Story time! Yesterday I went to stand up after sitting in a deep squat position (no weight, just squatting down to cue a client while stretching) and I heard/felt a massive pop in my knee.
It sounded like somebody broke a rock on concrete. No pain at the time of the sound, but later that evening, the swelling came, and the pain came along with it.
Some people would consider this to be a “freak injury,” or something that you couldn’t possibly predict. Although freak injuries/accidents do happen, I would like to explain why a lot of “freak injuries,” aren’t so freakish after all by using my currently swollen knee as an example. To understand why my injury wasn’t so freakish, though, we will have to rewind.
When I was 19 years old I was rolling ju-jitsu at a local gym in Aberdeen, WA. I had a figure 4 locked up with my legs. While trying to tighten up the submission, I accidentally rotated my knee a little too far. I didn’t know this until I stood up after the round ended, and felt that exact same pop/shift in my knee that I did yesterday. THIS, is what I would consider to be a freak injury or accident.
Rather than getting my knee looked at, though, I just waited until the pain and swelling went away. I chose to ignore the instability/occasional pop in my knee and figured I could get by.
FAST FORWARD 2 YEARS LATER, AND THE ISSUE HAD RESOLVED... SORT OF.
I was pain-free but my knee was still a little unstable at times.
One day when I was attempting a max height box jump, the bottom of my foot didn’t fully make it on top of the box, and got caught on the edge. I was able to push myself far enough away from the box to get one foot off, however, the grippy bottoms of my other shoe adhered to the box and rotated my knee to an extreme angle. Just like that, I tore my meniscus, lodging half of it between my femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone). The ball of cartilage left my knee stuck at one angle. I could not flex or extend it. This too, was a freak accident. Although a high risk activity, it was pretty unlucky that my shoe gripped the box after I aggressively pushed myself away from it in attempt to bail.
SIX MONTHS OF RECOVERY AND A FEW MONTHS OF PHYSICAL THERAPY LATER...
I was back to a normal exercise routine. I had a visible knot of scar tissue on the inner portion of my knee, though. Since I was in a hurry to get back to competing, I unwisely chose to ignore the the scar tissue and returned to training full speed. What I didn’t know at the time was that the scar tissue knot would eventually grow in the space between my femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) and cause a subtle shift of my knee joint in deep knee flexion.
This brings us up to yesterday’s freakish accident. Do you see how neglecting address apparently “small issues” in the past snowballed into injury? Sometimes those “freak injuries” aren’t so freakish after all.
MY TRAINING REGIMEN IS AS SAFE AND AS WELL-STRUCTERED AS IT HAS EVER BEEN.
I stay on top of my corrective exercises, I have resolved many of my old aches/pains from irresponsible training habits in the past, and have helped many others reduce their own aches/pains via individualized training programs. This is a large part of what I do at The Fitness Pyramid here in Spokane, WA.
Yesterday, I was reminded about that knot on my knee that I neglected to address (I forgot about it over the past couple years for it became “normal”). The beautiful thing about the current pain I am experiencing, though, is that I have the ability/knowledge base to address it, thus I will prevent another “freak injury” from happening.
That being said, if you have been neglecting “old injuries” or “aches and pains that come with age,” I would strongly encourage you to contact me so we can address those issues before they spiral into an injury like mine did. Luckily, mine will only put me out of squatting for a week or two at the most before I am able to address the issue fully. Others won’t be so lucky.
TO CATCH THESE ISSUES BEFORE THEY MANIFEST INTO SOMETHING MORE SERIOUS...
Please go to the link below and read up on how we unveil them at The Fitness Pyramid.
The Fitness Pyramid Movement Screen
Thanks for reading. I hope the experiences I have shared with you here allow you to avoid the mistakes that I made in the past! Until next time, Stay Humble. Stay Hungry. Stay Happy.