4.10.2015

Stick A Needle In It

I've spent much of my life with a deathly fear of needles. I can't even look at them. When I got my wisdom teeth out last fall, my boyfriend had to come in with me to hold my hand while they put the IV in. For some reason, I was fine when I got my tattoo but, in general, needles are not my thing.

Throughout all of my injuries over the years, I had heard people talk about dry-needling and acupuncture and had had both therapies recommended to me several times, but I just couldn't bring myself to try either of them. I stubbornly declined any time one or the other was offered to me.

I can't explain why, but something changed a few weeks when I woke up one morning with intense IT band pain. Until that morning, my IT band had been 100% pain-free, but it was suddenly so painful that I could barely walk down the stairs of my apartment.

I remembered someone mentioning "Boulder Acusport," so I did a quick Google search and made an appointment for the next day. Yes, I willingly made an appointment to have someone stick needles in me. I know, I know... I don't know who I am anymore either.

In our first session, Ginna did a thorough evaluation and found that my glutes are VERY weak and they really don't fire at all when I move. Basically, I have a lazy butt. And if your glutes aren't doing their job, other muscles have to take up the slack and you're practically asking for an injury. Combined with all the snow and ice I had been running on, this was probably one of the causes of my sudden IT band pain and my long-term lower leg injuries.

Despite my nerves, Ginna went to work putting needles in various spots including those lazy glutes. I wouldn't say the sensation was pleasant, but it really wasn't terrible. While we let them "marinate," we talked a bit, and I can honestly say I kind of forgot that I had needles in me.

The only not-so-nice side effects I experienced were some tiredness that day and some weird soreness that sometimes felt like the needles were still there for a few days after. But, I did notice how much easier the motion of running felt now that my glutes were awake. And I noticed that they got really fatigued, because they were actually doing work for the first time in probably a very long time. Am I and my butt 100% cured? No, but we're on the right track and now that my glutes are awake, I can work on strengthening them and I really think things are going to continue to get better.

So, thank you to one of the newest members of "Team Amanda," Ginna Ellis of Boulder Acusport for getting me back to running quickly and starting me on the road to becoming a better, stronger runner!

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