I have been in pain, with my knee(s) for over a year, surgery was in mid-May 2020 and then complications due to scar tissue (right knee, left does have a meniscus tear again), and I have used all the physical therapy appointments my insurance would allow.
In that time, I have tried to do Taijiquan (Yang and Sun), Xingyiquan, Wing Chun. Even Yoga and all lead to making things worse. I would do the PT exercises faithfully and things would be better for a few minutes afterwards most times, but not always, and never longer than a few minutes. I have been on and off a cane multiple times since May and even had a few times ,when I needed, use my crutches again. And living in the northeast we have snow, and even wearing knee braces I would spend at least 2 days in braces and walking with a cane. And in these last several months, I gave up and quit a few times too. Don't know why I went back, over and over again and kept trying, but after a few days, I'd try again
I have looked for and tried multiple types of exercise to stay healthy, and gained weight in the process, but I finally found a light weight chair routine and a seated aerobic routine that I can do and my knees don’t hate me for days afterwards. And I also have a total gym and a bow flex so I can do some seated stuff on those for strength.
Last week my knees started feeling, strangely, a little better so I decided to try something. I was doing a body weight half squat without issue so I picked up two 10-pound weights, did a half squat to see what would happen. IT didn’t hurt, so I added that to the routine. There was also a stair stepping exercise PT had given me, that I could not do due to pain that I decided to give a try, and that did not hurt either. I then added a standing, stationary routine with light weights, 5 lbs, based on Xingyiquan Wuxingquan (5 elements fist), and that worked great and felt great.
Up to that point I was still trying to do Taijiquan and I was able to get through a Sun style shirt form with some discomfort, but Yang style I could only do what we refer to as the first 3rd. Although in reality it is not a 3rd, it is just the first of 3 sections.
Monday, I decided to not do any Sun style and just try Yang. Much to my surprise I got through the entire form, without pain. It was a bit fast, 10 minutes, but I got through. 5 minutes later I felt like I wanted to do the form again, so I did. 12 minutes this time, still fast, but still no pain. I felt like a third time, but I did not want to push it so I decided not to do round 3. But it was nagging at me, I wanted to do a 3rd round, but I had made it through without pain twice and 3 seemed like asking for trouble. Seven hours later I had to give it a try again, got through, without pain (15 minutes) a bit fast, but no pain. I use to take 20 to 30 minutes for the Yang Long form, but I’ll take what I can get at this point.
So basically, this is a long way around to say for the first time in over a year, I was able to do the entire Yang long form, without pain.
My knee is not perfect, still feels very stiff and is most certainly lacking flexibility, but it seems to be getting better. However, I have been almost here before, only to have it nail me again and cause me a whole lot of pain. But it appears to be further along at this point than it has been since May 2020..
I have to admit, it was nice to be able to do that long form again
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