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I banged my left knee really hard working in the yard last weekend. I felt it going up and down stairs that night.
I run 7 days a week and the next day I did 12 miles. I wanted to see how my knee felt but it only hurt for the first 1-2 miles (inside/lower knee). After that the pain was gone and I felt really good, so I did the full 12 miles I planned.
I've continued to run each morning of this week, but doing super short 3 mile runs at a slightly slow/easy pace. Each day the knee hurts when I come down on it, but only for 1-2 miles. Literally near the same point each day the pain stops and I feel good landing and pushing off (even going downhill). When I finish my run, my knee continues to feel good.
I have no pain when I wake up in the morning or later in the day. I continue to notice a slight pain going up/down stairs. I see no swelling. I can push and squeeze my knee and I feel nothing (feels good). Each day it seems to feel better on the stairs.
So my question is should I continue running on it since it only hurts in the beginning of my run? I figure if it feels so good at the end of the run, I can't be doing further damage to it. But obviously I want it to heal and go away. It does seem to be getting better, but very slowly and it's been a week (6 runs).
I've never had any knee injuries/pain, so this is new territory for me. I know I didn't injury my knee running, but I keep questioning if I should be running on it.
I'm going to make a very non-medical observation. Sometimes, for reasons that can be better explained by others who post here, an injury will stop hurting once it gets warmed up. Regardless, you might do well to take a few days off to let it heal. Which is not to say I haven't done something similar. But I've never been one to run 7 days a week either.
How's it going so far? I agree with Len that you probably should have stood down for a few of these workouts, at least for careful observation in case something was actually damaged. The fact that it feels good after a while, only means the endorphins are working, those natural pain-killing opiates the body makes in response to physical stress - or what we call the "runner's high." However, I will second your opinion that it would probably hurt later if something was really wrong. So you banged it up, exercise makes it feel better, and the extra circulation is probably helping whatever is/was wrong heal faster. Good call, but try not to take too many chances with the only body you've got!
After 10 days running with no improvment in the knee (but not any worse), I realized I'd rather break my streak and give it time to heal. I took off 2 days and noticed it felt much better going up/down stairs. It still bothered me on my run this morning, but it felt like an improvement in the right direction. I will take off some additional days as needed so that it heals properly.
Thanks for the helpful advice!