I think I have runners knee. The left knee seems wobbly during runs, but doesn't hurt, just tingles, even after I run. Don't notice it as much when racing/doing speedwork, maybe because my form's better/I have more momemtum. I know my left side is weaker than my right. I've been trying to do more leg raises to strengthen the left quads. Just wondering whether running w/this tingling sensation might do any harm and what else I can do to remedy.
Of course there is the possibility you can do more harm by running on an injury, which is why most doctors tell people not to run through pain. It's not that they want to steal your joy, but to allow you a better chance of pain-free running later. Yes, you can run through some problems and get over them. I have before, and I know that once you catch the running bug, it's hard to stand down. However, tingling in the knee, though not always indicative of a major injury, can be a sign of a serious problem.
One of the leading causes of tingling in the knees/legs is a back injury, specifically pressure from the lumber vertebrae on nerves exiting to the legs. It can be a symptom of Sciatica, which involves the Sciatic nerve root, and possibly some of its branches, depending on where the pressure occurs.
That being said, there is a false sciatica that can be caused by the Piriformis muscle deep to the Glutes, a pain syndrome known as Piriformis syndrome, which sometimes includes this symptom, but most often many others. There can also be pressure between the upper gluteal muscles that can affect both nerves and circulation.
Since your symptoms are confined to the knee, it's tough to say with any certainty what the problem actually is without an examination. There are alternative explanations to nerve impingement, such as an actual circulatory problem, like a clot, arterial plaque, a cyst, or scar tissue. The fact that you say the knee is "wobbly" is bothersome.
My advice is to try the strengthening exercises you mentioned, noting whether the problem is worse during use of the legs during these exercise, or only when the impact of running is involved. That can go a long way toward solving this problem. Also, try crossing one knee over the other while seated, leaning forward, and noting any differences in how you feel when switching sides. Stretching the Piriformis in this way can also be revealing.
If you are puzzled or symptoms continue, consult a physician or physical therapist who is qualified to test and assess your condition. Meanwhile, some massage to the quads near the knee can sometimes work nicely in conjunction with strengthening exercises to make sure tightness or failure to contract is not due to knots in the quad muscles that continue through training. A healthy and relaxed fully functional set of quads is necessary to knee health. Good luck!
Thanks for taking the time to read and respond!
I thought I had gotten over he piriformis syndrome that plagued me a few months ago, but it seems it just resurfaced in the knee.
I have an appt. w/ a sports dr. next Mon.
In the meantime, I'm running carefully, paying more attention to running tall, landing softly, and staying straight. I'm trading one of my runs for a bike ride to strengthen my quads, and checking regularly for knots in my quads, which I thought the foam roller and stick had taken care of.
Went to see Dr. Novak, orthopaedic yesterday. Didn't notice anything terribly wrong with my knee and asked if I did any strength training (not much, and only recently). So he recommended PT 3X/wk for 4 weeks w/ a running specialist. Since I have a good friend who is an experienced runner and OT and I know what exs I need to do, I'll try to do them on my own.
This incident reveals how much my running is mental. When I thought I had an ACL tear (mistook my husband's comment), I felt sore, achy and miserable. When I realized I had no tear, I instantly felt better and went on to win a 5K the next day! Now that the dr. doesn't see any signs of injury I'm back to serious training w/o any unusual aches or pains. In fact speed workouts seem easier.
Thanks again for your advice and encouragement. It's just what I need to stay disciplined to do the PT.
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