I've been asked to write about the dry needling technique I've been getting since starting PT. It started with one needle to try to get my IT band to relax, and I would occasionally ask for one needle at subsequent PT sessions. The whole concept of PT with ITBS is to gain strength in the hips and glutes, and get the fascia to release at the game time. In my case, and probably many others, it doesn't release on its own, and that's where dry needling can come in.
For a quick summary of dry needling, you can check out my chiro's office page on it. The needles that are used are the same as acupuncture, but it's a different technique from acupuncture. The needle is inserted into a trigger point on the muscle or fascia, and it causes ripples to spread through and relax the the muscle. I've had the needles inserted along my quad, and near my knee to get both the quad and IT band to relax. When the needle's inserted into the trigger point, I feel a quick nerve burst, then that's it. I can relax after that and I do feel the muscle around the needle relaxing. I don't look while the needle's going in since I'm incredibly squeamish, but each time at PT, it was one needles in a couple different spots, and I felt better running.
This past week, I went for a full treatment instead of the one needle at a time approach. I definitely needed this check up because two of the points were tight. I had 3 needles along my quad from about mid-way, down to my knee, then a needle on the inside of my quad, near the knee cap. Then she hooked up the two lower ones to her mobile stim machine to work on everything relaxing. I felt the inner quad relaxing more than the other spot, but it was relaxing along the entire leg. I'd had stim before in college, but that was with pads that stuck to the skin. The stim does the same thing, to get the muscles to relax.
I don't know which plans cover dry needling, but my plan does cover some. It's not something I'd do every week, but she said I can come in as needed. I currently see my chiro once a month to keep up with maintenance, and depending how this results, I may consider dry needling for monthly maintenance as well. Despite my run being crappy on Sunday, my knee felt pretty good. I have another run coming up today, which should be oh so much fun. We are currently getting Houston-type humidity in Dallas, and it's awful.
Tuesdays on the Run with Patty, Erika, and Marcia.