Acupuncture

I visited the sport’s medicine doctor yesterday. We’re still unsure what is wrong with my right knee. He thinks it might be because my left leg is a little teeny tiny bit longer than the right. (I’m hot.) Either way, the right thigh muscle is sensitive to the touch. It’s also super tight. He showed me some exercises to work on and told me to focus on standing on all four points of my feet (as seen in Mountain Pose for all you yogis out there). Apparently, I stand on the outsides of both feet and the inside of my legs are weak because of it. I also run with bad form because of this impurity.

I have another appointment with him next week to discuss my shoes, how I run (he’ll put me on a treadmill), and physical therapy. He also wants to give me acupuncture, which leads me to my question: Has anyone out there ever had it done? Know anyone who has? How does it feel? Is it painful at first? Does it work? Any and all information will help me out. I’m nervous now.

P.S. If you dislike leaving comments, kindly email me. (michele @ mihow dot com.)

23 Comments

  1. my mom had acupuncture years ago for mental health stuff. I guess it helped -I’m not really sure. I doesn’t hurt, the needles are just barely in your skin.

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  2. Lately I’ve been thinking that my one leg is longer than the other… perceptively so. Maybe I should be that checked out.

    Sounds like your doc has you doing all sorts of fun stuff. Here’s hoping that he figures everything out and sets you off running into the sunset with happy knees and perfect running form!

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  3. Amanda had it at that place I was telling you by our house … she said it was “weird” but felt good.

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  4. When I first read that, I read it really fast and thought you meant she had it in a certain place. I was thinking (because I am a filthy girl) “ummmm ouch”.

    I wonder if he’ll just do my leg. Maybe I’ll ask him to do one for my head as well. I could use the mental help. :]

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  5. I used to get it every week for headaches and whatnot… It sometimes hurts a bit, sometimes not. I loved it. I always felt better afterwards.

    (ps. this is kelly, from BARC… Did ya get my vet recommendation?)

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  6. I highly recommend acupuncture. I love it when they put electricity into the needles too.

    It is good for so many things and is non invasive so it is always worth trying.

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  7. Kelly! I did. Thank you.

    Meghan, thanks for that. I’m looking forward to it. I think. :]

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  8. I am an acupuncturist so I can answer a few questions for you.

    Acupuncture is very effective for musculoskeletal issues. Unlike Western medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupuncture, Chinese herbology, tui na)diagnoses from patterns. When you go to an acupuncturist they will access your condition.

    Acupunture needles are very thin. The thickness generally is between 30 gauge to 40 gauge (think the size of one of the hairs from your head).

    Insertion is generally painless. After the needle is inserted to the proper depth, the classic needle sensation is sought called de qi. This sensation can be dull, achy, warm, tingling, etc.

    Tips for finding a good acupuncturist. Look for someone who has lots of training. Acupuncturists who have L.Ac., M.S.T.O.M., D.O.M., have generally attended around 4 years of specific training in TCM.

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  9. Andrew, thank you very much for the information.

    I’m curious, where are you located?

    I am scheduled to have it done next Tuesday; I’ll surely keep everyone posted.

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  10. Acupuncture is da god**m Bomb! Used it to treat a rather nasty compression fracture on my T-12 vertebrae [it’s now permanently 1/4” shorter than it used to be…yes yes due to a bicycle wreck] for two years before my insurance morphed acupuncture out of its coverage, and it was IMMENSELY helpful. It’s also great for the complications resulting from severe depression [hit my head so hard I stopped making serotonin in the same accident]. Yes, I was wearing a helmet.

    It’s really pretty common to have one leg longer than the other, of course I discovered this after another earlier nasty bicycle wreck, where I had a 4++ break [in orthopod speak] on my right hip. Luckily, when it was all said and done my orthopedic surgeon vitually danced around the room when the repaired leg was within 1/8-1/4” of it’s neighbor, which is considered “normal”. Since I’m two meters tall, it was tough job and he truly did excellent work. I only have these encounters w/ gravity once every eleven years [so I’m good till 2010]. Hope this helps…..

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  11. Wow, Nervous and small, you sound like a daredevil!

    You know, I fell off a bike once—it was pretty bad. I hit my head so hard. I had a concusion. I used to make comments that, right after that fall, was the turning point of my mental stability. It was a joke. However, is it true you can stop making serotonin after sustaining a hard fall? I had no idea.

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  12. I’m sure your sports med doc will soon be indoctrinating [pardon the pun] you into the mysteries of “supination” and “pronation” sportsbabble. Sounds like you “supinate” [like I do] where the weight you bear when you walk/run rolls off the outside edge of your foot [it’s easy to see via the wear pattern on the bottom of your tennies].

    Pronation is when the weight borne by walking/running starts at the heel then rolls across to the “ball” of your foot, and leaves off the inside edge of your foot. It’s impossible to mentally “control” whichever version you do [people are just one way or the other] but about ninety percent of runners pronate and only around ten percent supinate, so there’s a TON of running shoes out there to control the effect of pronating, but not a lot out there for supinators, just due to market demands. You might be using the wrong flavor of running shoe. Hope this helps…..

