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Old 04-20-2006, 10:25 PM   #1
iokuyama
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Question How do you prevent knee injuries?

I see a lot of people train with knee braces/pads. It seems knee injuries are very common among Aikido practitioners. My knees are not doing so well these days either. Not much pain, but they don't feel right.

Do you have any suggestions on how to prevent knee injuries, how to protect them, and how to heal them without taking any time off from training?
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Old 04-20-2006, 11:54 PM   #2
Janet Rosen
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

to take your last question first :-)
you cannot "heal' an injury without resting it. a soft tissue injury likestrain or sprain etc (NOT talking about a bruise or minor pulled muscle) NEEDS 6 to 8 wks to heal.
re your knees "not feeling right" well there is no such thing as a "knee" really--so anything we would tell you is sort of guessing and anecdotal--is it your quadriceps, your patella, a ligament, etc? we don't know and maybe you don't either.
in GENERAL good posture and body mechanics is the key: toes, knee, hip should face the same direction, you should aim to not bend a knee past the point where it obscures your view of your toes, don't lock or hyperextend your knees, etc. Make sure not to go knockkneed when dropping center. Warm up before class and stretch a little after warming up and a lot after training. Learn a good standing quads stretch that includes engaging all 4 parts of the quads. Keep hamstrings strong--stronger than quads. PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT HURTS AND WHAT HELPS and don't 'tough it out'--listen to your body and learn.

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-21-2006, 06:08 AM   #3
Steve Mullen
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

Glucosamine Sulphate tablets and cod liver oil can help regenerate soft tissue and promote healthy joints etc, but start finding ways to train which protect your knees now rather than when it is too late.

Try and stay conscious of twisting on your knee or over stretching, just generally look after yourself when training and don't go too all out. Having said that, I am a member of the screwed knees group myself.

"No matter your pretence, you are what you are and nothing more." - Kenshiro Abbe Shihan
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Old 04-21-2006, 09:03 AM   #4
Hanna B
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

Different lines of aikido have different amount of knee pads among their practitioners. In part it reflects the amoung of suwariwaza done, but there are ofter factors as well.
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Old 04-21-2006, 09:09 AM   #5
SeiserL
 
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

IMHO, keep proper alignment and don't overdo it.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 04-21-2006, 09:30 AM   #6
Brian Vickery
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Thumbs down Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
IMHO, keep proper alignment and don't overdo it.
...I second this response! ...if you're looking to PREVENT knee injuries, this is the best way to do it!

Brian Vickery

"The highest level of technique to achieve is that of having NO technique!"
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Old 04-21-2006, 12:12 PM   #7
Janet Rosen
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

Quote:
Steve Mullen wrote:
Glucosamine Sulphate tablets and cod liver oil can help regenerate soft tissue
actually the one double blind research done w/ glucosamine showed that it was as effective as nsaids in relieving pain of osteoarthritis in the knee. it did not address the issue of regeneration of articular cartilage, which is the tissue posing a problem in osteoarthritis.
i would like to see links to studies for 'regeneration of soft tissue', as i've never seen any.

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-21-2006, 04:04 PM   #8
James Kelly
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

I'm not so sure we really have any way to prevent knee injuries.

I have one really, really bad knee and one knee that has never felt a day of pain its whole life (knock on wood). Both knees have done the same number of rolls, walked the same distance in suari-waza, felt the impact of the same number of breakfalls, thrown the same number of techniques with the same alignment (both good and bad), been through exactly the same warm-ups, ingested the same amount of glucosamine, over done it the same number of times, rested the same number of days, ... the list goes on. About the only thing I can think of that we do that isn't symmetrical are sword cuts and I have a hard time believing that all my knee problems come from suburi (my right knee, aka the front one, is the bad one).

So I wonder how much of my knee problems are just random. A tiny injury way back when caused something else to go out of whack which in turn pulled on this or wore down that... if there really was something I did to cause my knee to go bad, why didn't it do the same damage to the other one...? If all my precautions helped save my good knee, why didn't it save the bad one...?

These are the things I think about when I'm off the mat due to my bum knee.

ps -- I highly recommend a light yoga. It's the only thing that has been able to help.
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Old 04-24-2006, 10:05 PM   #9
Saw Y. C. Naw
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

Some people tend to hit their knees on the mat when doing backward rolls, and if that is not corrected over time, it could become a problem for the knees.

Other than that, maybe more calcium and vitamin D? Excess calcium does not improve bone strength without sufficient vitamin D, as this article suggests.

Last edited by Saw Y. C. Naw : 04-24-2006 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 04-25-2006, 02:52 AM   #10
Hanna B
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
IMHO, keep proper alignment and don't overdo it.
Quote:
Brian Vickery wrote:
...I second this response! ...if you're looking to PREVENT knee injuries, this is the best way to do it!
Are you thinking about doing this as nage, as uke, or both?
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:22 AM   #11
Janet Rosen
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

Quote:
Saw Y. C. Naw wrote:
Other than that, maybe more calcium and vitamin D?
there is no reason to think that osteoporosis is in any way linked to knee problems in/out of aikido.

