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I have been experiencing some pain in my left knee, the pain is located around the front of the knee. i am able to walk but i certainly can feel the disconfort. Seems like the pain appears when i spend time sitting (ie. knees bend). I have been appliying icy hot balm but it is not helping much. This last January i ran my second marathon and i remember had some disconfort on the same knee but i ran the marathon anyway, i ran with a knee brace and that seemed to help. I also ran a half marathon a month later (February) , again with some disconfort and i used the brace again, it helped me finish the race and did not have pain afterwards. After the half i took some time off from running thinking that my knee needed some rest. Time off did not help much as the disconfort was always there, last week i decided to run a 5k and i used the knee brace, i finish the race with no problem (just little rusty) , however the "disconfort" came back, this time with more pain and more often. I am starting to get worried about this , your advise is greatly appreciated. Btw I do not plan to run any races in the next 2 months or so , i have registered for couple halfs in the fall and for my third marathon in January2014.
I am 39 yrs old
It depends to some extent on the exact location of the pain. If it's generalized and "behind" the kneecap then Robin is likely to be right. Work on strengthening the muscles of your upper leg, particularly the quads (check here: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_5/194.shtml#runknee). Also check your stride, to make sure you are not over-striding and that you're landing with your knees flexed.
If the pain extends toward the lower kneecap and possibly to the upper part of your lower leg, it could be patellar tendinitis. To quote Haselsmasher in another thread "If it's stiff in the morning as well as after sitting that generally points to tendonitis." This is probably a little tougher to get rid of. I'm not sure of the exact treatment but you can start here: http://blip.tv/running-times/patellar-tendinitis-exercises-6284139.
Thanks Robin and Len, i agree, most likely its runners knee. I have been taking some time off during these summer days and will resume running first week of September, in the meantime i will work ?strengthening my upper leg and butt muscles. I will also wear a knee brace while running. Thanks again for the advise.