Helu Jr.'s unique treatment yields results

Injury-plagued rusher is on the rehab trail, finding improvement through ‘dry needling.’ Dion Caputi

Print This June 27, 2013, 03:09 PM EST

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It seems almost a decade has passed since Roy Helu Jr. tallied 1,019 total yards on 200 touches as a rookie in 2011.

The impressive Nebraska product was hampered by an injury-riddled sophomore NFL season in which he took part in only three games before being placed on injured reserve.

Helu Jr. surmised that the cause of his trying series of leg injuries was due to tight muscles. To combat the issue, the third-year Washington Redskins rusher has undergone a unique method of treatment known as dry needling, which is designed to relieve tension in the troubled areas. According to Helu Jr., the treatment, which is similar to acupuncture, has proven helpful.

“I’ve seen great results from that,” Helu told “I still have time to recover over these next few weeks. I still need more motion in the toe, but to be out there doing my job is fun.”

Throughout the offseason, the 2011 fourth-round draft choice managed to practice with teammates for the first time since September, and claims his rehab is on track.

“I’m out there running a lot of plays without pain,” Helu Jr. said. “I guess that’s the best measurement.”

Since becoming the starter before injury, the landscape of the Redskins backfield has shifted substantially. Second-year rusher Alfred Morris has entrenched himself after a stellar rookie campaign, while Helu Jr. must also contend for limited roster spots with Evan Royster and rookie draft picks Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison.

While his current situation is not enviable, the franchise’s record holder for most receptions in a single game (14) relishes the opportunity.

“I’ve been competing in football for so long that you get used to the competitiveness.”

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