James Harrison pokes NFL, then himself with 3 a.m. dry-needle session

11:27 AM ET

PITTSBURGH — From calling commissioner Roger Goodell a “crook” to labeling the NFL’s investigation into the Al-Jazeera America report a “waste of time,” James Harrison had no problems taking the league to task. Harrison was required to interview with league investigators about links to performance-enhancing drugs, and he was cleared of any wrongdoing six days later, just as Harrison predicted.

How does Harrison celebrate? By needling himself instead of the league.

At 3:29 a.m. Friday — five hours after the Pittsburgh Steelers concluded their preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers — Harrison posted an Instagram picture of himself undergoing an intense form of acupuncture called dry-needle therapy.

Harrison must have gone straight from the team plane to the therapy.

“Grind never stops,” said Harrison in the post.

Dry needling 3:29am Grind never stops

A photo posted by James Harrison (@jhharrison92) on Sep 2, 2016 at 12:33am PDT

Harrison got into dry-needle therapy around 2010 to alleviate muscle tension from back surgery that repaired a herniated disc. The routine is painful enough that some teammates won’t do it with him.

Harrison, 38, believes the healing powers of the therapy have prolonged his career.

“It’s painful as hell … but very powerful,” Harrison said. “It makes you sore the next day, but the day after you feel fine. I’m not the only person that does it. Three to five people [in the locker room] do it.”

Harrison hires someone to apply the treatment, then sometimes he posts social media pictures of the process.

Now it appears the NFL and Harrison can enter the 2016 season on a less painful note.

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