13 July 2007

The Knights Who Say...Ni!

More accurately, the Afternoons that say Knee. Okay, it still doesn't quite work. Up until today, my knee had been steadily improving. So what happened yesterday? Well, I decided to work on the bear-sway. It's a taiji exercise that involves shifting your weight from one foot to the other, coordinated with a waist turn. I did this for two minutes in a left-foot-forward bowstance, two minutes in a right-foot-forward bowstance, and two minutes in a horse-stance. Mainly, I wanted to work on that tight left hip. It also seems to have overworked the muscles and/or tendons around the knee, however. They felt fine when I was done, but they've been extra stiff and sore today. So I may or may not go to taiji tomorrow. That was only 6 minutes of intense work, and little else extra. A three-hour class...? Uh, we usually spend an hour on the form, then an hour in push-hands. A LOT of push-hands involves using the bear sway turn from bow stance. An hour of that... I don't think so. Unless I wake up and it's magically feeling lots better, I'm out.

Oh, and regarding the Inquire Further links... the web-site where I got the code seems to have disappeared, and part of the code references said web-site. Iamb of Pooflinger's Anonymous says a fix exists, though, so I'll try to have it fixed soon. Until then, just click on titles if you need to expand.

AM Update: Well, I'm in the middle of the usual internal argument about class. Basically it's: "Rest! You're injured! You wanna make it worse?!?" vs. "C'mon. You can always sit out if it starts hurting." However, I think the "Rest" side is winning, especially after finding this article that describes the kind of knee injury I have.

The meniscus is a small, horse-shoe shaped fibrous piece of cartilage that acts as a cushion in the knee joint between the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia). Theses two menisci can be injured during weight bearng exercise if the knee rotates. A partial or total tear of a meniscus commonly occurs when a person quickly twists or rotates the upper leg while the foot stays still (for example, during football or soccur 'cuts'). With a small tear, the meniscus stays connected to the front and back of the knee; if the tear is large, the meniscus may be only connected by a thread of cartilage. The seriousness of a tear depends on its location and extent.

A person may even be able to continue with activity. Severe pain may result if a fragment of the meniscus catches between the femur and tibia. Swelling is fairly common if after the injury or may occur several hours later. The knee may also click, lock, or feel weak. Symptoms of meniscal injury may disappear on their own with time, but generally they require treatment in order to heal fully.

Minor tears can be treated with conservative treatmetn including stretching and strengthening exercises to build quadriceps and hamstring strength and flexibility.

(spelling mistakes theirs) One small difference, I was not turning quickly when I injured myself. I was, in fact, turning slowly, as befits taiji push hands. I actually had time to feel the upper body try to turn at the hip, get stuck, and then the rotation transferred down the leg to the knee. I'm going to assume that it's a minor tear, because I've been able to put weight on that leg and go about my usual taiji routine without much difficulty. Note: Thursday's bear sway is not part of my usual routine. I also don't have any of the locking and clicking described for meniscus injuries. And I can now straighten the leg without pain. Yesterday it was actually bending the knee that made it hurt the most.

So... I think I'll let it rest this morning, but I'm optimistic. I've already got good quadricep strength, and good hamstring flexibility. Not sure about hamstring strength...but it seems that just being able to straighten the leg is a good sign. For now, I'll just add in a few extra stretches and strengthening exercises. And in about a week I'll try the bear sway again, as that's the type of motion I need to be able to do properly to keep from re-injuring it.

Oooh, Pictures here!

No comments: