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If you're still looking for a natural approach to healing, you might try the Muscle & Joint Formula, from Ancient Herbal Secrets. It works to repair the muscles & joints at the cellular level, increasing the blood circulation and aides the body in healing itself. They also have a Muscle & Joint bath soak, which is awesome! Go to ahsecrets.com/sue I hope you find relief soon!
Hope your knee problem is solved by now...but if not, I'd just like to mention it could be Hamstring/knee Tendonitus. They suggest Icing, Advil, strengthening exercises for the quads especially, and resting the area before going back to running or high impact aerobic exercise. My pain was also being felt behind the knee and top of kneecap at times-- also at it worst when bending the knee under resistance. So I'm going to try this approach first for releif...laying of the Zumba for a while : (
thanks for asking. funny timing too. I mean, the original problem last year was solved. that was popliteus most likely. but I have something else now in the back of the knee. and this one seems to be hamstring related.
I'm not sure what it is exactly. it's my left leg mostly. no pain at rest, no pain at the start of my runs, but I usually get it at about 40mins into running, it's a dull pain in the back of the knee (it is not kneecap, it is behind knee), and it slowly gets worse if I go on. on stopping it feels very stiff/locked, I have to do something like stretch the quads on that leg to make this "stiffness" go away. a few seconds of stretching left quads is effective at that.
a bit of walking and going up stairs helps too. I think it likes going up stairs because knee is flexed at every step and I noticed it definitely likes a flexed knee in general. e.g. sometimes when it gets really "locked" from some bad movement (sometimes happens during the day, not sure what movement causes this), I find relief by kneeling to keep the knees fully flexed for a few seconds. quadriceps stretching also has the same effect, very deeply flexed knee during quad stretch makes it feel "unlock".
so, after the run all that dull pain/feeling/whatever goes away in a few mins but when it started up about 2 weeks ago it was really bad because even walking was somehow off the next day, along with the dull feeling(not exactly pain).
I then figured out that when this problem started my running style was a bit "off" too, somehow I wasn't flexing the knee much while running - I was jogging easy-ish on a track, 2 days after a hill race(uphill, no downhill in race). then in this run on the track, at one point I started feeling a dull pain at every step at one specific point at the bottom of left hamstring=back of knee. I stopped after a few mins and I was ok, but next day when I went for an easy run, 20mins into the run I ran down a little hill and then it started up and wouldn't go away, and that was when next day even walking was "off". it was no longer a specific point, it was more general in the back of the knee.
anyway, walking is fine now, and I got my running style back to normal(I think..), but some runs are still no good. it seems it does not like downhill running much (I mean it will tolerate it for a while but I think downhill is more stress than flat terrain or uphill running).
OTOH, last run was a tempo run and that was fine, I think it likes tempo pace. slower paces throw it off somehow.
important: I just found out tonight that I cannot easily stretch out the hamstring on that leg with the problem (left leg) because it will feel too painful. I can convince it into stretching out on second or third try but it just doesn't feel right. and it now hurts in the hamstring muscle, it didn't hurt before, maybe I overdid this stretching...?? I don't know how to make it more flexible again or what caused it to be inflexible in the first place. this is what I need to figure out! I'm not sure if stretching is good at this point, as it made the muscle itself hurt afterwards (not behind the knee, but more up my leg). it still hurts, it did not hurt before I tried these stretches.. :bangs head into wall in frustration:
actually my hamstrings were never really flexible, but I want its flexibility back at the "baseline" because I think that would solve the problem! because, I can see that when running, when I swing my leg forward, I feel the pain/feeling right after that, I think it is when hamstring is trying to stretch out a bit before the foot lands on the ground..?? and because it can't stretch out properly, it's pulling on the tendon/tendon pulling on insertion at knee?? I could be wrong in my analysis of the situation though. just guessing, I don't know running anatomy too well.
