Gout and Sanchin

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Gout and Sanchin

Postby J.M. » Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:46 pm

I've done Uechi off and on (more off) for years. I love the style, and love Sanchin. But every time I get back to training, after about a week of Sanchin, my gout flares up. I realize this may be a pretty obscure question, but if anyone has any experience/thoughts with this, I'd be most interested...

Thanks...

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Possibly. . .

Postby gmattson » Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:37 pm

the "way" you perform your kata is affecting your health.

Many students who practice incorrectly are unable to continue after they reach a certain age. . .

When you are young, student can get away with many practices that have a memory and will come back and bite you in the ass years later.
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Postby mhosea » Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:32 pm

As a gout sufferer, the only thing about Sanchin I can think of that is potentially a trigger is gripping the floor with the toes. The other trigger is somewhat generic and not particularly to do with Sanchin. Rapid weight loss or dehydration may trigger an attack, and these often happen in connection with "getting back into" training of any kind.

The one thing I've realized that I just will never be able to do again is kick bags of any kind with my bare toes, and because my big toe joints are fried from 15 years of untreated gout, I can't kick a bag with the ball of my foot, either--the toes won't retract far enough. An occasional kick to the abs of a sparring partner seems OK, although one time I connected squarely with a deftly raised shin and wasn't right for a month. I am currently debating with myself whether I should start wearing martial arts shoes.

I don't know what kind of treatment you are receiving for your gout, if anything. There was a formal study of vitamin C that showed an average 10% reduction in serum uric acid levels. That was with a modest dose of 500mg per day, which is worth a try. You might ask your doctor about medications. The main ones are allopurinol to control uric acid levels and colchicine for either prophylactic use or to give some relief in an acute attack.
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Thanks...

Postby J.M. » Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:32 pm

... I appreciate the comments. I may be doing Sanchin too hard - that's something I've always got to watch. I don't tend to grip the floor with the toes - at least consciously. But I will look into whether that's a habit I've picked up.

I'm not treating the gout - thank God, I haven't had a major attack in some time. But I'll look into the vitamin C - certainly can't hurt...

Thanks...

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Postby mhosea » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:17 pm

Just to be clear, my response wasn't really connected to George's. You're supposed to grip the floor with your toes, as far as I understand, but this is the just the only thing I could think of about Sanchin that might stimulate the classical gouty toe:

http://www.merck.com/mmpe/multimedia/Photo1sec04ch35.html?Ref=n&ItemId=Photo1sec04ch35&RefId=x&Speed=256&Plugin=WMP&Error=

What I found before I got treated was that, with uric acid crystals deposited in that joint, I could manufacture a gout attack simply by "stirring the pot", e.g. banging the toe lightly on something or just overusing it. My problem was bad enough that I also got gout attacks in other places, most notably the small bursa sacks behind the heel underneath the Achilles tendon (it's call retrocalcaneal bursitis when you have inflammation there). Very, very painful, that. Now that I've kept my uric acid levels low for a year and a half, the crystals seem to be gone, so if I abuse my joints they usually just get sore. I.e., damage to the big toe joint from previous gout attacks may also make it somewhat sore when it is overused. That would be more of a dull pain than the sharp pain you get with a true gout attack. Most people don't know it, but gout is considered the most painful form of arthritis, at least of the most common forms, so the difference between osteoarthritis and a true gout attack is not subtle, in my experience.

Anyway, I guess I'm rambling now. It makes sense to go easy on the toes. Now that I think of it, it also makes sense to make sure your weight is borne by the whole foot, not one side or the other, or front or back. This would be in the spirit of George's comment, as unevenly weighting the foot is incorrect, an example of where doing it wrong might cause problems to less-forgiving feet.
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An example

Postby gmattson » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:23 pm

of bad training. . .

A student of mine trained with another uechi teacher many years ago. The teacher had the student "train" and "condition" his toes by hitting a steel support in the dojo. This went on for a couple years.

My student now has difficulty standing and walking. . . a condition he has been suffering with for quite a few years. . .

Often, students will blindly accept "sensei's" advice . . . after all, he is the teacher. . . with long range and permanent negative results.

And of course, you all know how I feel about the teachers who use their students as punching bags during sanchin!
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Postby J.M. » Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:58 pm

I think you may have hit on the problem. Can't believe I didn't see it. I tend to turn my right foot in, from an old ankle issue. So I don't distribute my weight evenly on the right foot. I tried being conscious of that in my Sanchin today, and it feels significantly better. Thanks! I'll see how this works as time goes on. But it looks promising...
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