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:46 AM   #12
heyoka
 
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

I'm frequently plagued by leg problems of a variety of sorts, including painful knees, and I've found relief from many of these issues by taking a glucosamine chondroitin supplement every few days.

Also I take it easy with anything involving seiza and don't try to force myself to stay in those positions longer than I have to. I've heard from more than one person that a lot of suwari-waza can be damaging to the knees if you haven't been acclimated to it from a young age, and frankly I'm not open to testing the theory.

Paul Major
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Aikido Center of Los Angeles
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Old 04-25-2006, 11:54 AM   #13
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

Quote:
James Kelly wrote:

So I wonder how much of my knee problems are just random. A tiny injury way back when caused something else to go out of whack which in turn pulled on this or wore down that... if there really was something I did to cause my knee to go bad, why didn't it do the same damage to the other one...? If all my precautions helped save my good knee, why didn't it save the bad one...?
One thing is that as children we don't necessarily learn the most body-efficient way of walking, and small bad habits picked up in youth can lead to problems down the road.

For example with me, I'm ever so slightly pigeon toed on my right side. I daresay it's not even noticable by other people when I'm walking, but I've been aware of it for some time. It's something, I believe, I've done since I was walking. I fear that if I'm not careful, it could lead to problems later on. Occasionally I'll get a feeling in that knee like I need to crack it, but it just won't crack. I try to correct the foot's alignment when I walk, but most of the time I'm not paying enough attention to it, and I wonder if trying now wouldn't do more harm than good...

Josh Reyer

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Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 04-25-2006, 12:48 PM   #14
Richard Langridge
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

Funny, your description of "a feeling in that knee like I need to crack it" is exactly the feeling I often get in my knees after doing lots of ushiro ukemi. But that's just because I suck at ukemi!
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Old 04-25-2006, 04:17 PM   #15
Ivan Sekularac
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

Great Post!

I also expirience pain in my knee if I overdo it... best is too rest if you feel any pain or pressure in your knees.

Try is to get ankle weights, 5 pounds (2.27 kg) should be OK, sit in the chair and slowly raise (straighten) one leg, keep it up for 10 sec and slowly lower it down on the floor... do 3 sets of 20 (or more if you can) and you should be strengthening muscles around you knee... that will help.
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Old 04-25-2006, 06:56 PM   #16
Janet Rosen
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

Quote:
Ivan Sekularac wrote:
Great Post!
Try is to get ankle weights, 5 pounds (2.27 kg) should be OK, sit in the chair and slowly raise .
Weight training is not necessarily the first/best place for a person w/ knee pain to start! Yes it is true that strong quads are important, but not ou tof balance w/ strong hamstrings....
Also, a person w/ chronically TIGHT quads or trigger points in the quads will NOT benefit by strength training as muscles in that condition need to be relaxed and stretched/balanced in order to contract efficiently....
Also a person with knee pain due to misaligned patella may have an imbalance between lateral and medial quads, which means that weight training needs to be focussed more on one aspect....
Also a person w/ meniscus problems may need to approach weight trainining somewhat differently....
these are a few examples of why it is important to differentiate 'things that are in general good to maintain still healthy knees' and 'things that are appropriate for xyz condition.'

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-25-2006, 09:31 PM   #17
ikkitosennomusha
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is the most common ligament in the knee to be a problem for athletes. If there are stresses or small tears it can cause pain and require rehabilitation. If it snaps, a surgical procedure is required to stitch the ligament back together.

It would be a rare thing for your posterior cruciate ligament to snap because if it did, your femur would slide right off of your tibia toward the front detaching your patella. Besides, your ACL is more flexible while being durable and your PCL is more firm and stiff. The word "cruciate" was coined because the ACL and PCL intersect in a "cross" type fashion.

My advice to anyone having a problem is to quite training temporarily and pay a visit to your local doctor for an x-ray. From there, the proper therapy can be determined by your physician. Remember, if you act early, you might can do something about it so don't wait too late. We all get minor aches and pains so if it is something that a little rest, ibuprophen, and sports cream cannot cure in a few days, see a doctor.

Dr. Medling

Last edited by ikkitosennomusha : 04-25-2006 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 04-25-2006, 10:19 PM   #18
Ivan Sekularac
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote:
Weight training is not necessarily the first/best place for a person w/ knee pain to start! Yes it is true that strong quads are important, but not ou tof balance w/ strong hamstrings....
Also, a person w/ chronically TIGHT quads or trigger points in the quads will NOT benefit by strength training as muscles in that condition need to be relaxed and stretched/balanced in order to contract efficiently....
Also a person with knee pain due to misaligned patella may have an imbalance between lateral and medial quads, which means that weight training needs to be focussed more on one aspect....
Also a person w/ meniscus problems may need to approach weight trainining somewhat differently....
these are a few examples of why it is important to differentiate 'things that are in general good to maintain still healthy knees' and 'things that are appropriate for xyz condition.'
I agree with you, my advice for weight training was for people who are starting aikido and do not have any problems yet but are afraid they might develop one.
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Old 04-25-2006, 10:20 PM   #19
Janet Rosen
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

brad, statistically wouldn't you say that, in terms of knee pain as oposed to outright disability, unbalanced quads, mistracking patellas and minor patella injury are all more common than acl injuries?

