The things we do for recovery.
Today I went in for dry needling at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. Ever heard of it? Me neither.
Basically, it’s a practice used by physical therapists to help a particularly stubborn muscle to release. It’s called “dry needling” because no medicine is used within the needle. If you’ve tried rolling, massaging, stretching, icing, cussing, doing a rain dance and crying to relieve muscle pain, achiness and crampiness, but have had no luck, dry needling could be a solution. The practice, mostly used in Australia, is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. You can read more about it HERE.
I begged my dry needler woman, Cathy, to let me take pictures. Here is the needle.
I should have put a quarter or tampon beside it to show the actual size. It was about four inches long and was to go in my ass. Not up my ass, just in the muscle. She said they have longer needles for bigger asses. I am not the huge ass (“Hugh Jazz” as Bart Simpson would say when he calls Moes Tavern) category, so I got the four incher (that’s what she said).
I nicely asked her to please take a picture of the needle sticking out of my butt, telling her I didn’t care if my exposed glute was on the internet (the SUAR version of a sex tape I suppose), but she opted for my hamstring. Chicken.
So, here’s what goes on. The very thin, acupuncture type needle goes in. However, dry needling is NOT acupuncture. Totally different philosophy. The needle is moved around within the muscle. If the needle hits a true trigger point there will be some twitching, cramping and deferred pain. You may or may not faint, break into a cold sweat or just say the “f” word and pound your fists like I did. Seriously, it’s not that painful. On the pain scale, I probably only got to a six when she dug into my very tight IT band.
She did about six needles in my ass, four in my hamstring and three in my IT. We were going to do the adductors (inner thigh), but that is the most painful area, so we will do that next week. Needles in the inner thigh. Is that a type of porn? Might need some tequila before that one.
Cathy the Needler said that this practice is especially helpful to release IT bands. Just FYI.
Now I am achy, which is expected. I am going to swim later today and try running tomorrow. I will be very excited if this works because I have been dealing with glute issues for the past six months or so and think they may have contributed to my injury.
Prior to the needling, I saw my doc. Unlike past appointments where I cried and begged him to tell me when I would be better, we spent this session shooting the shit about Boston. He reviewed and okay’d my training plan and could not stop smiling at my progress. Said my body language and whole disposition were both completely different than four weeks ago. It feels might good to be on this side of the injury.
My doc ran Boston in 2008. As he talked about the course, I could visualize myself there, and I kept tearing up with pure and complete joy at the thought of it all. We even hugged. Oh good God!!
His biggest tip for Boston? Pool Raft. My eyebrow raised and I looked at him with my most profound WTF? expression when he said this. He explained that because you take busses to the start so early, you end up waiting around forever. His ass became frozen from sitting on the concrete and grass for so long, and it sucked. He noticed the Boston veterans brought deflated pool rafts with them to sit on. Target – $2.00. Good tip for any marathon! I’m all over it.
In 40 days I will be sitting on a deflated pool raft in Hopinkton wearing Goodwill throw away clothes and some kind of cute running outfit and getting ready to experience and obtain this long awaited goal. It has come at the price of many ups and downs, tears, uncertainties. I think that makes it all the more sweeter.
Off to Tarjay,