Martial Arts Training With An Injury

athleteIf you are like myself and a wide community of martial artists, then you know that martial arts isn’t simply an extracurricular activity, but rather it’s a part of who you are. If there is anyone word that can strike terror in the heart of even the most dedicated martial artists or any athlete for that matter, it’s injury In this video we’re going to talk about dealing with getting hurt, whether it be from working out or something unrelated And some creative ways to approach training with an injury. There’S that word again injury and it’s usually followed by a vocabulary that we don’t want to hear limited activity. Rest physical therapy surgery words that can make a martial artist squirm at the mere mention

But to be completely serious, no injury, regardless of severity, should be taken lightly.

Even something as simple as a broken or sprained finger can become worse if you ignore it, So it’s pretty common sense to not work out on a broken bone or sprain or torn tissue. Because, honestly, our bodies let us know really quickly that it’s had enough or it’s a bad idea.

Other injuries such as concussions or the time after surgery aren’t always as apparent because, even though you might feel better, it doesn’t mean you can go balls to the wall again. So, regardless of what the injury always gets. The advice from a medical professional before you take any action Now there are two types of injuries we’re going to address today.

One of them is injuries that happen immediately, or at least when you’re made suddenly aware of them. For example, you fall and break your arm, You’re instantly aware something’s wrong or very shortly afterward, you’re going to know or you’re in sparring, and you take a kick to the head and you get a concussion or while practicing a technique, you feel something pop or tear

These are immediate injuries and when they occur, you need to stop what you’re doing right away, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Persisting to work out or ignoring them can make things a lot worse.

I actually had one of these back in 2009, I was doing round kicks on the pad and after one of the kicks, my knee felt weird Nothing hurt, but something just felt out of place almost like my knee was loose. So I went to the doctor and it turned out that a piece small piece of bone from the inside of my knee had chipped off Now. Obviously, I couldn’t work out on it and I ended up …

It ended up being on the weight-bearing part of my knees, so I needed minor surgery to repair it. This meant staying off my feet entirely for six weeks, followed by six more weeks of physical therapy. I missed a lot of working out for something so small. I wasn’t allowed to kick for that leg for about four months. It was extremely frustrating because I was at the peak of my energy and my training at the time and I hated not being able to use it.

But I also knew it was important not to push it or I would risk damage it further. The second type of injury I want to talk about is the kind that occurs over time and you might not be immediately aware of it. It can start off as a sore muscle or feel like you slept wrong or burning pain that grows in intensity over time, Just because you’re able to work through this pain doesn’t mean that you should, If you experience some uncommon, soreness and you’ve rested and you’ve iced. It or heat, and it’s not helping and you might want to have it looked at. Perhaps you tore something

That’S a minor injury right now, but if you continue to work out on it, it can make it worse. If you feel discomfort stop When the pain goes away, lighten your workout and slowly gradually go back, and if the pain comes back, stop and get it checked out.

I also had one of these as well, starting maybe around 2012 2013. I started to experience some tightness in my left. Heel.

Some days are better than others, but over time it grew into a burning sensation. I saw a doctor and he said I had inflammation in the tissue around my Achilles tendon, so I had to take it easy for a bit wear a boot, and take anti-inflammatories. It went away for a while, but slowly over time, it started to kind of creep. It’S way back in so I saw the doctor again and this time I had some MRIs and they revealed that I had a minor tear At this point in time. It was small enough, it really wasn’t a concern, but I had a lot of inflammation, so he put me on six weeks of physical therapy and slow exercise, and then it was great for a while. Eventually, I was able to go back to class

Then one day in 2015, I did this round kick and I felt something: pull and instantly a burn in my heel. The pain came right back, I had it checked out The tear had increased and this time I needed surgery to repair it.

Six weeks entirely off my feet: six weeks in a walking boot and two months of physical therapy Sucked

So if you feel something that just isn’t right, don’t ignore it. Have it checked out and know what you’re dealing with On another note, if you do happen to have family that is able and willing to help you, please accept it After my surgery. I got a lot of support from my parents and sister, but I especially have to thank my wonderful wife Tracy for taking such great care of me during my recovery period. This surgery was in the same year. We got married so, in addition to planning for a wedding, she spent a lot of time and effort to make sure I was cared for and helping me with tasks. I was not able to do it on my own

I could not have gotten through my recovery without her, and I owe her a great debt and a giant thank you for the support she showed me. So if you do have family that is willing to help, please accept it. Don’T let pride get in the way of your recovery? Okay, so now you have an injury and you’ve seen a doctor, and now you know what you’re dealing with Now comes exactly that dealing with it.