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-25-2006, 10:45 PM   #20
ikkitosennomusha
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote:
brad, statistically wouldn't you say that, in terms of knee pain as oposed to outright disability, unbalanced quads, mistracking patellas and minor patella injury are all more common than acl injuries?
I am referring to the more severe injuries that are quired when treatment for minor illnesses that you described are not sought after. ACL damage can occur as direct neglect to a minor issue or it can occur without warning. In aikido, the necessary elements for such twisting, hyper-flexion movements etc. while being nage or uke are prevalent under demanding elements.

Age, weight, the type of activity, being in the right place at the wrong time, etc. are factors. I have seen alot of atheletes come in from the field or off the court from a physical activing having had no prior knee injury tear an ACL. I have also seen people with reacurring issues and more drastic, invasive measures need to be taken.

Like I said, I cannot determing the condition of the the progenitor of this thread without performing a physical and certain tests so whether you view a particular injury as common or not, they can all happen with relative probability. This is not about statistics, this is about what can happen in the worst case scenario and finding preventative measures to avoiding any kind of injury.

Practice as safely as you can with what you have been taught. Sometimes accidents are going to happen but being aware of the situation you are in and how to protect yourself is the key to staying healthy.

The quadriceps are 4 heads comprised of striated skeletal tissue and is not the only group that holds the patella in place and stabilizes the knee. You don't have to have quads like mine to walk. Mine very muscular, defined, striated, and lope over my knee a little due to my bodybuilding. However, the way humans were desinged, one typically wouldn't have that issue. Since most injuries occur while doing some sort of antagonist lifting or during some sort of demanding sport, sometimes strength training can be an asset that can work in synergy with your training regimen.

It is not at all uncommon for atheletes to weight train to strengthn tendons and joints to perform their duty on the field such as football players, baseball players, basketball players, and even golfers!

So the answer to an earler post, is yes, weight training under the correct supervision to assist your dynamics in your particular sport is a good thing but should only be done when healthy and when prior injuries are fully healed. For each sport, the athelete has different needs and since each individual is genetically different, a customized program is necessary. I hope this helps.
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Old 05-23-2006, 02:05 PM   #21
David Mullin
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

Poor biomechanics = PAIN. there are three main muscle groups involved with knee pain. Quads, Adductors, and ITB/TFL.
First Quads, a lot of stances and foot work over work the vastus lats ( the outside muscle of the quads) the vastus Med is inhibited and becomes weaker compaired to the lat. On that line the Adductors on the inside of the leg, become inhibited relative to the Iliotilbial band and Tensor Facia laita on the very outside of the thigh. The upshot is all of this imbalance between muscle groups puts undo torsion on the knee = pain. Isometric exercise to correct these imbalanced conditions will usually correct knee problems.
Now all of this is without any torn ligaments or meniscus. Even so once a real tear has healed up these imbalances will happen from limping and compensating during the healing process. Neuromuscular reeducation is the way to restore the balance around the knee.
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Old 05-23-2006, 05:28 PM   #22
Jory Boling
 
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

In regards to "preventing" knee injuries (or at least minimizing chances of), a sempai of mine recently showed me a different way to do a backward roll. Instead of going down to one knee first he showed me how to turn a back fall (back breakfall?) into a back roll by kicking out and rolling on over.

Also, in my dojo, they prefer regular back falls to be done by squatting and then kicking out. Your weight never goes down on your knee (in a perfect world).

That has taken some of my kneepain anxiety out of the equation. Now I only worry about it during abuse in suwari waza.
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Old 05-24-2006, 01:07 AM   #23
ksy
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

hi, came across this article on knee injury survey etc. maybe some of you would like to check this out
http://www.zanshinart.com/Aikido/AikiKnee.html
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Old 05-24-2006, 04:39 AM   #24
Abasan
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

Does anyone else suffer pain on the other joint of the knee? Something like a twisted ligament or similar. Mostly its not painful, unless you sit seiza.

Getting up feels like a wire is pulled short at the knee and remains painful to straighten the leg for a few minutes or until you kick it out.

Just wondering what injury this is.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 05-24-2006, 03:18 PM   #25
Janet Rosen
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Re: How do you prevent knee injuries?

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote:
Does anyone else suffer pain on the other joint of the knee?
this makes no anatomical sense. try again? :-)
if you can describe via landmarks on the outside of the body exactly where it is, then some of us MAY be able to identify the most likely structures to be involved and some of the common problems associated with them...none of us will be able to make a diagnosis.

Janet Rosen
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