When I was 21 I tore an interior calf muscle running, and didn't get it diagnosed until years later. In the mean time I continued running. Now I am 32 and considering giving up running due to knee pain in that leg. Is this only runner's knee, or perhaps it's related to the old muscle tear? I overpronate and I buy my shoes accordingly, and my feet are flat. Any suggestions? I can't imagine not running anymore, but the knee pain has been worsening over the past couple years, and now it is constant. (I've had chiropractic treatment for it and I've tried resting it for months, to no avail)
I cant give any medical advice but would suggest posting this in the Med Tent thread if you haven't already.
4/30/11 IL Marathon 10K 57:43
5/14/11 Kirby Derby 10K 57:49 3rd place in div
7/4/11 Freedom 5K 28:59
Lost 80lbs since 6/17/10 starting wt 280lbs
Joined Second Wind Running Club 9/2011
8/27/11 13.38mi 2:32
9/17/11 13.45mi 2:27
Habitat for Humanity 5K 12/31/11 26:42 PR
4/28/12 IL Marathon 1st 1/2 2:10:38
Cycled 1600 mi summer of 2012
Cycled Hilly Hundred 10/25/12
April 2013 1st full marathon..
Consider seeing someone that specializes in sports/orthopedic physical therapy because there are so many issues, injuries and factors that could be contributing to your current knee pain.
Wishing you best of luck!
I agree with Jasko123. See a sports doctor. I tore my meniscus disc in high school and had surgery. Recently I started experiencing knee, calf, and ankle pain and thought it was related. I saw a doctor at www.activespineandsport.com who specializes in ART (Active Release Therapy) and after only two sessions 90% of the pain was gone. He is an exceptional doctor who has the "heart of a teacher" and explained everything that was happening using examples, diagrams, and pictures. Find someone who will explain it all to you. If you don't know whats happening, how they are treating it, or how to prevent re-injury you'll battle the problem for years.
It's counterintuitive, but maybe for you, less could be more.
I read that Barefoot Running, and it's attention to form and gentle ground contact has allowed many people to run after conventional running styles did too much damage. Read up and you might find some help there.
Barefoot / Minimalist Runner
...not maintaining this these days..
07/29/2012 Marsh Creek Raptor Run 10 Mile Trail Race
07/15/2012 Quadzilla 15K Trail Run, Trexlertown, PA 1:37 (2011, 1:49)
04/29/2012 Lehigh Valley / St. Luke's HM, 1:43:15 (2011, 1:54:20 )
03/19/2012 Kutztown Fool's Run 10 Miler, 1:18:15 (2011, 1:30:20)
02/26/2012 Ugly Mudder 7.2 Mile Trail Run, Reading, PA 1:20
11/27/2011 Dirty Bird 15K Trail Run, Birdsboro, PA 1:40
10/08/2011 Lehigh Gap Nature Center 10K Trail Run (6.38 miles), 59:20 (10/07/2012)
Started running (again) May 5, 2010
I'd definitely agree that you need to see a sports therapist to get a full evaluation. Depending on where on the knee your pain is, you could have tendonitis or ITBS. If the pain is on the outside edge of the knee it's more likely ITBS, which is usually caused by weak hips and glutes.
I had this for six months and developed a strength routine for it that you may find helpful: http://strengthrunning.com/2011/02/the-itb-rehab-routine-video-demonstration/.
I'm a kook. I run in Vibram Five Fingers. All knee, feet, hip, and ankle issues disappeared. Most orthopedists will tell you that running like this is bad for you. It's my opinion that listening to them is bad for you. My wife lived with orthotics for two decades, and was considering foot surgery. After a few months running minimalist, the inserts were stored in the closet.
Read Born to Run, and make up your own mind. You can get it from the library, and have nothing but time invested.
I've been running for 47 years - and 5 years ago was told that I should have knee surgery to repair damage to the cartilage. I could not bent it more than about 40 degrees from straight. I decided to try strengthening my upper legs, and shortly thereafter read Born To Run. I've been running in Vibram 5 fingers for over a year and a half - and now can do full quad stretches, with my heel reaching my butt. The knee pain is gone, my feet have developed a better arch, and I can now run for over an hour on trails - and am loving running again!
This is not to say that your injury to your calf muscle might not be a aprt of your problem - but before you go for surgery, try other options!
Before you try someone else's workout program that has no basis in what your particular issue is, see a physical therapist who is experienced in assessing muscular imbalances and running injuries. They will be able to perform a full biomechanical evaluation and determine the likely cause of your ongoing issues. Even though you buy your shoes according to your foot type, you may have issues in your foot/ankle as well as your hip that is driving excessive load to your knee. A chiropractor simply isn't qualified to assess this type of issue, and ART (practiced by many chiropractors) won't take care of the problem for the longterm. A common issue for many overpronators is that their calf is tight ˆwhen the foot is in inversionˆ as well as a restricted lateral hip capsule.