Monday, September 15, 2014

My Knee Hurts

Well, crap. You know how people tell you, “running ruins your knees,” and you scoff at them and tell them to shut the eff up (in your head of course)? I have a personal story for you. It is short and not very sweet.

At the end of the 5K Color Me Rad run on Saturday I felt pain in the front of my left knee. I ignored it because runners know that pains come and go all of the time and unless it recurs, it usually just disappears, kind of like socks in the dryer or stomach pain after a good fart. (One note about the color run no one tells you. You will be blowing black/brown snot out of your nose afterwards).

How is Emma as tall as me?

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Fast forward to Sunday morning. Ken and I went out for a 13 mile run. No sooner had I let him know that this was going to be an incredible 43 mile week of running for me when…piercing pain in my knee. Same spot as Saturday.

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Me: Ouch. My knee hurts.

Him: Oh, that happens to me sometimes. I just run through it and it goes away. It feels like someone is poking a needle into your knee and twisting it.

Me: Okay, let’s keep running (because running through pain is an excellent idea)

Me (half mile later): Shit. It really hurts. I need to walk. GASP!

Him: You’re a pussy (no, he didn’t say that. I don’t think he even though it).

Me (half mile later because I am stubborn): I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think I need to cut the run short.

You KNOW it is bad if I am cutting a workout short. Hell froze over while pigs flew and monkeys came out of my butt.

I am proud of myself for knowing when to say when. Ken went frolicking ahead. I walked and tried to run and it would hurt and I’d walk again. For the record, walking is so boring and now I know why I never just “take walks” (well, I do with Heidi because she makes it more fun. Plus, I love picking up poop).

Ken got the car and picked me up. I did not freak out. I did not cry and punch him in the  crotch. I did not perseverate on this injury, although I DID come home and Google it because that is what any self respecting runner would do.

This condition (I WILL NOT say “injury”) has a very unique name: Runner’s Knee. It is probably the most common running injury.

Through all of my gymnastics days, marathon training, Ironman training, etc I have had pains in every part of my body (yes, from my toes to my ass to my right nipple), but my knees have never hurt before. I knew “Runners’ Knee” existed, but I didn’t care about it that much…until it happened to ME. Now I am an expert.

Here is what I think might have contributed to the problem:

Speed work and running in different shoes.

Today was a rest day. Tomorrow I will replace intervals with an easy run (in different shoes) to see how I feel. If I don’t feel better I will…I’m not sure what I’ll do. 

Please tell me you had knee problems that got better overnight.

SUAR

53 comments:

  1. I had runners knee when I was younger. It was ugly and persisted for years. Then miraculously one day it just stopped. No joke. Never bothered me again. Of course, I broke that same kneecap 4 months ago, so I am sure that I am doomed now and will be lucky to ever run again. Feel better? HA!

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  2. I am a huge believer in the benefits of a yoga roller to loosen quads, hams, and most importantly, the IT band. Whenever, I've had any kind of problem, I find that some rest along with some time on the roller does wonders. Good luck.

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  3. I am not an expert,but I'm dealing with a very early "injured" IT Band. I am in the middle of a week off from running and am using this time to cross-train. I have my first half in 3 weeks so I am hoping it's 100% by then. Good luck!!

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  4. I never had runners knee until I did a series of long races back to back with little rest in between. Wow extreme pain it is when you have it! I took 2 weeks completely off from running and rehabbed the shit out of my knee and other parts that I was over/under compensating. Worked wonders that was 7 years ago and I have never had another issue with my knee....knock on wood!

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  5. I just ran my first half in July...a mile long beach portion from mile 4-5 did a number on my knee. I finished on determination and butt muscle but i still can't run fast or farther than 3.5 without suffering going down stairs. BUT I'm also not doing any strength training or foam rolling consistently which do seem to help because....well...laziness. can run 1-2 no problem so figure I'll just get pro at that.

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  6. When I first started training for a half marathon 3 years ago I had it, it was intermittent, would bother me some days & not others. I started cross training on the bike & eliptical and doing strength training on my legs and it went away. Hope it is nothing to worry about!

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  7. Darn knees - I'm cursing mine at the moment, too. I have been ignoring a tight IT band far too long, and now I have both ITBS and runners knee, along with an hamstring insertion injury. It's like a horrible trifecta, and caused me to take a week off from running, not to mention miss my 20 mile training run this weekend. This basically means I will also be skipping my Oct. 5th marathon, though it s really, really hard to write that out. In the past when I have had runners knee, I was able to just reduce mileage and train through it with some cross-training and strength-training, so hopefully you will be able to do the same! ITBS is a different beast for me...it usually takes me months to get rid of, and often causes more pain than I can tolerate running through. And the hamstring thing...don't even get me started with that! I had a cortisone injection there back in 2010 and that area has never been the same. Avoid cortisone at all costs, just my two cents! Hope you are back up and running soon!!

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    1. Well crap. I am really sorry about your race. I hope you had a good cry over that one. Heal quickly!