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  13. Wait, what shoe do you suggest? This does freaking help. It REALLY helps. Please let me know. Asics? I used to have a pair of those. loved them. Now, I’m using Saucony’s and my knees kill. I wasn’t sure if it’s the shoe that does it or the mileage.

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  14. my brother had accupuncture done for a knee injury he sustained while playing soccer. he was living in korea at the time and had no health insurance. it worked wonders! one happy customer.

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  15. This is all really great, reassuring news. I thank you all.

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  16. I’m a runner who had ITB once. It was so bad I could hardly ride the subway because I couldn’t get down the stairs. But I was lucky-it responded fast and completely to stretching. Get your guy to show you some ITB stretches-it’s a hard spot to get and stretching it can hurt a little. But with luck it will make a big difference. Also, ice and Aleve are very effective at dealing with the inflammation. A lot of people have found acupuncture very helpful. I found it hard to tolerate because I’m really uneasy with needles no matter how fine they are. There are also exercises you can do to strengthen the inside of the quad and the inner thigh muscles. That can also make a difference to your knees.

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  17. I just saw your post about shoes. Getting the right shoe is not about brand. All the major brands (Asics, Saucony, Brooks, Nike, New Balance, Mizuno, etc.) make numerous models. Some models are designed for people whose feet roll in, some for those whose feet roll out and some for folks in between. What you need to do if this is all news to you is go to a good running store, have them check out your gait, and let them recommend suitable models from a few different brands. Each brand has its own fit and feel and is a matter of personal taste. But get help figuring out what type of shoe you need—generally they’re described as motion control (for the rolling in gang), stability for the in betweens, and cushioning for people who run on their toes or on the outside of the foot. I do not recommend Paragon. They have a great selection and they sound all knowledgeable, but they’re always putting people in the wrong shoes. Try Urban Athletics at 92nd & Madison. They are real runners who know their stuff.

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  18. A runner, while I have tattoos and a few piercings, I, too, am pretty terrified of needles. Sometimes, I get weak-kneed and need to sit down. This is why I’m a little worried about it. I hope I don’t pass out or, worse, cry.

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  19. I just saw your post about shoes. Getting the right shoe is not about brand. All the major brands (Asics, Saucony, Brooks, Nike, New Balance, Mizuno, etc.) make numerous models. Some models are designed for people whose feet roll in, some for those whose feet roll out and some for folks in between. What you need to do if this is all news to you is go to a good running store, have them check out your gait, and let them recommend suitable models from a few different brands. Each brand has its own fit and feel and is a matter of personal taste. But get help figuring out what type of shoe you need—generally they’re described as motion control (for the rolling in gang), stability for the in betweens, and cushioning for people who run on their toes or on the outside of the foot. I do not recommend Paragon. They have a great selection and they sound all knowledgeable, but they’re always putting people in the wrong shoes. Try Urban Athletics at 92nd & Madison. They are real runners who know their stuff.

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  20. For the record, I am a super-duper-hyper-chicken [I can’t watch it when I have to give blood samples, get shots blahblahblah] when it comes to needles too, but that’s usually the beauty of accupuncture…you’re usually on your back and you don’t see them coming, and they might be “noticeable” sometimes when they go in, but they certainly don’t “hurt”. I only had one needle in over two years of treatment that I would say actually “hurt” going in, and it was such a rarity that that’s the only reason I remember it, and I know the guy was using thirty + needles per treatment on me easily, so it’s really no big deal…trrrrrrrust me. It’s nothing even remotely compared to piercings, and I’ve had a tongue [retired] nipple [retired] and a frenum [twice] pierced, so I can certainly compare both processes…..

    As far as the shoes go, do the treadmill thang w/ your sports doc and have him help you through it. He’ll probably videotape you so he can specifically show you what’s going on, after all, you can’t “see yourself” run. If you still have your old Asics I’d bring ‘em with you when you see the doc, so he can see the treadwear patterns. “A runner” is [pardon the British] “spot on” in describing the different types of shoes available and it’s certainly not “brand based”, and I’d follow his recommendation for where to go to buy them.

    blahblahblah] when it comes to needles too, and the ones used in accupuncture didn’t bother me a bit

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  21. Two more hints about running shoes. One, as a rule, you should buy them a half-size larger than your street shoe size. They tend to run a little small, and your feet swell a bit when you run, particularly on the long marathon training runs. Two, while brand is not the key to making the right choice, I would say that Avia, Ryka and Reebok are NOT popular with runners. ‘Nuff said.

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  22. I was told the same thing at the store the last time I bought a pair. I got the Saucony’s a half size larger. Works fine. I am begining to wonder if I should have to stuck with the Asics I had the last time. Ah well. Live and learn.

    I just tried to run another 3 miles after five days off. Everything was fine until about mile 2.5. Then the pain hit (again). I may have undone my healing. This is the weirdest pain, too. I can literally touch the spot and each time it sends weird nerve-like pains down and up my leg. Strange. I have no other way to describe it.

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  23. Hey you,

    I’m sorry to hear your knee is acting up and being generally painful. I have (had) similar knee issues, and my left leg is most certainly longer, albeit just barely (1/4 inch), than my right. I used orthodic inserts, and they worked well. Did anyone suggest those?

    Also, I have heard/read positive reviews re: acupuncture. :)

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