Wanted to add,
In FighinIrish’s training log I wrote out the “High Mileage Warm Up”(just what I call it) that I do/recommend to anyone that gets to a certain experience level/age with all the bumps/bruises that go with it. If you already have a focused warm up/cool down from you coach or Physical Therapist than by all means continue with that. I am not in a position to make specific recommendations RE your specific injury. However, if you don’t have a formalized pre/post plan or struggle to get your injury management work in around your training it may be worth a read. It would be worth it to check out Irish’s thread anyway, so its in there.
I know I am really harping on the whole pre-hab/active care thing as opposed to which style, but I think that it is the more important point. Paying attention and actually doing the stuff we all know is “important” is actually important. It becomes even more key as we age, but lets keep in mind the saying “it’s not the years, it’s the miles” are realize that someone who spend there time in a dojo/gym is going to be a lot higher mileage than the typical “active” person. The time to pay attention to this stuff is before you don’t have a choice. There are stages.
When we are young, and you may well still be there, we are bullet proof. In fact, a bottle of whiskey and waking up next to some strange pussy seems to have more restorative power than all of Bethesda Naval Hospital. At this point we can work through damn near anything.
At some point, we aren’t bullet proof any more. We don’t magically heal. We actually have to deal with injuries.
Now this is still fairly easily done. A little rest, some ice, tape, analgesics, and a little bit of PT and we snap back. So, while someone at this stage does need to “do something”, they can kind of half ass their rehab/doctor’s orders and still get back into training/competition. At this stage getting piss drunk at a party doesn’t seem to impede healing to any degree. For healthcare provider’s people at this stage are a joy because they make you look awesome. Pick some kind of relevant treatment and the patient sings your praises. In this stage you are still wearing injuries like they are a badge of honor. You know you will get better.
The next step tends to hit at some point in the college years. Now, injuries actually have to be dealt with. PT’s, DC’s, actual treatment plans, the whole nine yards. Even worse, you may start to have actual residual effects. So, even after you are “back” you still have a “bad” knee/shoulder/thing’a ma jig. Neoprene is your friend. If you are here it is absolutely imperative that you start paying the fuck attention to rehab/pre-hab. Read kmcnyc’s thread. Follow your coach’s and PT’s advice. The goal is to stay in this general stage as long as possible.
At first an injury has to have a distinct, causative event. In other words, something happened to hurt you. You got thrown, hit, twisted…something. You can point to a moment and action and say “This is when it happened, and this is why.” Your clue that this is different than stage II is that you cannot half ass your rehab anymore or you don’t come back. Also, shit hurts. Even after you think you are better, it still hurts. Now the concepts of “pre-hab” and “re-hab” get muddy because “Who the fuck knows if I am doing these face pulls to recover from the last injury or ward off the next one. I just know I have to do them.”
This is still a perfectly serviceable place to be. You can still have a long athletic career.
This is the first really bad place. Now, you don’t have to “do something” to be injured. Normal practice/activities can sometimes do it. If you ever find yourself saying “I don’t know what I did, but_____”, “I must have twisted wrong, or something.”, or “All I did was sneeze/cough/pick up a pencil/etc.” to explain your current state of broke dickedness you are here. Instead of knowing a four corners throw or wrist lock did you in, you just know “something” did. Now normal workouts/seemingly normal stuff can lay you up. Also, you have a list of things you just shouldn’t do. The list is full of things you took for granted in stages I and II, like bench press, or squat, or run stairs, or do bridges. All of a sudden you can’t read a training program without modding it.
You can still practice martial arts in this stage and beyond. However, being a competitor is going to be an issue if you don’t find some way to get back to IIIa. This usually means getting honest to god evaluated by people who know what the hell they are doing. You have to get healthy, to be able to train like you used to. If you don’t do that you drift towards IIIc.
I would like to describe this in terms of what you should and should no longer do, but those realizations are as much dependent on stubbornness as they are diagnosis. So instead of saying “you retire”, or “you have no choice but to _____” I will instead give you a way to know you are in full on stage IIIc danger zone.
All of a sudden viagra commercials aren’t funny any more.
Now I am not saying you see one on TV and scramble to write down the number. Or that you immediately schedule a visit with your PCP to “Ask if Viagra/Cialis/SteelCock is right for you.”, but they just aren’t funny “ha, ha”. Instead of “those poor bastards” it is more of a comforting "I’m glad that is around if I need it. Not that I would ever…"kind of deal.
If you don’t do something to arrest your slide at this point, you may well and truly hit not be able to fix things. Sliding through this stage is what takes people from “retired from competition” to “I can’t even get on the mat anymore”. Even if you find that you well and truly cannot return to full on training it is important to rehab as best you can. Lest you wind up in Stage IV.
Let’s just say this one is designated “Never trust a fart.” and realize we don’t want to be here.
So seriously, pay attention to pre-hab/re-hab and the advice of the people you have paid to give you good advice. And pick an activity that you like/love enough to keep you coming back to it. Because if we live long enough we all walk through some of the stages. If we choose wisely, it might seem worth it.