How Dry Needling Changed My Life
When The Physical Therapist is Also The Patient
As a Physical Therapist, I was constantly correcting my posture, stretching at any free moment, but always felt the weight of nagging tight, sore muscles. Years of sitting at a desk gave me a chronic sore lower back. When it was really bad, I’d have pain go down my leg. I even had an MRI in my twenties to see if I had a bulged disc. It was of course, not a disc problem. I had a stiff neck and was getting headaches about twice a month. Then, I went to a dry needling course, and finally felt like I could move. It was one of the biggest aha moments of my career.
1. Nagging Pressure Was Gone!
The weight of life, including all things activity and stress, caused me to have tight and sore muscles. I can still point to the spot in my shoulder blade that was always nagging at me. No amount of stretching or rubbing would make it go away! After my first experience with dry needling, the weight and heaviness of constant tightness was lifted. The spots weren’t there anymore.
2. My Body Worked With Me Instead of Against Me!
I could finally fully relax. Gently ease and melt into stretches versus having to force my body into it. I didn’t have to adjust my posture all the time.
3. More Bang for My Buck From Workouts and Stretching!
Muscles actually started getting stronger! Especially in my buttock muscles. Those muscles had been tight for so long that no matter how many squats or clamshells I did, I wasn’t gaining any strength. I started moving in more optimal patterns and not “cheating”.
Throughout my career I had always joked that I wish I could have a scalpel to go into people’s tight sore muscles and remove them. Dry needling gave me the tool I’d been looking for, allowed me to move easier, and relax more deeply. It validated years of frustration. I was doing all the right things – stretching, exercising, correcting my posture – but none of the pain went away until the tight muscles were released. The first time a muscle in my shoulder blade was treated by dry needling, I started to cry. There it is! Since then I have been able to keep most aches and pains away, with the stretching I was already doing, a little more focus on relaxing, breathing, and strengthening. Dry needling alone is not the magic wand, but combined with all the other things, can change your life.