With 12,000 people running the Brighton Marathon recently, there must have been more than a few injuries, aches and pains across our fair city in the days and weeks that followed.
One such person was Jonno Cox, a regular long-distance running DJ who’d actually picked up a soleus muscle injury (or calf muscle injury, to the non-medically trained among us) playing football a week before. He was advised by his doctor not to run, but he was determined: “I woke up that morning and thought I’d give 10k a go – but once I’d started I wanted to complete it and ended up with a time of 3 hours 49 minutes.” The results are impressive when looking at the race time, but less so from the point of the suffering that followed. This is where Pedro from Aunion Therapy Studio steps in.
Pedro has been a sports massage therapist for more than a decade and is a qualified acupuncture and acupressurist. He also has 20 years professional dance experience, including 15 years managing his own performing arts company – so he knows a thing or two about the strains we can put on our bodies and more importantly, how to fix them. We thought it would be a good idea to introduce Jonno and Pedro – and monitor the situation.
In his studio on Baker Street, Pedro explained how he wanted to approach Jonno’s injury in four ways: acupuncture, stretching, exercises and a sports massage to start off with. While the injury was in Jonno’s right leg, Pedro wanted to apply his magic hands to both of them to create more elasticity in the muscles. A massage may sound like it should be relaxing, buta more vigorous approach is needed for muscle tissue damage as his injury was worked by Pedro’s elbow.
After a good ten minutes of this massage method, the needles came out for what Pedro explained was a form of acupuncture designed to relax overactive muscles – known as ‘dry needling’. As he took these mighty pins to Jonno’s trigger points, I considered whether Pedro was just a sadist masquerading as a professional therapist. But he spoke so knowledgeably about the subject that it would’ve been one hell of a mask to wear. Jonno’s concerns of looking like a porcupine were eased on hearing the news that no more than ten needles would be used and was visibly far more comfortable onced he realised there was no pain on the first few.
The acupuncture was given 15 minutes to do its thing, after which they moved onto stretching. I suspected Jonno was in for more pain here, but as Pedro manipulated Jonno’s vertebrae, followed with leg cracks and neck and shoulder stretches, the initial burn was replaced by instant improvement. Likewise with the final exercises where his full legs were worked through the gluteus, Jonno’s muscles were feeling measurably more loosened afterwards.
As they finished up, Pedro told us Jonno would probably need a few hours to fully know whether his soleus injury had been cured, so I called him later that day when he said he felt “genuinely revitalised”. Amazingly, that Sunday, exactly a week after the marathon, Jonno was able to run 14 miles without any pain. He told me, “I was impressed with how he quickly diagnosed my injury and explained how he was going to fix it. The massage therapy definitely did the job and I’d recommend Pedro to anyone, especially if it’s an ongoing sports related injury”