractions!
At the end of a session, you’ll want to work out the muscle to prevent it from tightening up. Instead of what’s often referred to as the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) after physical activity, dry needling caused immediate muscle soreness (at least for me; everyone responds differently).
After treatment today, my calf was incredibly sore and would tighten up really quickly. I tried to get on the upright bike in the gym in our apartment once I got home, but it kept losing the resistance (it was being very weird) so I finally gave up and instead used carrying a lot of items to the big trash bins in our building’s basement as my exercise.
We’ll see if the dry needling helps. I had 4 done in the back of my calf and 2 along the side. (I also learned today I should never get a tattoo because I’m a total wuss.) I also don’t think I’ll be getting much running in between now and when we get to California. I’m only in town for 2.5 more days before I head to Detroit for a bachelorette party/bridal shower-filled weekend, and when I get back early Monday morning it will be time to pick up the moving van and load it up. (Which, yes, means the last 36 hours since we made it home from California have been filled with all kinds of packing.) My hope is that between this dry needling treatment and a couple of weeks off from running, things will start to get better.
However, there is a lot of tightness in the fascia and muscles around the ankle joint. The therapist I saw today thinks the pronation the therapists identified in my gait analysis could be coming as a compensatory mechanism to the joint being too tight. Because my ankle and calf muscles/fascia are so tight (they’ve been horrible my entire life – my ballet teacher would yell at my legs when I was younger because she was so frustrated that my demi-plies were so pathetic), he was thinking that I may not be able to come over the top of my ankle the way I should, and that in turn is causing my body to find a way around the joint – hence, the pronation.
Obviously that’s a big hypothesis to just throw out and not be able to follow up on. Which means that once I get settled in California and start getting insurance through my new job (yes, the offer became official after my final interview over the weekend!) my PT here is going to help me find someone in the area to continue my treatment with. In the meantime though, I’m hoping to get some good miles in at some point!
Your Turn: Have you ever had dry needling? Want to come finish packing my apartment? You could also help me finish off the food and alcohol in my cabinets!