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6 Muscle Groups That Could Benefit From Dry Needling After Fall Marathon Season

As the days grow shorter and colder, and the vibrant hues of summer give way to the crunch of leaves and frost, nature prompts us to slow down and turn our focus inward.

This season of reflection extends beyond business and relationships, reaching into the realm of personal passions.

For avid runners who’ve conquered training goals, navigated the challenges of consistent aerobic growth, endured harder and longer runs, and adhered to strength training and mobility routines, it’s time to evaluate the toll on the body.

As the fall marathon season concludes, questions arise: Did your performance align with your body’s capabilities? Have persistent aches and pains intensified with increased mileage? With the winter months approaching, what steps can be taken to prevent these limitations from affecting next year’s training?

Enter dry needling – a therapeutic technique employing fine, sterile needles to target tense or painful muscles.

Unlike acupuncture, which balances energy flow along meridians, dry needling aims to restore balance in the muscular and nervous systems. This article identifies six muscle groups commonly benefiting from dry needling to aid recovery from this year’s training and set the stage for success in the upcoming year.

  1. Peroneus longus and brevis:
    • Originating on the outside of the lower leg, these muscles play a crucial role in foot stability.
    • Address peroneal tendinopathy and ankle pain by understanding their connection to foot landing patterns during running.
  2. Tibialis anterior:
    • Part of the spiral line of fascia, this muscle becomes hyperactive when stability is lost in the sacroiliac joint.
    • Explore how co-contraction with peroneus longus affects the longitudinal arch of the foot, potentially causing shin splints and anterior knee pain.
  3. Quadriceps (vastus lateralis, rectus femoris, and vastus medialis obliquus):
    • Trigger points and constant tension in these muscles can result in IT band pain, knee pain, and anterior hip pain.
    • Discover the interconnectedness of these quadriceps muscles with pelvic stability and alignment changes during extended runs.
  4. Biceps Femoris (lateral hamstring):
    • Positioned in the spiral line, this muscle stabilizes the pelvis and compensates for glute weakness.
    • Understand how overworking the lateral hamstring can occur, especially at higher running speeds.
  5. Tensor fascia latae:
    • Positioned for emergency pelvic stability, this muscle may lead to hip pain, labral tears, and IT band pain.
    • Explore the challenges presented by the constant tightness and potential complications associated with extended running.
  6. Iliopsoas (psoas and iliacus):
    • Deep front line muscles that, when overactive, contribute to stress, altered breathing patterns, and poor posture.
    • Discuss the intricate factors influencing tightness in the iliopsoas group and its association with sacroiliac joint instability.

For runners seeking to proactively manage muscular imbalances, skilled manual therapy techniques like dry needling, coupled with specific exercises, offer a path to achieving future goals.

Whether you completed your first turkey trot or are gearing up for winter trail running, addressing these common areas of dysfunction ensures your body performs at its peak when aligned and working harmoniously.

Remember, discomfort is part of the journey, but with proactive management, you can overcome obstacles and revel in the joy of running. Here’s to happy running and a future filled with aligned and uninhibited achievements.

Ready to experience the rejuvenating benefits of dry needling? Take the next step in optimizing your running performance by visiting Rebalance Physical Therapy.

Our expert practitioners specialize in personalized dry-needling sessions, tailored to your unique needs and goals. Step into our clinic, and let us help you overcome discomfort, enhance resilience, and unlock your body’s full potential.

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