November 17, 2012

Therapy !?

I think I've done myself a mischief! I've done a right job on myself.

After a full season training without so much as a niggle I really went for it when I hit the Aillwee trails.In fairness being injury free was a much down to regular visits to Greg Maclean as it was being careful and not over doing anything in training. Greg is a Neuromuscular Rehabilitation Therapist (NMRT for short) and what he does is magic!

With a bit of a chat to discuss any problems he will identify any potential issues with a few well placed thumbs (which I'm convinced he sharpens with a parer cos he hits the sensitive spots bang on) he will outline the course of action he's going to follow. It can be anything from a straight forward sports massage, to deep tissue massage, dry needling or his latest card trick, which I discovered today, electro-stimulus of needles.

Now, don't get me wrong, he's not new to the game, its just a new 'card trick' for me.

When he says "I'm gonna suggest something, and you won't like it" I know it involves needles.

I thought fine, go ahead, you've done it before. Then he starts rooting at a cart with wires hanging off it and I swear there was a hint of a maniacal smile playing on his face as he said, "I'm going to pass a pulse through the needles".

Hooked up to Dr Frankenstein's machine
Not going into a blow by blow account of what he did to me today. Essentially he inserted fine needles into a couple of trigger points around the injured area and passed an oscillating current through the needle to stimulate blood flow in the injured tissue.

The reasons, he outlined, are because the area around the knee cap (patella) is mostly supportive tendons and ligaments linking the upper and lower leg and providing attachment points for the leg muscles. Tendon & ligament are unlike muscle tissues in that they have a limited circulatory system service which means they don't heal as quickly or easily as other soft tissue.

So the way I'm hooked up the two mini-jumpleads with the yellow cabling are passing a current into the area below my knee cap. Its like there's two little Leprechauns with mini lump hammers tapping away at the area really furiously, not pleasant but not uncomfortable.

The blue leads are into the attachment area of the tendons supporting the side of the knee cap and where the quad muscles are wrapping around onto the lower leg. Same sensation as above and all of a sudden my knee feels like its the face of a Leprechaun quarry.

The grey cables are for the craic. They are stimulating the quad muscles. Basically because I'm not using the left quad the body is atrophying the muscle and it is decidedly noticeable, at this stage 5cm circumference difference left to right quad. By passing a current into this leg he is activating the muscles and hopefully giving them a workout while I sit on my ass.

How does this work? Just look at the video below to see the muscle at work.

After 30 minutes of this I felt like I'd done a proper workout on just my left leg.

Greg also recommended that I start taking Serrapeptase to help prevent the development of scar tissue within the knee and to help reduce the bursitis bubble.

If you need any information on Greg or on any of the treatments he offers in his rooms in Kilcolgan, just check out his website for more information.

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