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Old 01-27-2005, 09:33 PM   #37
Janet Rosen
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Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,342
Re: Aikido & Pilates

Well, to revisit this thread with a longish post....
It has been apparent for some time that I need to pursue some comprehensive program to address a long list of structural and movement problems in this now-out-of-warranty body. I considered the options, and booked an appointment with a rehab specialist at the Pilates clinic run by the author of "Pilates for Dummies."
My appointment was yesterday and this is the list of issues I brought to the appointment:
1. (R) knee: 2000 acl allograft and medial meniscus partial removal. Longterm, some joint laxity and probably reinjury of meniscus with pain on prolonged walking/wtbearing and ocasional acute episodes of swelling. Weird stuff in back of knee.
2. (L) shoulder/upper arm: December 2004: pain in abductor/?triceps, no obvious injury, not necesarilly aikido-related; not improved by reduced training, somewhat alleviated with stretching.
3. Longterm ongoing intermittent problem posttraining with (L) inner thigh tetany/spasms, not clear if adductor or other medial structure involved. Seems related to ocasional carpopedal spasms though not at same time. Also chronic (L) hamstring tightness not abated by stretching.
4. chronic tightness trapezius, bilaterally
5. chronically subluxed carpal/metacarpal thumb joints
6. fairly recent onset of difficulty with left-starting forward rolls; Elaine Yoder (one of my instructors, and a Feldenkrais practitioner) observed me and it appears that I'm not integrating above/below center on that side, so lose track of my legs.

The rehab approach where I went starts with evaluation and neuromuscular re-education based on the work of Janda & Lewitt, in order to start correcting problems before jumping into Pilates exercises. I was really impressed with the person I was working with: her evaluation of my gait and posture was comprehensive and also picked up some old problems I'd not mentioned. She did point out that my left side is carrying most of my weight, and working harder than it needs to. I'm also spiraling my upper body to the right. When I walk, my right leg moves normally, but my left leg steps forward prematurely, working, not waiting for my center to move.

Her hands-on approach was direct trigger point work plus proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, but she was targeting areas that neither I nor any practitioners had previously identified as problems: the iliotibial band and on the right side far distal hamstrings. The itb was so tight, that when she asked me to abduct the leg, I used my low back to initiate the movement. She found amazing trigger points!: when she started working the left itb, it felt as if she was going to break my femur. Thanks to lots of aikido training, I was able to breathe deeply into it, and in fact the itb released nicely--so much so that I walked as if drunk until she did the right side!
I have homework to do, pressure point work on specific areas, different on the two sides of the body, and a couple of stretches. Going back next wk. Everything made amazing sense. Nice start for the new year.

Janet Rosen
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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