Trigger Point Dry Needling at Alta Physical Therapy

Let me start off by saying IF YOU DO NOT LIKE NEEDLES, DO NOT WATCH THIS. This video shows first hand getting Trigger Point Dry Needling done to my lower leg.

In late May, I strained my soleus in my left leg. I sort of let it heal for a couple of weeks, not really doing much to it or for it. Thinking that a little rest was enough, I attempted to race the XTERRA East Championship on it. That was a mistake! I not only strained it worse than the first time, I wasn’t even able to finish the race. Wow that felt like a waste of a trip!

Now I was really in deep do do. This was my first major injury since turning pro in 2005, and the mental side of the injury was a real battle! Watching all my friends race and train in full swing was brutal. I hadn’t had to deal with something like this before, and I was having to learn how to cope with it. It really helped to toughen me up and teach me a few things about myself.

I saw Erin Dunham and Scott Swan on a weekly basis at Alta Physical Therapies. We did lots of manual therapy, ultrasound, and exercises to help strengthen the issues that caused the strained soleus in the first place. The final method of treatment that we used was Trigger Point Dry Needling. I had had a bit of experience with TDN previously, but it was only for recovery. This would be the first time I used it to help correct an injury. I had always described TDN as “an extreme discomfort” feeling previously. It wasn’t painful, just uncomfortable. That statement has been revoked when it comes to hitting an injury. I still wouldn’t call it “incredibily painful,” but rather “an extreme discomfort, with a bit of pain.”

So was it worth it? HELL YES! The very short amount of time of discomfort/pain was well worth the amazing effects of the needling. I was sore for the following day, but after that I was making leaps and bounds in my recovery. It really helped move me along at an accelerated rate. Wow what a difference! I have to highly recommend seeing the physical therapist at Alta for some TDN if you are looking to fix this type of injury asap! I can’t say enough good things about how well they have taken care of me and got me ready for my around the Earth trip.



Better the 2nd Time Around

After a rather dissapointing first race up in Winter Park, I was ready to have another go at it. The race this week was the Valley Point to Point. Excited for a bit less climbing, a bit more technical riding, and getting in a proper warm up, I was ready to rock! Bring on the mud!

I have come to realize that I really stink at starts right now, but I’m improving. The start of a mountain bike race involves going as hard as you possibly can, feeling like your lungs and legs are going to explode, then settling into a resonable pace and see where everyone is at. As usual, I popped off the back of the main pack almost instantly. No worries though because I had a plan!

Check out the file from my GPS Global Trainer and you will see that I started rather conservatively and then as I neared the end of the race, I really picked it up. I had been working on that with my coach a bit over the last few weeks and it really paid off. I kept thinking to myself “In the first 1/2 of the race, don’t be stupid. In the second 1/2 of the race, don’t be a wuss!” And it worked!

Just a few miles into the race I was around 20th or so, and as I crossed the line, I had worked my way up to 10th! I was stoked to have executed my plan nicely and rode like I knew I was capable of riding on the day. Noticing after the race that I was only 3:30 down from 3rd place, really got me fired up too! I wish I could make it back to more of these races and work my way up to the podium, but with my “Triple 6” races coming up, I’ll miss the rest of the Winter Park Series. I can’t wait to go back next year!