I'm new to running, but have always maintained a fit lifestyle - until December 2009, I had steered away from high-impact cardio workouts, but have recently discovered running and am quite happy with how it affects my mind and muscle tone.
I started out at a comfortable 2-3 miles a day on a treadmill (the winter makes for dangerously icy sidewalks here - I'm going to be treadmill-bound until summertime) and had a very comfortable time. Just over a week in, I tried to push my speed up during an evening run, and felt increasing pain in my left knee....
The pain vanished after I reduced the pace to my norm and then walked through a cool-down, but I've now decided to take a few days off because the pain has recurred.
Stepping down while walking doesn't hurt. Lifting my leg, especially in heavier shoes, does, as does moving my leg forward while I walk. Reducing the length of my stride seems to help with this somewhat.
Going up stairs hurts when I lift my leg up to the next step. Going down hurts as well, but much less, and not when I put weight on the leg - just when I'm pulling it forward to reach the next step.
Kneeling doesn't hurt.
Light jogging in place doesn't hurt, although I haven't spent more then 5 minutes doing so.
The pain is situated behind and below my kneecap, and feels connected to the top of my shin. There is no pain on the sides or back of my knee, and my balance/stability doesn't feel different than when I am at 100 percent.
After icing briefly in the two days after I first felt discomfort, there has been only the slightest swelling, which I have treated with Advil, elevation and ice when it's available.
I'm on my second day of rest, and have felt some improvement, but am worried that this is a sign of a serious injury. Thoughts, advice, etc would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for your reply - looking back on my training notes, I increased my speed by about 20 percent in ten days, and I think that is probably what set this off.
After reading up on a handful of websites, I THINK this is runner's knee, because the pain is behind and around my kneecap (inside the knee) and today I felt and heard a clicking sound while bending my leg. The click is right after I bend my leg more than 90 or so degrees; it doesn't cause pain, but it feels like something is realigning slightly when it happens.
For now, I'm walking on flat surfaces and gentle inclines, and am looking into swimming and yoga as viable cross-training options.