As promised a few weeks ago, I am writing brief blog posts about fun or interesting patients I have treated with dry needling. This particular article is about a 31-year-old female who came to me a few weeks ago. In September of this year, she was participating in a competition and noticed her left hip hurt every time she squatted below parallel. The next day she ran 8 miles and from there on out, she has had left-sided hip pain whenever she squats below parallel.
This athlete was trying to be proactive by stretching and using a lacrosse ball to mobilize that hip flexor. While it would feel good for a short period of time afterwards, neither stretching nor soft tissue mobilization ever gave her the ability to squat like she had before. Consequently, she was having to modify her workouts and in recent weeks, not workout at all as a consequence of the hip pain.
In our first visit, she explained what happened to her and then I check out her strength, hip mobility, muscle length, squat form and of course dug around for trigger points. For the most part everything looked good. There were two notable places that I found trigger points – in the left Iliospoas and the Gluteus Medius. I call this CrossFit hip pain. I dry needled the hip flexor first and had her repeat the squat. It went from being an 8/10 pain (very painful) to 2/10 (like pressing on a bruise). That night she was able to do her workout that included thrusters and wall balls without any limitation or pain.
Since that first visit, we have had one follow up visit because the pain was not totally gone, but she has resumed working out like she had before. If you are a serious CrossFit athlete like this woman is, you probably have some muscle dysfunction somewhere that would benefit from dry needling. Give it a shot, you might just PR…