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Dry Needling: Two Cases on Typical Specific Weaknesses

CASE 1: HIP ABDUCTORS

Have you been told that you have weak hip abductors? 

Have you spent countless repetitions doing side leg raises with no real effect? 

Hip abductors - most notably your gluteus medius, has been a very researched muscle over the last 2 decades and strongly implicated in both chronic back & knee pain. 

What some people don't tell you (or don't know) is that gluteus medius is a key muscle for testing L5 myotomes. Often, when your gluteus medius isn't functioning well, neither is your fifth lumbar segment. Functional dry needling can pair these muscles together with specific stimulation to re-educate them (this is different than TNS). I equate this to being locked in an elevator with  mediator...things will get resolved that won't just happen on their own. 

I've clinically found that a weak gluteus medius and a deficient L5 are also usually implicated in trochanteric bursitis...you can do more than just treat the symptoms. 

Another note about L4 and L5 and the hip abductor: 

Many people have lateral leg pain that they think is ITB (iliotibial band) syndrome. If you have done a bunch of massage, foam rolling & strengthening, but still have this pain, functional dry needling may be for you. These lumbar segments also refer pain down the lateral thigh, no back pain necessary.  

You should feel a significant difference in your strength between pre & post testing. The muscles you may need to work on stabilizing may be in your spine and not your hip. 

CASE 2: Rotator Cuff (most notably infraspinatus) 

Get ready...this is almost the exact same story as the gluteus medius

Have you been told that you have a weak rotator cuff? 

Have you spent countless repetitions of pulling a rubber band out to the side with no real effect? ‚Äč

What some people don't tell you (or don't know) is that the infraspinatus is a key muscle for testing C5 myotomes. Often, when your cuff isn't functioning well, neither is your fifth cervical (neck)segment. Functional dry needling can pair these muscles together with specific stimulation to re-educate them (this is different than TNS). I equate this to being locked in an elevator with  mediator...things will get resolved that won't just happen on their own. 

Another note about C5 and the rotator cuff: 

C5 refers pain to the upper front of the shoulder. While having a weak back side of the cuff does put you at risk for mechanical impingement, pain in that area in the absence of specifically positive orthopedic testing can be the result of  pain originating from your neck segments. As part of a thorough evaluation, joints above and below the affected joint are also assessed. 

You should feel a significant difference in your strength between pre & post testing. The muscles you may need to work on stabilizing may be in your spine and not your shoulder. 

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