Sunday, 31 August 2008

Torn muscles and tempers

"BLOODY OUCH!", I said the other day during a Tang Soo Do session. Early on in the warm-up I stooped over and suddenly I felt a "BANG" in my lower back over to one side. After the initial shock of the pain I realised it wasn't going to magically go away. I was most annoyed. Mostly because I didn't warm myself up properly as I should and as I like to before the 'official' warm-up started. This pre-lesson warm-up gives me the time to stretch in a personal way: I know my body best ans know where I need to put in a certain amount of attention, stretch more here, give more attention to the feet and ankles (especially in winter!). But that day I was annoyed at myself, mostly as I wouldn't be able to continue the lesson.

But I did. Reckless I know but I was working on the assumption that keeping it moving (gently) wasn't going to do it as much harm as stopping dead. I have since learned that putting an ice pack on a muscle tear is probably the best thing just afterwards. I came home had a bath and popped some ibuprofen.

I checked some details about muscle repair this evening and from what I can tell (although I'm no expert) as a muscle tear heals it will form scar tissue which is less flexible generally. During this healing period it is therefore an idea to gently stretch out the muscle to try and maintain some of the previous flexibility and build this in to the newly healing part of the muscle. Of course I'm not doing it if it hurts but an interesting point as I think I'd have just left well alone till it was completely healed otherwise. This is a great article!

"Gradually training muscles specifically in eccentric contractions is helpful in reducing muscle strain injuries." Not sure what this means.... :-)

More DOMA blog articles about injuries in the martial arts.