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  8. I have had problems with runner's knee in the past. I struggled with it for about 2 months because I'm stubborn and kept running on it (something I think you and most of your readers will understand.) The athletic trainers told me it was from an imbalance between my glutes/hamstrings and quads, specifically that my posterior chain was too weak. But he also couldn't understand why I would run 12 miles when my knee starting hurting at mile 2, so what did he know?? (hahah just kidding...sort of...)

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  9. OK, my comments never show up so I'm trying anonymous.

    Do clamshells, with or without a resistance band, to strengthen your glutes. Also back bridges. The problem is an imbalance with your posterior chain (like SB said). Add some foam rolling of your IT band and you should be good to go real soon.

    Good luck!

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  10. Were the different shoes the Hokas?

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    1. Yep. I really love them and have been running lots of miles in them, but am wondering if they are the problem because that is all that I've done differently and I've never had this issue before.

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    2. I figured that. I had knee pain with that brand. I tried two different models and my knee hurt with both models. That was the only time I've experienced knee pain.

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    3. Interesting...! When I got back from the run, I put on my other shoes and ran just for a minute. No pain. So, we'll see how tomorrow goes. Hopefully it's a quick fix.

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    4. Yep, that is my story, as well. I bet that you will be pleasantly surprised/relieved when you put your regular shoes on...most likely, no pain. It is very odd with that brand...either people love them like crazy or the other camp...which is the knee pain group. I found this out when I started reading reviews and that was a fairly common theme. Let us know how tomorrow's run goes. Fingers crossed for you, Beth.

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    5. Beth, I meant to add this link to my post...http://forum.slowtwitch.com/cgi-bin/gforum.cgi?post=5142680

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  11. You've never had Runner's knee? I think that's the most common injury I see in my clinic. I've had it myself. So after consulting Dr Google, you know it's tendonitis...from overuse...RICE...and I hope it goes away quickly. It should.

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  12. I had runners knee last year and it took regular foam rolling/stretching/butt muscle strengthening for a couple months til it went away :( it was my first running injury and i went through all the stages.. Denial, depression,til i finally got to acceptance lol

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  13. I had runner's knee while training for a race at the beginning of the year. Stretching, foam rolling, and KT tape saved me. If you do want to keep running in the meantime, I really suggest KT Taping and following this method: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po0LAGaK9TQ. I tried EVERY other combo and this one is amazeballs - really holds the knee in place and you don't even know it's there.

    Good luck!

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    1. Hey thanks for posting this youtube link. I came across it as about two weeks before my marathon as I started to experience runner's knee pain. Very frustrating as I had completed most of my training and was just in the taper phase, so was not even doing very long runs! Anyway, the race was yesterday, and after taping my knee like in this video, I had almost no knee pain the entire race! They're not even sore today! My quads, however, are a different story...

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  14. Thirding (fourthing?) the suggestions to strengthen your posterior and hammies, and roll out that ITB. Doing so allowed me to get through runner's knee with only 1.5 weeks off a couple of years ago, and it hasn't returned...though I'm kind of obsessive about foam rolling.

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  15. I recently had a sudden onset of right knee pain that hurt even when I walked. Freaked out slightly, rested for two days and then went mountain climbing which sounds like a really stupid thing to do but the climbing stretched out my itb and I've been pain free ever since.

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  16. Your friendly pharmacist recommends glucosamine (not chondroitin).

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  17. Fortunately I have never had knee pains. Usually a good foam roll does the job. My sister however has been getting cortizon shots and it has helped her. -L

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  18. KT tape. icing with ice in a dixie cup.

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  19. I'm a massage therapist and I treat runners knee at my clinic ask the time. A good massage therapist / chiropractor can assess which muscle structures are weak or over compensating and rebalance things to keep the patella from twisting and grinding. Good luck! It would be awesome if it's just your shoes :-D

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  20. Bum knees for the last 20 years and shoes make all the difference.

    How is your hamstring from 2012. (Thats how i found this blog.) Dealing with that injury for the last year and looking for some light at the end of the tunnel. I want to run again!

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  21. I almost wish I had runners knee at least its got a pretty good chance of recovery. I have a full thickness articular cartilage defect in my knee from a run a couple of months ago. I've had a couple of platelet rich plasma injections which have settled down the associated swelling and the orthopaedic surgeon has strongly advised me to give up running (very depressing). Has anyone else had a articular cartilage defect and returned to running successfully?

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  22. My knee looked like a basketball 7 weeks ago from runners knee and the last 3 days I did 5 hours a day in the mountains, so yes it can get better uber quickly. I started doing PT exercises and gave it a little more rest than normal then eased back with easy runs. Our knees are usually A-OK it's more that we have tight muscles pulling it out and the stretching/strength helps fix that.

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  23. I heard taping and rolling seems to be the best cure. I have not had knee issues yet (knock on wood!) but feet, hips and IT Band are a different story. Yoga stretches really seem to be helping me stay healthy. Good luck and sending you some good healing Zen--I hope it gets better soon.

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  24. Have you tried wall sits? Whenever I get any kind of anything with my knee, I do them religiously and don't have any more problems. I started doing them after reading an interview with Katherine Switzer where she guaranteed them as insurance against knee issues. Well not really guaranteed, but you know.....

