Ran a Half Nov 18th, was essentially under trained. An injury, most likely tendonitis on my right knee, derailed my training. (had run 8 two months earlier, didn't really do anything more than 5 til)
So I was doubting I'd finish but I did. General knee soreness (both knees) started in Mile 6. Was not the injury so I ran/walked through it, really only finally stopped me to a complete walk on mile 12. Finished in 2:36.
Now it is hanging out. Stopped me on Mile 3 during a follow up run since. Took a week off and tried 3 on the Treadmill, barely made it to 2.2. The same general soreness kicks in.
So I get my mistake, I was unconditioned. My question is: does anyone have any thoughts/experience with such a knee soreness? Mostly curious on how much rest is required before getting back out there? 2 weeks? A month? 3 months?
It's hard to tell without knowing more specifics - details on where it hurts, for instance. Behind the kneecap, below, to one side. Does it hurt as soon as you start running or does it take some time to start - half-mile, mile? The next thing is to try to figure out the cause. Not necessarily what is injured, but why it happened - shoes are a possibility, as well as gait (footplant & stride). If you don't figure out why it happened, it will just start again after you rest. There are a couple people who post on the Med Tent who can offer a lot of help. You might want to go through older posts to try to find one similar to your problem and see what solutions were offered.
Thanks for the reply, Len.
Yeah, I kinda know that I am not very good at describing it. Suppose I was hoping that this general knee sore was a common overuse thing that is fixed by.......something.
I will take closer note if and when it happens again. I can say that as I trained for my HM I had no issues leading up to my 8 mile run so I sorta thought shoes and gait where OK. I have double checked at the running store as far as what I'm wearing. I will triple check and get more opinions on my gait.
Thanks again for the feedback, Good Sir.
I agree with the other comments regarding determining the source of the knee pain. It may be that a simple brace or compression support sleeve would work great to stabilize the patella. If that is the case, then you should not have very much down time. It is a very common problem, so hopefully it is nothing too serious.
Wishing you all the best.
As injuries go, knees are right up there. But the sources are many, as there are a number of tendons and ligaments that could be causing the problem, in addition to cartilage issues. For instance, if it hurts toward the bottom of the knee cap near the knob at the top of the lower leg, it could be the patellar tendon. At the top of the kneecap, leading into the quads is the quadriceps tendon. If it hurts "behind" the kneecap it could be cartilage - one of the more common knee problems. This last is more likely since you are having problems with both knees. Just for starters make sure you are not "over-striding". Don't reach out with your feet to get a longer stride, and don't plant with a straight knee. Your feet should plant as nearly under your hips as possible, and your knees should be slightly flexed. Shoes can also play a part in this, particularly if they are old and getting worn out.
greetings. First post on active ever.
Wanted to chime in as i have had similar issue and working through it with doctor visit and physical therapist- third session last week.
Agree with everything posted so far.
THe one thing that has surprised me, though, is what can help you, i bet, a lot.
You have to stretch like your life depended on it.
Then consider a foam roller may help. Ice the area may alo help. Then consider strengthening with a regimine of squats, lunges, calf rasies, etc. And don't forget to stretch in conjunction with all of them.
I got some of this info from phys. therapist, but i got even more off of the net and even a cycling messageboard.
Here's a link explaining "Runner's Knee" or Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome" (PPS), which you may or may not have, but even if you don't, the prescrbed stretching and strengthening will probably be of good use: http://mydoctor.kaiserpermanente.org/ncal/Images/Patellofemoral%20Pain%20Syndrome_tcm28-180773.pdf
Hope this helps.
For me, the pain hasn't gone away but it does seem to be working in that i can do more and more with less pain. Never did take any time off, and by all appearances, by getting strengthening it and managing through stretching, icing, foam rollering, etc., i won't have to miss any training time (and i train a real lot). Good luck.
I've worked through numerous knee issues over the past 10 years and I can say that the human body is a very capable machine and will adapt if you let it. Pain is your signal that you are doing something wrong. I would start looking for new ways to run through trial and error and by reading and talking to other runners.
I used to run heal strike style and have switched to a "barefoot" running style where I land mostly on the ball/toe of the foot. Barefoot does not mean you can't wear shoe's, it just means that you stride the way you would if you were barefoot (like we did when we were kids). You have to build up new muscles and make sure to stretch the new muscles. You also have to try not to over stride or try to run too fast until you've developed the new style. Here are some links to some additional information:
Barefoot running style
Hopefully you can find your way through this!
