For the last five years or more I’ve had a pain in the ass. This is not a metaphor. A sharp, hot, stabbing, radiating pain lives just adjacent to the left bottom rim of my sacrum. The agony isn’t constant, but flare-ups occur more frequently when I am super active.One day I woke up and realized that I was unnecessarily coping with significant spells of discomfort. That’s a pretty shitty way to live. So when I was offered a free dry needling sesh, I jumped all over it.
What the fuck is dry needling you ask? Dry needlers bristle when you compare the practice to acupuncture even though the two are remarkably similar. During dry needling, an acupuncture needle is used to penetrate directly into the myofascial trigger point. The disruption causes the muscles to spasm, in my case wildly, which in turn kicks on the production of endogenous opioids. Enjoyable indeed.My PT Casey ran a number of diagnostic tests and determined the instability lie primarily in my left gluteus medius and piriformis. He rolled me face down on the treatment table and prepped my ass for a needle. He located three massive mysofascial trigger points: 2 in that rascally glute med and one in its bitchy cousin the piriformis. When Casey inserted the needle into the first hardened muscle bunch it felt like a quick succession of a 1,000 electrocutions. My ass cheek was twitching like a tweaker. Face down in the massage-style treatment chair, all I could do was repeat “oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck,” over and over and again until finally he removed the needling stimulus. The inflamed muscle responds to the needle with a million repetitive contractions and releases which begin to self-soothe the unrelenting knots. Dry needling felt crazy – a bit like being tasered, but in just one spot. There is something truly spooky about not having control over your own ass muscles.Since this injury has been marinating for so long, Casey admitted mine was one of the biggest glute med releases he ever witnessed, and I strangely take some sort of sadistic pride in knowing that fact (such a fucking weirdo).Predictably, I was immediately sore after the treatment, but after a couple margaritas at my post-needling happy hour, I felt no pain. Now a day or two later, the symptoms have significantly improved (at least 62% better). Very rarely do I see results after one treatment of anything, so experiencing such a dramatically positive outcome after the first visit converted me to dry needling. It’s a little freaky to experience involuntary ass twitching, but dry needling is also an effective, non-pharmaceutical response to pain management. There is absolutely no reason to live with that pain in your ass.