About The Following Blog

The following blog has been written purely for those wanting a first hand knowledge of what it is like to step into the dojo for the first time as a complete beginner as a Martial Artist. Through practising a Martial Art, you will gain many things such as self-confidence, self-respect and life-long and good friends. I hope this helps you to see into an amazing world of which you have never seen before and that I have had the privilege of belonging to and knowing.
Although I have not put my name or any name to this blog, it does deserve a dedication- a dedication to those who help people to train, who teach, reassure and most important of all- those who never give up, no matter how many times they hit the ground or a mental brick wall, with themselves or others. But above all- those who are ready to begin their own journey, it begins with one step….

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Chapter 40: Training with injuries...To carry on or not to carry on training, that is the question....

This is a question that is often asked amongst martial artists-should I carry on despite the pain of an injury or rest? A question that I feel is difficult to answer. I say this as I have just recovered from an injury to my right knee.
When I was about 12 I strained both my knees quite badly after a PE lesson at school. I was off sport and dancing for about three weeks, dosed up to the eyeballs on ibuprofen. Since then, having 'noc-knees' (meaning my knees turn in) I find that my knees can strain quite quickly.
I admit that this injury was entirely my own fault. I decided to go on a walking holiday in the Lake District on my week off from work. Unfortunately, I pulled my right knee when out one day-and boy, did it let me know that it wasn't happy.
Anyway, my first thought was 'not again'. I knew that the only way to recover was to take some anti-inflammatory pills and wear a support for a couple of days. Not really a problem you might think but I was hoping to go back to Aiki that week.
So, what to do? I tend to find that if I take anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen before Aiki, I can't feel any joint locks-something that isn't such a great idea as you might think as you can end up with another injury since you can't 'feel' the right time to tap out. I decided to go and wear a support but not take any ibuprofen for about 4 hours before going. Before you think I am absolutely crazy, there is method in my madness-I will explain.
When someone says 'pain is your friend', they are right. Pain is our body's way of making us rest and stop when something isn't right i.e. a sprained ankle so that the body has time to heal and you don't do anything more stupid like breaking said sprained ankle. So, I decided to tap into this. By taking a baseline dose of ibuprofen, this prevents most of the pain and helps the sprain/strain heal more quickly. However by not taking the dose before Aiki this gave me a 'threshold' to work to-meaning I could still go to Aiki but would know when my knee had had enough, and so prevent me from doing any further damage.
However, I knew that it wouldn't be Aiki that would finish the knee off-it would be my dance class. As I am an Irish dancer and have been dancing for about 13 years now, my knees are not exactly in the best of shape as in Irish Dancing the jumps and kicks we do mean we land with our knees straight-not great for preserving the knee joint or helping knee injuries heal. So with great trepidation, I started warming up and found my right knee began to stiffen up. But the strange thing was by keeping to basic dance maneuvers with no jumping or kicking my knee began to slacken off and the next day when I woke there was little or no pain.
When I've strained my knees before in the past, I will be honest-I've rested up and found it took a week to heal. This time, it took less then that-maybe about 5 days and I'm not sure why. I suppose you could say that by carrying on carefully I didn't let the injury 'beat' me and caused no further damage.
So, to carry on or not to carry on training? I think this depends on the injury. Some injuries need time to heal whilst others can be trained through carefully. But just in case, my knee support is staying in the bottom of my aiki bag...

1 comment:

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