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Hey everyone. I love running. It keeps me sane and it makes me feel great. About a month and a half ago I started having severe knee pain, so bad I couldn't run past 2 miles. I took a few weeks off, stretched, and ran again, and it still hurt. So I went to the orthopedist and the chiropractor. I was diagnosed with chondromalacia patella. Now I'm in the process of setting up an appointment with a physical therapist so that I can start running again in the future without further injury. I don't want to stop running, but I still don't understand what I was doing wrong, so I feel like I'm probably going to injure myself again.
Every week I run 3 miles (on a treadmill) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I've been doing this for probably 5 years now (off and on due to shin splits which are not a problem anymore due to toe-taps before each run). I have never run more than 3 miles. I'd rather go faster than farther, so every week I bump up my mph by .1. Cardiovascularly, I can handle this. I feel like I'm right at my limit, and it feels great. I also weight train (legs and arms) on Mondays and Thursdays, and I do some sort of cross training one time on most weeks (elliptical, stair stepper, P90X tape, etc.)
My orthopedist told me I got chonrdomalacia patella from violating the golden rule of running - "don't do too much, too soon, too often, too fast, too hard, with too little rest." But I don't understand how I violated that rule. How is 9 miles/week too much when people who train for marathons do 30+ miles/week? How is 3x/week too often when online running plans advise people to run 5 days/week? How is bumping up by .1 mph/week too fast? and how is running every other day, and taking both weekend days off too little rest??? I don't understand it. Can someone shed some light on this situation?
It may be a good idea to post your situation in the Med Tent where you can get more expert advice. There could be some misalignment or instability issues (even bursitis and other inflammatory elements) that might be worsened with running, but not exactly caused by your routines. I would think they there was already an underlying problem of some sort, so do search out all the possibilities and get good treatment solutions for the future.
Wishing you all the best.
just a thought, but i wouldn't look at running in a vacum. you're doing a lot of other training too where your body needs rest. if you do heavy lifting on a rest day for running, your body is only stressed more. then when you need to rest from lifting, you do running. basically, you're body's probably not getting the rest it needs. it doesn't mean you can't do different exercies each day, but may you can't push yourself to your limit on rest days or make sure they're different muscle groups, etc.
Running on a treadmill sets off my chondromalacia as well, so now I only run in the dirt (trails). There are 4 reasons one gets a chondromal knee, 1) a synovial plica (abnormal knee structure) usually discovered as a child, 2) subluxation (knee doesn't track straight, comes out of groove), 3) blunt trauma, and 4) idiopathic (unknown).
The best thing you can do is to strengthen your VMO muscle (tear drop on inner side of quads) and your anterior tibialis (shin). These are the most likely culprits. Also use a foam roller on the entire outer edge of your leg to loosen the IT track. Ice regularly for 10 days. Once pain subsides start back slowly on dirt with good shoes and proper form. Add no more than 10% distance per week.