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  • Ekamai

Physical therapy for kendo practitioners in Bangkok

Hi, this is Sato from the J-CLINIC Ekkamai branch in Bangkok.

Today, I’ll talk about common pain experienced by kendo practitioners, using an example case.

Although kendo is an intense martial art, some say it causes fewer injuries compared to other martial arts because practitioners—who use bamboo swords and wear protective gear—have less direct physical contact than, say, people who do karate.

However, kendo’s unique moves can strain and lead to pain in the Achilles tendon, knees, shoulders, and hips. For example:
• Fast movements and strained postures place stress on the bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments.
• Repetitive movements and excessive use of joints, muscles, and ligaments lead to accumulated fatigue.
• Direct contact between bodies and bamboo swords causes injuries.

Let’s look at an actual case.

[A patient case]

Ms. L (28 years old, female) has been training in kendo for three years. She started to feel pain on the left side of her hips about a year after she started kendo, but didn’t think it was worth getting checked at the hospital.

Gradually, pain in more areas began to bother her, and she decided to visit J-CLINIC.
She came to us with the following symptoms:
Pain in the right heel
Pain from the left Achilles tendon to the sole
Pain in the left ankle

These symptoms are typically caused by kendo’s “fumikomi” step.

Roughly translated as “stepping in,” fumikomi is a fast lunge. In this move, Ms. L pushes off with her left leg; her right foot lunges forward, stomping the ground. The right heel receives the full impact of contact with the ground.

This frequent, repetitive stomping was causing the pain in Ms. L’s right heel.
Her left leg, meanwhile, must push off each time with great force, stiffening Ms. L’s left hamstrings, hip muscles, and iliac muscles.

This was placing continuous stress on the sacroiliac joint, which serves as the axis of these muscles, causing pain in Ms. L’s left lower back.

Stepping off from the left leg also was straining the left ankle, triggering pain there.

Given the causes, J-CLINIC treated Ms. L with:
1. Massage to relax muscle tension
2. High-voltage electric therapy for pain relief
3. Motion & manipulation therapy to improve his range of motion
4. Advice on stretching and other exercises

▼ Watch our treatments

In addition, we showed Ms. L ways to spot-train certain muscles. Specifically, building muscle strength in the leg and soles of her feet would help absorb the strain of rapid weight shifts and address the uneven distribution of weight on her feet.

We also suggested that Ms. L review her fumikomi form, so she can shift her weight without placing the whole burden on the left leg.
Besides treatment, J-CLINIC offers taping services to prevent knee and ankle injuries common to kendo.
Contact us for treatment of injuries, maintenance therapy, and optimizing your body for practice and competitions.

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