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  25. I've had it and it can clear up quickly. Ice, use a foam roller and do lots of stretching - particularly your calves and hamstrings.

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  26. Like you, I never had knee pain. I did tear my acl, but that was while doing a jump kick in tae kwon do class. How does it feel today? My situation is with my hip. A week ago, I nearly fell while running, but caught myself just in time and stayed on my feet. My hip started to hurt after taht. I did speedwork during the week, and the hip was sore. Then Sunday I went 22 miles, and the hip was really sore. Sunday night - the hip is totally red - as if Rocky had used it for sparring practice. I better google this.

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  27. I've had knee problems twice. Both times they were injuries that required rest to heal. Neither was permanent. I run more now than I did then, and I haven't had any knee problems in 30 years.

    A runner has to distinguish between "normal" pain/fatigue and injury pain. What you described sounds like an injury.

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    1. I am not convinced I'm injured, especially since it came on after wearing new and very different shoes. This was not "normal pain" but I think it's too soon to tell how problematic it is.

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    2. Injuries usually go through various stages of severity. In the first stage, a day or two of rest is sometimes all you need.

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  28. I'm a strong believer in PT.
    That is, PT done by physical therapists who enjoy running. :)
    My pains are always to the side of the knee and on the way up (IT band area). It's a constant battle, because I always want to do more and more. I"m good for about 10 miles of trail running, and then...
    but I will succeed!

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  29. You might want to try an IB band---McDavid makes a great one---and no-weight squats. Both really help me when my knees flare up...

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  30. Oof, I feel your pain, literally. Was diagnosed with 'Runner's Knee' about a month ago and have been running in the pool ever since. I actually had my final PT apt today and am cleared to run again. Rest, no impact exercise and lots of daily prescribed stretches is what turned the tide for me. Good luck!

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  31. please go see your doc. My hubby had same problem and his is a torn meniscus. Doc says you can run through the pain as you won't damage it any further.....

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  32. ugh knee pain is the worst. This is the reason I can't race often. When I race, I injure myself. I have had knee pain that went away overnight, I have had knee pain that went away via PT and foam rolling and stretching, but then I also had knee pain that didn't get better until I had surgery!

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  33. Ran in my new shoes (same model/brand as my previous ones) 4 runs in a row to "break them in" for my 18 miler....well that 18 miler sucked with knee pain. Ran in my other pair today (I rotate 2 pairs) and zero pain...nada...zilch. I always alternate between pairs...I didn't last week and paid dearly for it. Hope it was the hokas-my mom loves them but they feel funny to run in.

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  34. Ran through about six weeks of knee pain when I trained for my last marathon. i believe it to have been either a collateral or medial ligament strain. It was not fun, but I didn't notice the pain worsening. Perhaps it would have gone away more quickly had I stopped running altogether for a couple weeks, but what fun would that have been? NONE! It gradually improved and finally went away completely about a week prior to the race!

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  35. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDhKVtkfnsg This video. Every day. And I took a week off of running.
    In addition, I started doing some clam shells and all those other things I should have been doing regularly. I also wore one of those knee braces from CVS (like $15) non-stop, even at work and during runs. My knee isn't 100% but only 2 weeks after I started to have that pain and couldn't even walk, I ran 18 miles with limited pain. Most of it I attribute to that video!
    Good luck, I know how much it sucks!

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    1. I posted my comment before I read yours, but I do that video every day too! I feel like it has been the answer to my prayers!!

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  36. I have struggled with runner's knee a few times in the past as well, but was always able to get it taken care of pretty quickly. Definitely don't run for a day or 2. If it is hurting while you are not running, take some ibuprofin and ice it. For me, the key has been to do consistent strength / stretching / foam rolling (even when it doesn't bother me - especially when it isn't bothering me I suppose!) I do this short series exercises every day. Only takes about 10 minutes, if that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDhKVtkfnsg

    Last time my knee started bothering me I went right out and bought new shoes and that fixed it! Hope switching shoes is the easy fix for you!

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  37. I've gone through a couple bouts of Runner's Knee - that sharp sudden pain right on the very front of the knee cap. I've had great success with taping for patella femoral dysfunction (it allows me to run pretty much right away, even though it doesn't address the underlying issues), and then working on building hip/glute strength (the MYRTL routine is awesome). In my case, weak and misaligned hips/glutes caused everything further down the kinetic chain to get thrown out of whack so my knee was collapsing inward when I ran, and eventually it caused that patella pain. Good luck! I hope your pain goes away quickly!

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  38. yep mine did...been running on them for over 40 years. Running in fact has saved my knees!

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  39. How did the run in your regular shoes go the next day Beth? You still have pain?

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  40. I'm sorry to hear about your knee pain. It always happens when you least expect, doesn't it? Not during your Ironman training, but during a Colour Run?!

    Why do you think different shoes contributed? I thought it was maybe a good thing to change up your shoes for different workouts so you're getting different support, and you're not wearing one old knackered pair?

    Just interested….I hope it gets better soon.

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