Back in 2011, I competed in the Half Ironman in Oceanside and I was having a great race until I started feeling sharp pains from behind my knee into my heels in both legs. It came and went for the last 6 miles until the very end where I could barely walk. I was severely sore for about a week after the race. I then tried running again to “loosen up” my calves and it hurt constantly. I continued to try and run for weeks and not only were they not loosening up or feeling better, the pain was getting worse and I developed tingling and numbness into my calves and feet. Both calves were too painful to be massaged and stretched aggressively so I gave up on triathlon for the rest of the year.

A year after the event, I started slowly running again achieving 20 minutes of pain-free running, but I was still very sore after each run and I developed medial shin splints in both legs. I tried different combinations of footwear, barefoot running, different inserts, and none were able to get me past shin pain that came back after 1-3 runs.  Another year no racing… I worked on my running technique drastically and that helped quite a bit. I was able to run 6 miles, close to an hour without shin splints and was running about 3 times per week. Anything over 6 miles… pain, bilaterally, and then I would have to take a week or two off. Went on and off with running for several months until I met with Devon about trying acupuncture.

I was excited to try acupuncture because I really liked the idea that the needles can access deeper muscles with relative ease when compared to massage which requires deep (and painful) pressure to get to those same muscles. The first two treatments went well but I was fairly sore in certain spots in my lower legs for a good day or two following treatment; sometimes it took a good 10 minutes walking around of the table to let some of the points subside. After the 3-4 treatments, I began to notice much less soreness post treatment and I started running more. By the 5th treatment I noticed my muscles reacted much more quickly to the needles; they “jumped” and relaxed much more easily than before and I didn’t have any soreness after treatment. At this point I was able to run 30-40 minute runs with ease.

Currently, I have run up to 1:14 minutes and can run 30-40 minutes much faster and up and down hills without shin pain during or after the runs. I still see Devon for maintenance care including the other things acupuncture has helped with (sleep and stress to name a couple). I still experience some calf tightness and pain occasionally but it is much less frequent and severe and they always feel much better after an acupuncture session.

If you are an athlete, you will have aches and pains. The good news is, Acupuncture by Devon will keep those aches and pains at a minimum so you can focus on the sport you want to compete in.

Keep training,
Dr. Travis Rose, D.C.

Treatment Protocol:

  • Weekly acupuncture once a week for six weeks focus on pain, sleep and stress
  • Massage and cupping to improve blood and lymph circulation and reduce post-workout soreness
  • Nutritional supplements to decrease muscle fatigue and soreness and improve sleep
  • Therapeutic stretches to release muscles after workouts and during flare ups
  • Currently, maintenance treatments to maximize sport’s performance and injury prevention