Kendoka Knee

Over the last two to three months or so I’ve been dealing with intermittent pain in my right knee that I’ve felt before but not for this long of a time. Initially I chalked it up to a doing fumikomi on a dead spot on the dojo floor one too many times or an errant knee to knee collision with one of my dojo-mates and I could walk it off. Then I started to feel an aching pain deep within the joint and behind the kneecap even while sitting, especially in the morning and evening and driving for extended periods of time resulted in periodic sharp pain that would temporarily be eased after flexing the joint repeatedly.

After being a somewhat stubborn kendoka (and grimacing in pain while making a 3 hour drive), I finally started looking into what it could be and the closest I could come up with is runner’s knee, which according to is characterized by the following:

* Pain behind or around the kneecap, especially where the thighbone and the kneecap meet.
* Pain when you bend the knee — when walking, squatting, kneeling, running, or even sitting.
* Pain that’s worse when walking downstairs or downhill.
* Swelling.
* Popping or grinding sensations in the knee.

Check, check, check, maybe check, and check. Wearing a knee brace that offers support for my kneecap seems to help considerably but the trouble is finding one that won’t slide off during keiko is an entirely different matter. Short of applying an antiperspirant all around my knee, using glue, or taping it to my skin, I decided to try wearing a heel pad to absorb some of the shock going into my knee. So far, the intensity of the pain has subsided considerably yet periodic aching persists typically the day after keiko. During keiko, I tend to not feel much pain save for the errant armpit-uchi or a tsuba smashing my finger joints during aiuchi-men but it’s possible the adrenaline rush masks any pain coming from my knee.

For now, I’m going to continue to stick with using a heel pad but if it starts to get worse, I’ll invest in a decent knee brace/support similar to this. The great thing about this particular brace is that it offers a non-slip coating on the top section so that should help with the slippage issue. If I decide to purchase this brace, I’ll follow up this post with a review.


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