10 posts / 0 new
Last post
Malachy Devlin
Malachy Devlin's picture
osteoarthritus

Hi All, I have a specific question that seems to generate differing answers even from professionals. Im only 42 and recently found out I have a heriditary arthritus and it can be seen on my fingers, hands, knees, elbows and feet.Its not that bad to be honest but i want to think "prevention" now so that i can preserve my joints for another 50 years!

I dont want to put stress on my joints and want to have them last as long as possible so I was worried about "kicking fresh air" and "punching fresh air", wado ryu basic techniques and katas.

My brain tells me this isnt great for the joints as its extending them, some agree and some disagree.

I know a lot of karate folk say that training actually led to arthritus so it seems logical that if one already has it an an early age that its best to avoid, in any case surely it cant help?

any advice?

ps trianing martial arts didnt cause this for me, it was going to happen anyway. besides im just a hobby guy and take it light.

Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture

Malachy Devlin

Doing techniques in the air is not harmful if you don't do it full speed and power with full extension of your joints. If you look how joints work in our body they rarely go full extension, if we look for a punch (Tsuki) I teach that the "slack" in elbow should be exactly as in your relaxed arm hanging beside you. Naturally elbow doesn't do full extension. Keeping that in mind try it might feel odd on the beginning.

Bit more info you can find in this article,

https://shinaido.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/components-of-a-punch/

Another option you have just slow down and focus on movement and mental aspect of Karate. I have few students who enjoy Karate training and have very advanced arthritis and they actually feel better after session. Example of that session in the clip below.

 

Obviously everyone is different and you might not like any of it, but I hope you will find the way to keep training,

Joints used have more lubrication.

Kind regards

Les

Malachy Devlin
Malachy Devlin's picture

Thanks Les, that sounds good and I will look over your links.

I suppose the thing is I wanted to do my 1st dan and im not sure if I would get away then with doing techniques in a "restricted way", i would imageing for 1st dan id need to be showing power and snappy techniques.

Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture

Malachy,

Personally I think that your instructor should asses your ability, and make changes to suit your condition. That's what I do with my students there are different criteria for different students. Same was applied to me when I was going through grading, as due to my hip build, I can't kick high. According to our old grading syllabus I should of fail at 5 kyu as it required to kick Mawashi Geri Jodan, twenty years later I still cannot kick high, I’m better in other things. Speak to your Sensei and see what they say.

Kind regards

Les

Malachy Devlin
Malachy Devlin's picture

yes i hear you about the roundhouse, head heigh is a hipkiller. My sensei in fairness has in the syllabus that anyone over 35 doesnt kick head height if they dont wish.

so thanks thats been helpful, i think ill adjust my training.

i think i wont kick as hard, but that doesnt mean I cant if the need arises.. lol

Tau
Tau's picture

I would want to know a LOT more about your condition in order to properly advise. Osteoarthritis? Rheumatoid arthritis? Any immunology aspect to it? How is it manifesting? How is it being treated?

Rather than tailoring training to the condition I would want to tailor training to the individual.

Les Bubka
Les Bubka's picture

Tau,

I agree with you that program have to be tailored to individual. In order to do that we need to know their condition.

There will be different program for person with MS, Arthritis or Heart problem.

All of those will have separate program tailored to them incorporating their condition in cooporation with health professional if possible.

Kind regards

Les

Tau
Tau's picture

Les, and even then each condition covers a huge spectrum of type, severity and different symptoms.

Anf
Anf's picture

Depending on where the OP is the range of diagnoses could go from, 'yeah it's worn out' to a more comprehensive assessment.

Mine falls into the former category. My first diagnosis comprising a podiatrist bending my big toe one way then the other then diagnosing osteoarthritis without any other tests. In my case I did get a more comprehensive assessment, after about 2 years of being told to just rest and take paracetamol if it gets bad.

So in essence, depending on where one is, one may effectively consider themselves largely on their own. Hence why folks often turn to the Internet for advice.

In my personal case, and this is likely to be different for everyone, 'just rest and take pain killers' made matters progressively worse. Equally, trying to ignore the problem made it worse.

If range of motion is impeded by bone on bone limitations, stretching that joint against the bone will just cause more inflammation and pain.

So this is what seems to be helping for me. Take it or leave it but I'm me and my case is different to anyone else's.

Low impact exercise like cycling, strengthens the surrounding muscles and keeps the blood pumping, without stressing the affected joints. In my case this has helped me do things I was previously losing the ability to do, like walking and running.

If there's pain in a joint, stop. Trying to power through it just sets me back a few weeks.

As for martial arts training, I do what I can do, which is most of it. I adapt where possible, and if there's something I can't do, I try to compensate by being better at something I actually can do.

In my case, while I'm not exactly huge, I do carry some spare adipose fuel for this machine I am :) I've started to shed some of it through diet and exercise not for cosmetic or vanity reasons but because the less I weigh, the less force goes through my arthritic joints. I've dropped about 14 pounds so far and I'm already feeling the benefits.

Diet is about more than weight loss or muscle gain. I'm finding that without subscribing to fad diets or pseudoscience, a plain old healthy diet feels like its having a positive effect when compared with my previous diet of largely whatever I fancied.

As I mentioned above, these are things that I've found so far work for me. But my case is not necessarily the same as anyone else's.

Malachy Devlin
Malachy Devlin's picture

sorry for the delay guys, so coming back to this.. things have changed.

Its not osteoarthritus but in fact an "Inflammatory Type", which is more immune system related.

to be honest it sounds like it could just be a "one off flare" possibly due to an old infection or in my opinion even stress related.

so that woudl explain the wide range of joints affected. The good news is that after a steroid injection things have settled and there was no actual joint damage. so as i write this I am fully fit for duty and hope to keep it that way.. the inflammation is gone..