I have always been a big advocate of getting tissue work done on a weekly basis to prevent injuries. I liken it to getting oil changes on a car instead of waiting until the service engine soon light comes on.
On my own I do Graston, foam rolling, and facial stretching. But it is always good to have someone else work on you. I am a big fan of massage, particularly active release therapy and Rolfing.
Neurofunctional accupuncture and and dry needling are two methods I have recently been introduced to and work wonders. Despite all the mobility I do my quads are still unbelievably tight, so tight that it started causing me knee pain. I decided to try some of the accupuncture to see how it works.
I will first explain my experience, I will then explain the science behind it. If you have never had accupuncture for fear of needles sticking in you, worry not. You cannot even feel the needles. When they hit a trigger point, there is some painless involuntary twitching of the muscle. After the practitioner hooks up the electrodes to specific needles is where the fun begins. It starts to send progressive waves of current deep into the muscle to make them contract and relax. After about 15 minutes of this a little active release therapy to try and lengthen the muscles that were just activated.
After about 4 sessions the tightness of my quads was noticeably less and the pain in my lateral knee due to the tightness was almost completely gone. This nagging pain has been in my right knee for years, never anything debilitating, just a constant reminder that I am not as young as I used to be.
Neurofunctional Acupuncture is a post graduate certification for MD's, Chiro's and physios through McMaster University. Although they do teach us dry needling techniques (trigger point deactivation), the main goal of a neurofunctional acupuncture treatment is much different than a TCM treatment or a dry needling treatment.
They are taught to assess for dysfunction in the nervous system, and to restore it using needles and high frequency electric current to restore proper muscle activation.
Dr. Joanna Taylor of Alta Vista Chiropractic says the following "I see lots of crossfitters with shoulder dysfunction. Often when I do my assessment, I discover weakness in the subscapularis and serratus muscles, and hypertonicity in the anterior deltoid. I will then proceed with neurofunctional acupuncture to restore nervous input to the subscapularis and serratus to get them firing again. The result translates into decreased shoulder pain, increased shoulder strength and function and decreased risk of future injury. From a performance standpoint, this also translates into improved lifting technique and even the ability to lift heavier since all muscles are firing properly."
Neurofunctional accupuncture is another tool in your toolbox for improving your movement and reducing your pain. I have found that a combination of multiple methods to be the best option.
Yours in health