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Old 03-01-2013, 12:57 PM   #1
dreamborn
 
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Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

Hello All

Has anyone read any medical articles on chronic joint/tendon damage resulting from Aikido? For example, has there been a study(s) on 10 year olds that started aikido, practiced 4X/week and how their joints and health are at 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 years of age?

What about studies of 60 year old aikidokas (who have actively trained for 40 years) joint health?

URLs are appreciated.

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Old 03-01-2013, 04:31 PM   #2
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

Hi Kent,

I haven't heard of studies of chronic joint/tendon damage from aikido, but Greg Olson in Bozeman, Montana has been part of publishing a bunch of articles on anatomical analyses of aikido techniques. They may be an interesting place to start:

http://www.bozemanaikido.com/olsonsensei.html

-- Jun

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Old 03-07-2013, 02:15 PM   #3
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
Hi Kent,

I haven't heard of studies of chronic joint/tendon damage from aikido, but Greg Olson in Bozeman, Montana has been part of publishing a bunch of articles on anatomical analyses of aikido techniques. They may be an interesting place to start:

http://www.bozemanaikido.com/olsonsensei.html

-- Jun
Thanks Jun

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Old 03-07-2013, 02:38 PM   #4
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
Hi Kent,

I haven't heard of studies of chronic joint/tendon damage from aikido, but Greg Olson in Bozeman, Montana has been part of publishing a bunch of articles on anatomical analyses of aikido techniques. They may be an interesting place to start:

http://www.bozemanaikido.com/olsonsensei.html

-- Jun
Thanks Jun

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Old 03-07-2013, 02:40 PM   #5
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

Jun

The reason I was asking is that my daughter has been doing Aikido for 2.5+ years now and does great ukemi/breakfalls. Everyone in class loves to throw her, and she loves to fly. Honestly she does ukemi that I won't do. One evening after watching her get thrown for the ump-teenth time I was wondering if she might be doing some damage to her joints that wouldn't show up for years. I heard at the Summit last year that Ikeda Shihan has knee problems/replacement. If he does, what does he think caused it?

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Old 03-07-2013, 03:32 PM   #6
Janet Rosen
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

Just FWIW: in terms of *acute* knee injury, there was no correlation in my survey of 101 dojos between frequency of flying breakfalls and acute knee injury.

If you anecdotally chat with now older folks who trained hard they will say they should have done less high-impact falling in their earlier years in terms of overall joint health.

It is more common to hear them ascribe knee problems to overuse of suwariwaza - which any orthopedist will tell you is high risk for both acute injury and for slow wear and tear.

In terms of acute stuff, especially for women in ANY sport the highest risk is in "cutting" moves that torque the knee, and jumping (women tend to jump with quads unless trained to engage hamstrings) so learning impeccable dynamic posture and cross training im plyometrics is good for reducing injury risk.

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Old 03-07-2013, 03:45 PM   #7
Walter Martindale
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post

In terms of acute stuff, especially for women in ANY sport the highest risk is in "cutting" moves that torque the knee,
yeah, no kidding. A young woman I coach at sculling was in a physical education class at school, playing ball hockey, went to change direction and bingo there goes the knee.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:35 PM   #8
Janet Rosen
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

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Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
yeah, no kidding. A young woman I coach at sculling was in a physical education class at school, playing ball hockey, went to change direction and bingo there goes the knee.
It was literally an epidemic in high school and college womens basketball around the time I blew my knee out and started my research so it was getting a lot of press and some research $ in the early '00s.

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Old 03-08-2013, 01:06 AM   #9
grondahl
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

In Scandinavia, there have been several studies on how proper warm-up and strength training can reduce knee injuries for female teenage athletes (especially soccer players).

A smaller norwegian study: http://www.klokeavskade.no/en/News-a...y-risk-by-50-/

A larger swedish study (cant find a english version so you have to use google translate):
http://sverigesradio.se/sida/gruppsi...rtikel=4305758
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Old 03-08-2013, 09:40 AM   #10
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

Possibly, although if you are doing a sane activity (as opposed to, say, pro football or boxing) injuries are generally a signal that you're not doing it right. E.g. shoulder injuries from downward dog caused by using the shoulders incorrectly and taking the weight there rather than passing it through; moving in such a way as to create a shearing force across the knee instead of using it as a hinge as God intended; or trying to do internal exercises with a bunch of tension instead of using them to root out and release tension.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:30 AM   #11
Cliff Judge
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Possibly, although if you are doing a sane activity (as opposed to, say, pro football or boxing) injuries are generally a signal that you're not doing it right. E.g. shoulder injuries from downward dog caused by using the shoulders incorrectly and taking the weight there rather than passing it through; moving in such a way as to create a shearing force across the knee instead of using it as a hinge as God intended; or trying to do internal exercises with a bunch of tension instead of using them to root out and release tension.
I think that's the rub. Injuries come from catastrophic, unexpected / unintended events, such as landing an otherwise perfect breakfall on top of a fellow student who happened to occupy your space a split second before you arrived there, or any of a number of zigs that should have been zags when practicing randori at or near full-speed. There are numerous opportunities for this in Aikido, and I don't think the shift towards internals in our art will change this much, unless we stop free style and multiple attacker practice. On the upside there will always be LESS chance for this than in football, boxing, or any non-cooperative, "live" discipline.

