Once upon a time, I had minor knee problems. I went to see a Sports Doctor who ordered a CT scan, prescribed some pills and sent me home with some exercises and rm1000++ poorer.
That was the end of my “Physio” experience and the pain eventually went away. But not because of what he prescribed. I stopped running shortly after (during my uni days).
Around August last year, another problem cropped up. I was training for SCKLM and I developed a nagging pain that ran down my right hamstring and pulled on my knee whenever I ran.
*Photo credits: Vincent
Consistent foam rolling and stretching helped a bit but it was always lingering. I went for a few sessions of acupuncture but felt little to no relief. *I am not saying that acupuncture is NOT good. It just didn’t work out for ME.*
Soon after, Apple Physiotherapy Center dropped a friendly email offering some help. It was SO TIMELY. I was willing to try anything that would bring relief. I hadn’t explored physiotherapy, so it was perfect.
Over lunch, Vincent and Jess (partners of the company) shared and explained (the misconceptions/confusions etc) everything about physiotherapy.
They have been a HUGE SUPPORT for the past 5 months or so. I’ve been going there once either every week or every 2 weeks and I’ve never felt better!
What happens in a session?
1. TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
The session starts off with Jess placing pads of electrodes on the affected area that is connected to a device that would send impulses to the muscle.
EMS is generally used for:
-Increase blood circulation
-Relaxation of tense muscles
-Stimulates the muscles to prevent disuse
-As a strength training tool
She also places a hot pack over it which feels AMAZING!
2. Soft Tissue Manipulation (Massage)After about 10-15 minutes of EMS, a massage is given. This is the best part.
3. Dry Needling
I know this sounds a bit scary BUT THIS is what’s going to help you!
Dry needling involves the use of acupuncture needles on the affected area. They are the thinnest needles and are able to penetrate deep into muscle tissue to target shortened and injured muscles that remain tense. Shortened muscles tend to irritate and press on the nerve.
This form of diagnosis and treatment of myofascial pain is known as Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS). As chronic pain is usually neurological (and not structural), it takes a skilled practitioner to recognise the physical signs and symptoms of neuropathic pain.
As opposed to traditional acupuncture which goes according to predefined meridian lines, dry needling is used on tender muscle bands, at the center of tightness or near the spine where there is an irritated nerve root. No pain is felt if the needle penetrates a normal muscle. You WILL feel it if you have a supersensitive and shortened muscle.
I can tell you that whenever Jess puts the needle on my butt, the muscles go crazy! They be rumblin’.
What does dry needling do?
-Stimulates stretch receptors in the muscle which produces a relax reflex (causes the muscles to lengthen)
-causes minor injury to increase blood circulation to the area which stimulates the healing process
-help the nerve to function normally by creating an electrical potential in the muscle
Sometimes after the session, Jess tapes me up!
Although my pain was along the back of my hamstring and pulling on my knee, the root of the problem was my lower back! Specifically the right side. There’s a chunk of muscle that becomes ROCK HARD whenever I lack rest, run too hard or race. And that’s when it pulls on my nerve that runs down the back of my legs.
The treatments have helped to release that tight muscle. THANK YOU JESS! SO BLESSED to have met them and have them as part of my running journey. My last session before I left. Already missing them! 😉
I have to work on strengthening my lower back and my core (basically the WHOLE of me). I also need to work on using/activating the right muscles when I’m running. If you have a weak core/legs or if you are not using the right muscles, other non-dominating muscles will help to compensate which will lead to injury and pain.
All these can be done and improved with strength training, running drills, stretching and foam rolling. Cross train and recover well! They are essential to running! And of course, having a good physiotherapist helps too. 😉
Info on Apple Physiotherapy Centre
Look for: Jess Lim
PJ Palms Sport
No.1 Lorong Sultan, Sect 52, 46200 PJ.
GPS: PJ Palms Sport (Same row with PJ A&W)
Contact: 016 – 3210 662