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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Strange Links/Reminders

Weird how things link up.

A martial arts instructor I know posted something on Facebook about some issues she was having with hip pain. I suggested that she seek out a physical therapist with a background in athletic training. I suppose an orthopedist could work to. Mostly, the point was that, if you're an athlete, you'll need to find a medical practitioner who is used to working with athletes.

Thinking about that, I was reminded of an experience I had many years ago. I got my elbow tweaked holding pads during a Muay Thai class, causing a minor injury that was exacerbated by an overly enthusiastic (read, jerk) student in a grappling class the next night. By "exacerbated", I mean that I couldn't really move the arm properly, threw it in a sling for a couple of days, and went to see a doctor. Who, among other things, had an MRI done, and proceeded to tell me (in short) that he thought my hobby sounded stupid. He also told me that the MRI didn't show anything, and that I should just go back to training and take it easy.

Fast forward to the tail end of last year, after I passed my HKC and started working on expanding my strength and conditioning knowledge. One of the things that my coach noticed almost immediately was that my left arm does not fully lock out. At all. Apparently, this is actually pretty pronounced-I filmed myself doing the snatch test on Monday, and I was amazed at how much that arm does not lock out.

I couldn't for the life of me figure out what the hell was causing it. The discussion about seeking a medical practitioner reminded me of that event. I would guess I really was injured, but the doc missed it, or something.


Maija said...

Had a friend, a long distance runner who started to have sciatica ... went to all kinds of physios ... no one could diagnose what was going on, or could fix the problem for long.
Finally found someone who noticed that when she ran, her step length on one side was shorter than the other, and her arm movement on that side was also much shorter, walking too. She remembered back to a childhood injury from falling on her coccyx and holding her body in the same way after the accident. Never thought of it until she started to feel what she was doing.

Fascinating really.

Ever read anything by Thomas Hanna? He came up with the idea 'Sensory Motor Amnesia', basically how the brain causes muscular firing .. often in a bad way, but ends up thinking it is 'normal'.
He says something to the effect that the only permanent solution to treating injury and long term pain stemming from ingrained asymmetries, is from the the brain down. Can't be done by someone else 'fixing' you, because your 'normal' clicks back in soon after, and your 'normal' has become unbalanced due to this amnesia

Improving the proprioception and training to re-learn posture and movement from the inside is the only way to go.

Jake said...

Is he the "Hanna Somatics" guy? If so, I've heard of his work, but not read it yet.

Maija said...