No athlete wants to be sidelined. You lose progress, you lose your flexibility, strength, endurance,

It really sucks but dependent on the injury, of course, that stuff usually comes back as long as you’re smart about it First and foremost, listen to your doctor and follow their directions. I know people who were on their feet that day after knee surgery against doctor orders and they ended up doing permanent damage.

Don’T be stupid, Listen to your doctor. Secondly, listen to your physical therapist. If you have one, They will know what your limits are and there’ll be able to guide you on your path to recovery. If you are assigned physical therapy, do it

It’s important for your recovery, So many people ignore that

Learn everything you can about your injury, The more education you have, the better. You can prepare your own path to recovery, even if it means you can’t be active yet you’ll at least know a game plan. Don’T quit training just because you get frustrated

Understand that most of the time you can recover and don’t throw your training away, because it’s not going the way that you want. You didn’t quite a challenging workout, so don’t quit now. Sometimes an injury is bad enough that you just have to rest. If you can’t be active, ask your doctor when you can be or how to start slowly, setting a game plan Sometimes doing nothing is the best medicine

Moderate your workouts when training with an injury. If your injury is upper body, maybe focus on your lower body and vice versa. If you can work out, but you’re not really allowed to strike or do anything high impact, then focus on walking jogging light, cardio, or practicing techniques in the air without a partner.

Sometimes, when you have to restrict it to just light activity, maybe just stretching is a good idea, Know your boundaries and stick to them.

Now I want to share my experience in how I adapted to my Achilles surgery. To reiterate, I had an absolute, no weight-bearing restriction totally off the foot for six weeks, followed by six weeks to the walking boot and two months of physical therapy. This posed a bit of a problem for me because I work in video production in a studio and on location as well as teaching karate part-time. Needless to say, I spent a considerable amount of the day on my feet. I can’t work sitting down so not working for three to four months. Just wasn’t an option, but I also wasn’t going to break my doctor’s orders and risk injuring myself even worse.

So I looked into getting one of those wheelie scooters that you can kneel on, but it still had a few challenges. One being I lived on the second story, so stairs were kind of a problem, and two you still have to use your hands to kind of steer it. So I can’t operate video equipment hands-free with those things. So, after a while, I ended up doing a bunch of research and I found a device that is essentially a knee crutch.

It’S called the walk free and basically, you kneel on the platform and you strap it to your leg and you can walk around as if you had a peg leg Side note: yes, you will get pirate jokes, but this sucker saved me and I was able to do About 90 % of my normal activity, all while staying off my foot, I was able to work, stand and operate. Camera equipment, navigate stairs, go grocery shopping, even teach a class.

Now, obviously, I couldn’t really do hard workouts on it, but I was able to focus on the upper body and just walk through my techniques.

By the time one of our junior black belt exams came around, I had been using the crutch long enough that I could balance pretty well on it, and I was even able to give that traditional graduation kicks to the candidates, but that’s a risk I took, and I don’t really recommend doing that. I shouldn’t have You didn’t hear me say that So for anyone who has a lower leg, injury and might be interested in this, you can find a link to it down below in the description.

It makes a total difference in being functional or not. However, a couple of things to be aware of such as, if you’re going to be on it for hours at a time, I recommend taking little breaks because you might get sore from the kneeling. I had some days that were on it for six seven, eight hours, or more, and it wasn’t that bad honestly, but just give yourself a few breaks, so you don’t overdo it. Also, the most inconvenient thing about it is that you really can’t sit down with it. So you find yourself putting it on taking it off, putting it on taking it off, but it does have a quick-release system that lets you out of it in about 10 seconds. So that helps a lot, but it can get tedious.

However, the bottom line it allowed me to live my life with almost full function and I didn’t miss a single day of work or training or teaching, and I do highly recommend it.

So dealing with an injury sucks, but if you do encounter one, please listen to your doctor, Don’t overstep any personal boundaries, and be smart about your recovery, Safe workouts! Everyone Do any of you have experience training with an injury. What challenges did you face and did you find any creative ways to train around it?

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