Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Getting Past a Thumb Injury

My third month into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training, I had a pretty bad injury occur to my left thumb. It occurred when I tried to stop an opponent from passing my guard. As they shot their knee over my left leg, I tried to push their knee back. Rather than push with my palm, I missed and caught the knee with my thumb full on. It bent back and snapped.

I had torn the ligaments in my thumb, but it was not a full rupture and there were no bone chips pulled away; good news. My first response was frustration because I knew this could keep me off the mat. But then I spent some time thinking about how I could keep training and not miss any classes, even with one hand. I had also been watching some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu master Jean Jacque Machado videos, so there had to be a way to keep training without the full use of both hands.

After two visits to the doctor and some X-Rays, we decided the best course of action as to isolate and immobilize the joint in order for me to keep training. There was a cast option, but wearing a cast on my hand for 6 weeks was not the way I wanted to go. So we found another alternative; a removable thumb brace.

After a trip to Kinetic Konnection; I walked away with a 60.00 dollar Corflex Low Profile Thumbster thumb brace. This thing was awesome! It completely immobilized my thumb and was strong enough to allow me to continue training. I wore it for 7 weeks and did not miss a class. I was also able to continue rolling because of some very understanding teammates; so my training did not suffer.

Major joint injuries can easily stop you from training, but why let a small joint injury hold you back? If you get an injury, think of ways to keep training, even if it is not at 100%.