Friday, July 30, 2010

More on knees ...

An update on my knees. After a few days of no pain, I started getting some pain again in both knees. Not all the time, but certainly when serious bending and sometimes on turning. Something clearly wrong, so time to do some research. I was a runner for quite a few years, and sporadically over the last few years. I used to go through periods of knee pain. Crushed ice on the knees after a run (actually frozen peas—very effective). It might be that I did some damage to my knees with all that pavement pounding.

My research revealed a couple of things. Lots of advice for folk with bad knees to take up tai chi. Tai chi will help bad knees is the general consensus. But then, quite a few folk who report getting bad knees after doing tai chi for some time. Hmm ...

There are also those who say, "Take up tai chi. It can't do any damage." But then other who say, "Do taiji wrong and you can damage your knees." Looking at the credentials of those who make the comments, I am tempted to go with the latter. If you practice seriously, there is a lot of knee bending, and a lot of knee turning. If you persistently bend and turn with your knees incorrectly you can do damage.

So, what have I learned about correct knee position? It's back to basics.

  1. Don't go too low as a beginner. The masters look great, but they have practiced for years and have developed great flexibility and strength.
  2. Make sure your knees don't go over your toes when you bend.
  3. Make sure your knees do not bend inward.
  4. If you get pain in your knees don't bend or turn to the point of pain. If you feel pain, pull back, raise your position.

I have been paying attention to these basic ideas. Number 3 has been very interesting. To move the knees outward rather than inward makes for a much stronger stance. It is also a definite point of attention. I think it may be that I have been allowing my knees to bend inward, particularly the back knee in any stance. So, I am paying attention still to knees. I'll report again.

Here's an interesting link about knee health: Yoga For Knees


No comments:

Post a Comment