I tried massaging around but I could not find any painful points/knots. but maybe I didn't look thoroughly enough. 2 months ago in april I had a similar issue on the same leg and then I was able to find a painful spot when massaging the hamstring, and massaging that point fixed it right away, at least it stopped bothering me back then. a difference was that in april it did not hurt during runs, only after runs.
on the whole it's better than when it started but it doesn't want to go away yet.. I cannot do long runs because of this
I'd be grateful for any tips on getting that hamstring flexibility etc. back to normal! and a few questions, does simple rest solve such a problem or do I need to take other steps too to fix this extra tight hamstring? (I assume this is what causes the issue.) was this stretching a good idea (causing muscle soreness afterwards)?
apparently stretching + massaging it was a good idea. the muscle soreness went away within 36 hours or so. and I was able to stretch it without problem, back at baseline flexibility.
I'm not sure what exactly did the trick, because I did both the stretching and massaging. also, after re-reading the old posts in this thread I realized the popliteus could be involved after all. so I played with that a bit too (not a lot of massaging though).
also, after the hamstring got released, I had a slightly sore popliteus. that went away by next day(the day after the hamstring soreness went away).
one more thing I found the position that probably caused the problem during running : standing, have one leg brought forward in the air and hold it there (meaning hip gets flexed maybe about/near 90 degrees), and then have the knee slightly extended (not full extension). this put a pull on the bad hamstring...I did not feel the pull on the good one. this is the position what the leg apparently was when I ran at an easy pace feeling the stiffness/dull pain in the back of the knee (around where popliteus is and a bit above it). when I run at a fast pace, it seems to be slightly different and fast enough paces did not pull on the hamstring and did not hurt it. - after I got the hamstring back to baseline flexibility, the pulling feeling was gone in this position too.
I'm sooo happy that I'm able to do longer runs now without this issue!! I think that re-reading the old posts here helped too, thanks
Everything still improving? There may be a change in your hip rotation as you change speeds, which would shift the load between inner and outer hamstrings somewhat. While that may explain some things, your goal should be to run all speeds with impunity.
The outer hamstring (Biceps Femoris) is a two-headed muscle with one main weak spot, in the center of the muscle belly as it crosses the femur bone, on the way from the OUTSIDE of the back of the knee to the pubic bone. The inner hamstrings run more along the inside of the bone, and attach to the INNER back of the knee on the way to the pubes. The one most likely to produce dull pain in the back of the knee is the OUTER hamstring. The two heads run fairly concurrent, the short head attaching directly to the femur under that spot.
The isolated stretch for the outer hamstring is done pointing the foot to the INSIDE, while the inner hamstring is stretched by pointing the foot to the OUTSIDE. Note this reversal. Here is a great web page on the fine points of this stretch...
Before closing the subject, it's important to remember that the added circulation massage brings, is not the only kind of circulation you need. The muscle won't be happy getting blood flow every now and then. When you are training for this sport, it's hard to find a chair that will keep the hamstrings happy, because you are sitting on them and cutting off the circulation these hard-working muscles need. Massaging them and sitting all day is like water-boarding your muscles. They need to "breath" freely all day. If you must use them, seek out chairs that put the least pressure on the belly of the muscle. There was a special chair called something like "balance" chair they used to sell in Scan stores and the like. They were kind of like the bottom half of a massage chair in that you are "sitting" on the un-muscled portion of your shins instead of your hammies. Good luck finding a car seat like that, lol. Keeping your foot on the gas pedal is one of the worst things you can do to these muscles. I have to reach under mine all the time, elevate them and massage them in traffic, especially during speed work season.
thanks for asking, luckily I've been fine since then. there were some residual symptoms first but they're gone too. but I'd like to make sure it won't come back. I did wonder if sitting is okay for them... I sit all day
is this the kind of chair you were talking about? http://www.allproducts.com/manufacture97/hanchen/product1.jpg
would it be any good if I just tried to sometimes keep my legs shifted a bit forward in a normal chair? kind of emulating the position in that pic above. that way, at least the lower half of the hamstring would not be sat on. don't know if this is a bad idea..
the good news is that I don't drive a car so no problems with the gas pedal.. did you mean that pressing on the gas pedal is a problem for the muscle?
btw, the painful spot that I had a couple of months ago was near that crossing point, that hamstring picture makes a lot of sense. it was probably outer hamstring that had the issue.
