This article is about overstretching of your elbow joint in connection with punching and your knee in connection with kicking.
In what context is the use of provoked muscle contraction for stopping a technique in Karate present and why?
In short, the techniques should stop just before the impact for preventing damage to elbow- and knee joints.
The contraction should be as short and light as possible. By doing this, you can quickly move on to the next technique. This goes especially for Kihon and Kata since all punches, strikes, and kicking are done in the air. So at the end of the technique, tighten your fist shortly for preventing damages to your elbow joint. Stop the kick just before the leg is stretched, to avoid overstretching the knee.
The execution of the technique in Kumite must be fully controlled, harmonious, and relaxed, and with no deliberately provoked muscle contraction.
The damage is done. What now?
First, I am not a physiotherapist, doctor, or the like. Therefore, seek professional help.
Subsequent is based on personal experience.
When the symptoms occur, it is advisable to cool the sore area with ice (10-15 min at a time every two hours). It is also important that you relieve the affected area, so stop the activity that creates problems!
Use the RICEM principle
Step 1: Rest (rest and tranquillity)
Step 2: Ice (cooling of the injury that counteracts swelling and pain)
Step 3: Compression (compression, bandaging with moderate pressure to prevent swelling)
Step 4: Elevation (elevation of the arm or leg also prevents swelling and relieves pain)
Step 5: Mobilization (Do not lie on the couch forever; you have to get going again)
You can use a special bandage (Elbow/Knee Wraps). It prevents the elbow or knee from being stretched completely and thus also prevents it from being overstretched. Another option is to tape the joint, the result is the same. Use it when you train Karate in the future, it relieves really well.
If the problem does not go away, try physiotherapeutic or chiropractic treatment. The treatment will typically consist of manipulation of the elbow, pressure massage, or acupuncture in the muscles involved, and instruction in stretching and strength exercises. A similar approach would also be associated with overstretched knees. Your doctor may suggest using anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen.
By the way, you may have to change your punching and kicking habits in the future.
Thanks for reading!