Feeling My Age: Minor Knee Injury

21 Mar 2008Steve Schwarz

Well it was bound to happen at some point. But it didn’t happen in agility. I hurt my knee at a Flyball tournament! Flyball, derogatorily refered to as the “bowling of dog sports”, typically doesn’t result in handler injuries (other than twisted ankles from stepping on tennis balls and running into each other or our dogs).

I was in a crouch holding Milo on the right side of the left lane so our start dog handler could see over me to see the lights (imagine the crouch of a ski jumper going down the ramp). While still bent at the knee I stepped left and felt a “ping” directly under my knee cap as I moved Milo into position. I didn’t have any significant pain afterward and continued with the tournament, I was just more careful with my movements.

I took Traumeel, Zeel and Ibuprofen once I got home and started icing my knee (should have started at the site). The next day my knee was sore but not swollen and I felt no pain no matter where I poked or prodded. Figured those were all good signs. Kept up the ice and drugs for three days and was really feeling a lot better.

Nancy loaded me up with all the

joint supplements she gives to Milo so (to really date myself) I feel like those pictures of Bobby Riggs taking a handful of supplements every day.

I was too afraid of “doing myself a mischief” to run Meeker at Tuesday or Wednesday’s agility classes so I drafted handlers. Eva has an explosive young female BC so she was used to handling a dog faster than Meeker and she did a great job. Emily ran Meek on Wednesday night and was surprised by his fast turning ability. It was fun watching others handle him, I don’t think he was ever handled by anyone else before. He loves ladies and it was all he could do to keep from continuously jumping up on his handlers. I’m sure Meeker enjoyed this change of pace too.

Even though I was feeling better I saw local rehab doctor and agility competitor “Dr. Marty” for a check up. She performed a very careful, thorough and gentle prodding, twisting, pushing and pulling of my knee and didn’t find anything seriously wrong. She also gave me some exercises to help build up my quadriceps to better support my knee. She advised me to go at my own pace, listen to my body, and not rush back to full exertion. Dr. Marty was really great and I especially like that she personally understands the movements we make on course.

It is the first time I’ve been to a rehab doctor so I also picked her brains about my other infirmities. I came away with a lot of information that I have to incorporate into my life.

So it is coming up on two weeks since my injury and my knee feels normal. I ran Milo and Meeker in class on Tues and Wed in a slow and deliberate manner, mostly rear crossing Learning the Rear CrossRear Cross and not racing to get anywhere. The next days I felt fine. This weekend I’m running both of them in a CPE trial at For Your Canine so I’ll see how I feel as that goes on. I’ll still handle conservatively, I’m not going to mess myself up just to compete. I’m in this for the long haul.

So the moral of my story is what we’ve known all along: lose weight, eat right and exercise regularly. Darn I was hoping for a silver bullet…

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