That chair in your link looks like a low-cost knockoff of the original, not just because of origin (some alternatives here...http://sitincomfort.com/kneechairs.html). It may help in some ways, but the concept of all these chairs is more back friendly than runner-friendly, because though the thighs are partly extended to take pressure off the hammies and lumbar, the hammies are kept in a shortened state. Better than the average chair? Probably. Better than staying active, probably not. Stay tuned... we'll soon be leaving our desks and conducting business from our iPads, lol.
Maybe a better office chair?
Woops I forget to address your other questions..
Slumping into a normal chair is not recommended because of the pressure on the sacrum and lower lumbar (L5-S1), the all-important upper glutes, the hip rotators underneath, and a tendency to pinch the glutes together. There's soooo much important running-related stuff going on in that booty, the slump is one of the worst things you could do. You could try adding some kind of bolster at the shins in a sort of mock-up to test the balans concept, though.
Having said that, a supported slump position, like in a la-z-boy chair, where the whole spinal curve is supposed to be supported, has been found to be one of the least stressful positions for your back. Imagine an office chair like that, with an iPad or some other screen suspended in front of you.. but you would probably fall asleep if you weren't jacked up on Starbucks, lol.
While the legs are straighter in a reclining chair and less prone to muscle shortening, there is the issue of constant pressure on the bottoms of the legs for runners to consider. I wouldn't sit in that position when recovering from speedwork, for example. These "balans" chairs solve most of that by shifting a lot of your weight to the unmuscled part of the Tibia, and away from the hams and glutes, while straightening the angle of hip flexion, which should benefit runners' hip flexors as well as the back. Wish there was a way to do something about the shortened hammies, but that would undercut the physics of the chair.
Congrats on living car-less, which is something I had managed to do at certain points of urban life. It's tough to find an alternative form of transportation, though, that is any easier on the body than walking, which if it's fast enough, makes you very lucky. I'm still unhappy with most of the bike seats out there. About the gas pedal thing... while that can lock your hip rotation (the same way using a mouse can lead to shoulder problems), for me, it is the relentless pressure on the outer hamstring, that seems to have it trapped on the car seat in the worst kind of way. I squirm after driving a while, and have to reach down and massage some circulation back into it. Cruise control, when I can use it, is a godsend.
Upon review of this whole post, which goes back over a year, the theme that emerges is that pain tends to move around, and one thing leads to another. This case history fits in well with current theories of muscle dynamics as I understand them. I too tend to train to the level that needs constant maintenance, but that's the athletic life, and we love it, don't we? I'm glad things are working out for you now. One thing you mentioned earlier that I did not comment on, is that a gentle stretch, after the relaxing massage techniques, seems to be the one-two punch for restoring muscle function. I wish all athletes understood this as well as you!
I've had similar pain behind my knee for the last 3-4 weeks. First felt it after a 19 mile training run. Never extreme pain, but enough to cause me to limp when I walk and when running. I did a lot of icing while I continued to train, but I haven't been able to get past it. Unfortunately I'm 6 days from my marathon. I've always had tight hamstrings so that may have contributed to this. Also I probably increased my mileage too quickly in my training. Next time I'll stick to the plan. This is my first running injury in 7 years.
After reading this entire thread, and based upon the ongoing pain, I'm fairly certain I'm backing out of this marathon. I feel as if I could probably finish unless something went horribly wrong, but I fear causing additional injury and not being able to run at all. I was really looking forward to the marathon finish, but its not worth risking my daily runs. After all these weeks of training its not an easy decision. Planning to see a doctor this week. Thanks for all the contributed information.
Knee pain from arthritis is a common problem for individuals of all ages. Individuals over the age of 65 are almost guaranteed to have some form of knee arthritis. The pain is usually sharp but can vary in intensity. This pain behind the knee is found to be on the joint line and in some cases it is also found in the front side of the knee.
Glad to know your knee has healed now. I have been suffereing from the same exact problem as you originally had, for the past 8 months now. How did you get rid of the pain behind the back of your knee?