Are Running injuries interfering with your performance? Dry needling will help you to recover fast. Achilles tendonitis is the second most common injury experienced by habitual runners. Achilles tendonitis is inflammation of the Achilles tendon as a result of repeated injury (usually tearing). The main symptom is pain often described as burning or aching in the Achilles tendon 1-4 inches above the heel. The pain is usually worse in the morning and aggravated with prolonged activity.

There are 3 reasons:

1. Tight/Weak Calves: The calf is comprised of two large muscles, the gastrocnemius and the soleus, which combine to point the foot downward. This motion is an essential part of walking/running, and the calf should supply a large amount of the force necessary for a proper push off. However, when a muscle is weak or tight, the muscle is in a state of restriction. Because of restriction tension will accumulate in the muscle & tendon. Continued stress will break down the tendon, and it will be subject to repetitive tearing and thus a chronic inflammatory process.

2. Abnormal Foot Structure: The thing is, there is no such thing as a “perfect” foot. They all come in different shapes and sizes. There are definitely structural characteristics of some feet that will make them susceptible to developing pathological hypomobility. The foot is the first line of shock absorption of the kinetic chain. There are 33 articulations in the foot alone, each one important for proper force distribution when load is being placed through the lower extremity. The less mobile these joints are, the more force will be translated up the kinetic chain. Sometimes that excessive force will accumulate as stress and tension in a muscle or joint, such as the Achilles tendon.

3. Weak Glutes/Hips: Weak glutes and hips can lead to a myriad of musculoskeletal conditions, including Achilles tendonitis. The weaker the glutes and less stable the hips are, the more distal muscles will be called upon to compensate. This can sometimes lead to overutilization of the calves to promote hip extension with walking/running. As we can imagine, this is multiplied especially for an activity like running as it involves repetitive eccentric loading of the lower extremities for prolonged periods. When muscles are overused, they will be in a state of increased tightness and restriction, thus leading to accumulation of stress and irritation to the musculotendinous junction, the Achilles tendon.

To relax the tight muscle dry needling will help. Dry needling involves having a needle plunged into your skin so that it touches your muscles on key points. The technique is often called trigger-point needling and it’s meant to help release tight muscles. Dry needling is a skilled intervention that uses a thin filiform needle to penetrate the skin and stimulate underlying myofascial trigger points, muscular, and connective tissues for the management of neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments. It is a technique used to treat dysfunctions in skeletal muscle, fascia, and connective tissue, and to diminish persistent peripheral nociceptive input, and reduce or restore impairments in body structure and function, leading to improved activity and participation.

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