And injuries can also arise due to patterns of incorrect movement. But this is because correct movement is hard. Your body tries to tell you that you are doing something wrong, but it is not always clear how to fix it. Not every teacher is a physical therapist or osteopath, and every body is unique. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this type of injury - an incremental thing caused by inappropriate body mechanics - is something that every person practicing Aikido will experience to some degree.

So I wouldn't worry about the breakfalls just because some folks blame bad backs on them. I also wouldn't worry about suwariwaza because some folks blame shot knees on it. I'd worry about whether or not the student takes the time to warm up, stretch, and listen to their body tell them whether they are doing something right or wrong.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:41 PM   #12
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I think that's the rub. Injuries come from catastrophic, unexpected / unintended events, such as landing an otherwise perfect breakfall on top of a fellow student who happened to occupy your space a split second before you arrived there, or any of a number of zigs that should have been zags when practicing randori at or near full-speed. There are numerous opportunities for this in Aikido.......

So I wouldn't worry about the breakfalls just because some folks blame bad backs on them. I also wouldn't worry about suwariwaza because some folks blame shot knees on it. I'd worry about whether or not the student takes the time to warm up, stretch, and listen to their body tell them whether they are doing something right or wrong.
That is another issue. I always spend time warming up the old body before class. Sometimes I feel like the tin-man from the wizard of oz. "OIL-CAN,Oil-can, oil-can." I realize that if I don't stretch out before we begin, I will break! But my darling daughter never stretches out. I encourage her to but she says she doesn't need to. Oh the wonders of youth

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Old 03-08-2013, 01:05 PM   #13
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

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Kent Krumvieda wrote: View Post
That is another issue. I always spend time warming up the old body before class. Sometimes I feel like the tin-man from the wizard of oz. "OIL-CAN,Oil-can, oil-can." I realize that if I don't stretch out before we begin, I will break! But my darling daughter never stretches out. I encourage her to but she says she doesn't need to. Oh the wonders of youth
Modern sports medicine shows there is NO benefit from stretching before working out and, in the case of cold muscles, stretching may make them more prone to micro-tears. It is recommended that the pre-workout regimen be general warming up (slightly raising heartbeat while doing gross muscle movement - like what rehab nurses and PTs call range of motion) followed by additional movement training related to the sport/activity one will be doing (so will vary) - for those of us doing aikido, for example, 10 minutes of the warm ups from Tohei Sensei are excellent preparation of the body for doing aikido. It is generally recommended that stretching is of benefit after the conclusion of the working out.
BTW, as with the women and ACL injury research - I cannot cite specific papers because if I kept either the papers or the url links from 33 years of nursing and 17 years of aikido there would be no time or space to have a life. The info is out there for those who google.

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Old 03-08-2013, 01:21 PM   #14
Cliff Judge
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Modern sports medicine shows there is NO benefit from stretching before working out and, in the case of cold muscles, stretching may make them more prone to micro-tears. It is recommended that the pre-workout regimen be general warming up (slightly raising heartbeat while doing gross muscle movement - like what rehab nurses and PTs call range of motion) followed by additional movement training related to the sport/activity one will be doing (so will vary) - for those of us doing aikido, for example, 10 minutes of the warm ups from Tohei Sensei are excellent preparation of the body for doing aikido. It is generally recommended that stretching is of benefit after the conclusion of the working out.
BTW, as with the women and ACL injury research - I cannot cite specific papers because if I kept either the papers or the url links from 33 years of nursing and 17 years of aikido there would be no time or space to have a life. The info is out there for those who google.
Thanks for clarifying that, Janet, I meant warm-up before, stretch after.

Don't drink a lot of beer AND take a lot of advil after.

Look both ways, don't talk with your mouth full, etc.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:48 PM   #15
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

my chiropractor told me to drink a large glass of water before going to bed, and a large glass of water first thing when wake up in the morning. and drink water through out the day. folks often are not hydrated themselves enough. dry twigs are easily break; green branch, much harder.

and what Janet said. Tohei stuffs are good warm up. same goes for some of the taichi stuffs too. hot-cold, bengay, and various related stuffs also help, especially if you accidentally rubbed them in some very sensitive areas. you would warm up, alright.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:14 PM   #16
Janet Rosen
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

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Thanks for clarifying that, Janet, I meant warm-up before, stretch after.

