Many of you know I have had a fun time with injury this year. For those that don’t know, back in March I fully ruptured my quad tendon whilst taking photo’s of the youngsters race at a local fell race. Surgery followed with the tendon being reattached within 24-hours, two weeks in plaster and then a leg brace for the next four weeks. Movement was limited, rehab exercises considered no more than trying to get mobile, to the extent I had to teach myself to walk again. Then followed some pretty painful rehab exercise and that is still on going. I also became a fan of fresh fruit, lean home cooked chicken and lettuce as an accompaniment. Diet, was about the right food for repairing and not too much to regain lost weight – thank you Hannah for your advice.
So back to today. I am still seeing the Physio, still developing and strengthening a very week leg and yes walking as much as possible, up and down hills. My first runs were confined to hill reps (yes seriously!) having developed the progression from walking hill-reps. Uphill is good, downhill still a real issue. Marcus, has been on the case with ensuring all the post injury trauma has been loosened off and ensuring muscle have been ironed out and stretched. That said the repair area around the knee cap is both gristly and full of healing collagen. This makes the knee feel lumpy and stiff, with the connective tissue definitely less stretchy than normal. A problem when stretching is still limited and movement the best at releasing everything off. This definitely was all impacting on the IT Band.
So at the suggestion of Marcus I was in to see Michael the Osteopath at the Accelerate Performance Centre. Osteo’s are way more than back specialists, they are injury diagnosis experts and excellent for dealing with ways of releasing tension through fascia and muscles. So here I was about to have needles inserted into my knee where all the tension, gristle and collagen had built up. Not acupuncture, but ‘Dry Needling’. Dry Needling, as I understand it, tricks the body into thinking it is being ‘damaged’ by the tiny needles. It over reacts causing a healing response, that should be coupled with stretching and exercise. I wasn’t expecting much of a change to be honest and additionally the thought of needles being poked into my leg was not that appealing.
Michael, checked the leg over and the tension through the IT band. He strategically placed the tiny razor sharp needles into my knee, three in total. The first two and there was no pain, nothing. Then, the third and crikey, that made me tense. It wasn’t the needle so much as it was my knee reacting to the insertion. Michael then left them alone before giving them a little ‘twist’. There was no pain when they were withdrawn.
OK, so the proof is in the pudding, so to speak. A week later the lumpy stuff was dramatically reduced, range of movement had dramatically improved and the IT Band had released. I felt so much better, movement and running was less stiff and much more springy. So yes, from being sceptical to having rebooked for some more, it is well worth a try.
So if you have tight IT Bands or happen to be struggling with injury repair then this could be well worth investigating. I for one am converted…