So how are you doing now?
Just to add to the fine posts above, there is a lot between the lines to learn. Perhaps the most important, is the reason why conditioning, PT, and other interventions excluding surgery work so well. It's because the knee joint itself is not being changed, if at all, by these strategies. Properly used, the joint isn't going to change much over the course of a runner's life. However, the muscles controlling that joint will change. A lot. As you suspected, insufficient conditioning of those muscles will often be felt at the knee, even when there is no damage to the knee joint per se. In the case of such apparent injuries, it is very common for x-rays and other scans to reveal nothing that wasn't there to begin with. In many cases, apparent structural flaws don't matter as much as how we adapt to them.
I hope in your down time, you are finding ways to strengthen the muscles that support and operate your knee. I did lots of exercises before I ever attempted any amount of running, and I'm sure that is why I experienced mostly progress with few setbacks in the early days. Preparation is rarely as effective after the fact, but better late than never. When injuries do occur, they are an opportunity to find what's lacking in your support structure, and to build it up. Rest from exercise alone, as any medical specialist would tell you, will likely lead to atrophy of the very support structure you need. Use it or lose it is the rule, so this means you ran that Half with less than what you had months earlier. That does explain what you learned the hard way.
As you have seen, mechanisms built into your muscles act as circuit breakers when fitness and conditioning are not up to the challenges of your training or sport. Even a well-conditioned muscle is susceptible to shutting down when it's not up to your demands. The best-conditioned professionals encounter this phenomenon all the time as they press themselves to the edge of the envelope of their potential. We admire elite athletes for their ability to bounce back from these problems so quickly because, as they know, there is not always a fundamental problem with their structure at all, just their bodies' ability to manage wear-and-tear with pain. They know this, and just continue to train, but in a different way.
You are wise to look for faults in form as others noted above. Start with a treadmill analysis of your running form when you are not in pain. Good shoes in good condition often help, but they alone cannot compensate for all structural peculiarities of the foot, leg, or hip. It follows that if your structure is atypical in some way, you may need atypical footwear that has been modified to match. This is one reason why some runners love shoes others hate, and why running barefoot may actually accentuate the problems you have rather than help. True, muscular adaptation is key to any anatomical anomaly, but it does not always deliver results within the timeframe we desire. A lot of Kenyans learn to run barefoot, yet you will rarely see any competing that way. You want to spend some of your training time preparing for challenges, and the rest of the time eliminating them, especially in racing distance events.
Above all, you must have patience, which is the runner's greatest ally. Impatience leads to the kind of problems you have just seen. This doesn't mean to be slow about changes to your program. Learn to quickly cancel or reschedule running goals to match your fitness at any given time. Sometimes this is the part that hurts the most, but it is better to react swiftly to warning pains than to spend years suffering from real injuries that could have easily been avoided. Learn to be less patient with these early pains so you don't have to be as patient during recovery. The net effect is that you will save time overall, just like the pros.
Meanwhile, it is helpful to learn how to handle inconvenient muscle pains when they occur, in order to minimize injuries resulting from muscular compensation, or counter-productive changes in form. Learn how to scan your muscles for knots and spasms that lead to improper function and joint pain. You will not always feel muscular problems where they are, unless you look for them. Often times the pain is felt elsewhere. If we always felt pain where there was the most stress, running would be miserable. For example, your outer and inner quads typically contribute to knee pain. The outer tends to tighten with stress, and the inner quad tends to reduce contraction force. While pain will often attend these problems, real injury to the knee joint can eventually occur if you ignore this potential imbalance in the major muscles controlling the stability of your knee joint. Even well-exercise muscles can become imbalanced, so learn to use pressure in the right spots to restore balanced contraction.
As with any physical interventions, avoid overdoing them. Something good in the proper doses can easily irritate and exacerbate the original problem, becoming another problem itself. This applies to stretching, strengthening, ice, massage, foam-rolling.. you get the picture. More is not always better. The key to rehabbing tissue is to ask, what will increase healthy circulation and immune system activity in the target area, without breaking it down faster than it can rebuild? Learn to move between things that help, before they are no longer helping, but harming your recovery.
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