Don't drink a lot of beer AND take a lot of advil after.

Look both ways, don't talk with your mouth full, etc.
LOL - my reply was to the OP because he was concerned about his daughter not stretching before training and thought it was an age-related issue.

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Old 03-08-2013, 04:20 PM   #17
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

What I wonder about is not so much breakfalls, but movements like tenkan. Depending how precisely you move, it's very easy to do them in such a way that there's a kind of sideways twisting on your knee, e.g., feet facing the wrong way while there's weight on your knee as you rotate your body. From the little I know of knees, that sounds like the kind of thing where your joint is being used in a way it really isn't designed to work, and we do a LOT of tenkans in Aikido. Seems like the kind of thing where if it's done in a way that uses poor biomechanics, it could add up pretty badly over the years.

I have also read and been shown by various dojomates some interesting things with plyometrics, toe raises, balance exercises, and other such exercises in injury prevention, and have tried in the past couple of years to incorporate some of these into my own training. Anecdotally I do feel more stable on my feet.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:26 PM   #18
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

I haven't bothered to look into joints and genetics before posting this, but I think it is instructive to note that in general medical science is moving toward identifying more and more genetic contributions to disease. I suspect joint degeneration and the likelihood of sustaining an acute joint injury from a particular motion (rather than just putting stress on the joint) are two areas where there might be a lot of genetics involved.

It is worth searching GoogleScholar or PubMed to look for studies on genetics and joint injury. If you find any genetic identifiers in the literature, you can get analyzed at a company like 23andMe, download their raw data file, and find out if you run a higher risk of injury. You'll have to figure out the details of that from someone else, though.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:06 AM   #19
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

I couldn't resist:

To sum up: a quick look at the literature shows there is likely genetic contributions to both chronic degenerative and acute knee injuries.

Also of interest to female aikidoka may be the link between menstrual cycle and injuries, and the preventive possibilities of "neuromuscular training" (whatever that is).

CONCLUSION: Knee cartilage defects are common, have a genetic component that is linked to the genetic contribution to knee pain and bone size, and may have a role in the genetic pathogenesis of knee OA.

http://link.springer.com/article/10....LI=true#page-1

Conclusion: The TT genotype of the COL1A1 Sp1 binding site polymorphism was significantly under-represented in South African participants with ACL ruptures. We propose that this sequence variant be the first specific genetic element to be included in multifactorial models developed to understand the aetiology and risk factors for ACL rupture.

Conclusions: A significantly greater number of ACL injuries occurred on days 1 and 2 of the menstrual cycle. Salivary sex-hormone levels correlated with the reported cycle day.

All 5 studies demonstrated a prophylactic effect due to the neuromuscular training programs... Thus, a Strength of Recommendation Taxonomy level of evidence of 1 with a grade B recommendation supports the use of neuromuscular training programs in the prevention of noncontact ACL injuries in female athletes.

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Old 03-19-2013, 12:28 AM   #20
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Re: Chronic Joint/Tendon Damage

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Thanks for clarifying that, Janet, I meant warm-up before, stretch after.

Don't drink a lot of beer AND take a lot of advil after.

Look both ways, don't talk with your mouth full, etc.
To add on to Janet's commentary...

...if I understand correctly, the literature also does not suggest that stretching after training is beneficial because you are stretching after training per se. Stretching should be done after training because (1) it avoids the problems of stretching before training and (2) training is a nice way of warming up in preparation for stretching. Stretching every day is not beneficial and may be counterproductive. Stretching 2-3 times per week is a better goal. If you are mashed for time, you could not stretch after aikido but stretch after the next day's CrossFit or whatever and be fine.

Don't drink a lot of beer AND take a lot of Advil after.

This could be interpreted two ways, one of which would be to not take beer with a lot of Advil. That is actually good advice! You should always avoid mixing alcohol and NSAID medications (Advil, aspirin, Naproxin) in your stomach.

However, the advice to take a lot of Advil is questionable. Once in a while Advil is very helpful but chronic use of Advil is not so good. Remember that "anti-inflammatory" is Advil's classification in a pharmacopeia, not a description of its chemical effects in the body. Advil interferes with a lot of chemical processes that you might not want it to. Chronic use of Advil has been linked with, for example, erectile dysfunction. (Bet you won't forget that one next time you see a bottle of Advil!)

In general, alcohol is bad for recovery, but I must say that, trying to cut back on drinking while training here in Kyoto, I actually feel more pain. Alcohol is a very effective pain killer.

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