View Full Version : Back Injury

sean dixie
28th July 2003, 16:21

Thought I'd try here first for some advice regarding my back injury. In the middle of last year I managed to damage my lower back. I felt it 'go' but it was a day or so later that the pain really set in and I had to take some time off work. As these things do it kind of healed and I got on with life. I now seem to have hit a wall regarding recovery. I've had accupuncture, manipulation(Anyone know Sensei Mizuno's friend Yoshi?-Painful!) I am now having chiropractic treatment.The system used is a very gentle one,you almost feel nothing is being done till you realise you can breath properly and are a couple of inches taller!

I'm back training full time(I took a few months off)The pain is always there loitering and I've lost my sokuto geri! I used to be very proud of the crack my dogi would make! It's now to much pain to perform this kick and I have noticed that exactly the same pain comes when I try daisharin.

On advice I'm changing the way I walk and using various exercises to strengthen my 'inner' core spinal support muscles.

Anyone have a similar experience? Any exercises you can recommend? Or am I doomed to sit out daisharin for ever?

Steve Williams
28th July 2003, 17:26
just going to copy this to budo and the body, to see if it gets any other views.

Gary Dolce
28th July 2003, 19:53
I hurt my back in the late '90's. The injury was not related to practice - I hurt it hauling a Christmas tree out of the woods at a cut your own tree farm. But it made me miserable at practice (and many other things) for a couple of years. The doctors I saw just prescribed painkillers which didn't do much good.

I saw several chiropractors. I felt great right after a visit, but it would only last a few days. After a while I concluded that at least for my case, spinal manipulation wasn't helping. I actually think it is a bit of a scam - lots of visits added up to a substantial cost with no relief. None of the chiropractors I visited could offer a clear explanation of the injury or any useful measures I could take on my own to help it heal.

All of this took about 2 years, with several re-injuries in the process.

Eventually I tried physical therapy. The physical therapist I saw was the first person to connect the set of symptoms I had to a specific muscle problem. The exercise routine she gave me was the first thing that actually worked at relieving the pain. After about 6 months of 45 minutes of exercises twice a day, the pain had gone and I was able to discontinue the exercises. This treatment was also very cost effective - once the therapist showed me the exercises, I did them at home, with occasional visits back to therapist to check on progress.

While the set of exercises I did worked for me, it might not work for you since it was dependent on the particular type of injury I had. My recommendation would be to see a physical therapist, particularly one who specializes in back injuries or sports related injuries.

David Dunn
28th July 2003, 22:32
Originally posted by Gary Dolce
I saw several chiropractors... I actually think it is a bit of a scam - lots of visits added up to a substantial cost with no relief. None of the chiropractors I visited could offer a clear explanation of the injury or any useful measures I could take on my own to help it heal.

A lot of medical people would agree with you Gary. Go here (http://www.quackwatch.org) and search for 'chiroprac' in the page. There are some unscientific practices out there, so the buyer beware is the advice here (http://www.chirobase.org)

Sorry Sean, that's not so helpful. The answer is that there are people who can properly diagnose and treat your injury. Roy Keane, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Alan Shearer and many other footballers have all ruptured their medial cruciate ligaments, and all been back to playing top class football within a year. The rest of us suffering such an injury might be the end of all strenuous physical activity. Most of our GPs would have a "ahh, you injured it doing martial arts, so give up martial arts" attitude. I would try to find a sports injury doctor, who would be sympathetic to your need to continue training, or even insist forcefully that your GP refer you to the proper consultant/clinician. My friend injured his knee a long time ago, and after months of visiting the GP he took this approach, and got some proper physiotherapy soon after.

29th July 2003, 09:47

I suggest that you try to find a physical yogaclass. Good schools like Ashtanga-, Iyengar- or power yoga will hopefully "fix" your problem. But be aware, there are a lot of strange yoga teachers out there!

I have suffered from pain in the lower back when I was kicking. I am an old hockeyplayer and all these guys have big tight butts :D that sometimes causes problems in the back.
A couple of years ago I found a good yogaschool and started to practice. The teacher was very, very good in understanding problems in the back and he gave me a couple of postures to focus on and after 1 year of daily practice the pain was gone. It is very important to understand that yoga does not only make your back softer and more flexible but makes it stronger to. It will be hard and sometimes boring work but it is worth a try.

Johan Frendin

colin linz
30th July 2003, 00:43
All pretty good advise. With most lower back injuries the Transverse Abdominus (the main spinal stabiliser) gets turned of. This will lead to it degenerating and losing correct function. Itís interesting to note that even elite athletes suffer from this loss of function even after returning to training. The exercises are very specific and important, many people assume that because the stabiliser is an abdominal muscle that sit ups will work; however these work the Rectus Abdominus and will have little effect on the TA. Having recovered from two separate major spinal injuries I would encourage you to do as others here have, and seek the help of a good physiotherapist. Other more general recommendations would include Yoga, Pilates, or perhaps a Swiss ball to play with at home; these will all help develop the spinal stabilisers.

30th July 2003, 10:42
i think the most important in healing of injury is to know why it happen rather than how it can be temporaly relieved.

you said you loosed your sokuto geri, it can be link to the way you kick, than tensed your lower back and lead to an injury.

i've seen many martial artist with lower back problem, especialy in style where they kick high and among the most experienced one.

the reason is that when you kick with a high mawashi geri or sokuto and turn your hips all the impact of the movement goes back to the hip. if the body is straight and the spinal column vertical this is not a problem, but when the back is not straight then the tension can lead to an injury.

my oppinion is to that kicking body straight will not cause dammage to the back.

one famous martial artist with lower back pain was bruce lee, since he depart from the wing chun style and beging to use high kick in jeet kune do and until his death, he had a lower back pain.

30th July 2003, 13:50

I injured my left leg (my whole backthigh-muscle got torn from my bumm) about five years ago (not kempo-related acident...). Constant pain for atleast two years and now I'm finally able to practise almost the same way before the acident. After the injury I too lost my sokuto-geri together whith mawashigeri and also my umpoho suffered a lot. Before the acident I considered myself very flexible and good at umpoho... now I have to learn my way again :( But atleast this helps me keep my beginners mind!

Okay, so little sidetrack from original back injury... but the twopence is the same... after any major acident one must make great efforts to be able to practise again and let time do the final healing.



sean dixie
30th July 2003, 20:51
Thank you all, pretty much what I knew but it's good to hear it from others with experience. My Kempo has/is changing and rather than taking this in a negative fashion I'm using it to get better.I am now much closer to being able to follow Sensei's 'falling' umpoho. Much less physical work and quicker too!
Luckily I don't have to pay for my chioropractic treatment, it's done by a mates mum, and don't worry Dave, she is one of the highest quilified practitioners in the UK. Having studied ostiopathy,cranial ostiopathy,nursing, pilates(hense the great exersizes)etc,etc. When she treats you, you never even get a 'cracking 'sound it's so gentle,as I say you think nothing has happened.
Anyway, not here to bleat on about alternative medicine(Don't want to get into trouble with Kimpatsu,where is he by the way? Not banned again!)
Once again, thanks for your advice on physical therapy, not sure I have the footballers budgets, but will be getting help soon.

David Dunn
31st July 2003, 16:18
I didn't realise it was someone you knew Sean. The advice is still good - check them out before you let them do anything to you.

Let me know when you get Sensei's falling unpo ho - 'naifanchu' from an old karate manual he said last Saturday :D