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 Post subject: Runner's knee
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:56 pm 
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Location: Dallas
I was diagnosed with runner's knee (chondromalacia) almost two years ago, and I was wondering if anyone on here has the same thing? If so, can you give any tips or advice on how to deal with it?

I used to love doing kick-butt workouts, running, hiking, etc but now I feel so limited. I did physical therapy but it didn't help much. I find that as long as I work my leg and back muscles a good amount that it helps the pain for the most part. The hard part is that I should be exercising to alleviate the pain, but exercising can be painful! Such a catch-22.

Oh yeah, and this knee issue has caused me to have a lot of lower back pain as well. Ugh! I'm only 29 and sometimes I feel like I am falling apart. Anyway, I would love some tips on exercising with this condition, or if you want to just vent your frustration then that is ok too!

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 Post subject: Re: Runner's knee
PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:44 pm 
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Baking In The Flavor
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 5:01 pm
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Location: Reno, NV
Well, I think I vote for finding another physical therapist and/or sports medicine doctor who can give you more advice. They are trained extensively to teach people how to move safely and effectively, so I'd think your question is best posed to a professional.

That said, I have knee issues (not runner's knee, but patellar tendonitis), and while I'm lucky that most activities don't exacerbate it, I've found that the best things to keep my knees feeling good are to 1) stop any activity immediately that is making my knees hurt. I can come back later and try it again, but if I push through the pain, I am out for a few days at least, whereas if I stop, I don't have to take any time off. 2) Ibuprofen before activity and icing after. I don't always have to do this, but for certain activities that bug my knee (running), I do. 3) Knee sleeves. 3) Lots of stretching and foam rolling, especially of hips and IT bands. 4) Lots of strength training (I prefer reformer Pilates because we hit every tiny muscle in the legs, but any balanced program, ideally PT recommended, might help).

That's it! Again, these aren't guaranteed to work for you since obviously our bodies are different, but I hope you can find some kind of exercise that you can do without pain.


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 Post subject: Re: Runner's knee
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:36 pm 
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So Totally Yiffy

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:49 am
Posts: 34
Location: Florida
I agree with finding another physical therapist or orthopaedic sports medicine clinic. I was diagnosed with runner's knee in Nov and immediately started with 6 weeks of physical therapy. I am out of therapy now, and I am on a very strict, slow progression running schedule. I was given a knee brace to use every time I do something that may cause pain, like running. The brace helps to keep the kneecap tracking properly. I can't say that I am completely pain free, but according to my doc, pain free is not the goal. I was told as long as the pain was less than "3" on a 0-10 pain scale, I was fine.
Part of the therapy was the therapist looking at my running form and he ended up completely changing the way I run. I now land with my feet directly underneath me, with a quick mid-foot strike. Most runners run heel-to-toe and this causes an extreme amount of force to be absorbed by your body. It also ends up being a long way for the leg to travel, so any biomechanical errors (overpronating, etc) are amplified and tend to cause more problems. Did anyone ever watch you run and identify any possible biomechanical errors that may have caused the injury?

I still do my physical therapy exercises 2x/ week at the gym. There are a few stretches and easy exercises that I do at home about every other night as well. I also ice down after I've done anything that could irritate the knee.

If you are still having that much pain and inability to stay active, I would definitely seek out someone who will work with you to get you to an activity level that you are happy with.


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 Post subject: Re: Runner's knee
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:25 pm 
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Location: Dallas
Thanks, that makes me feel much better. It's not that my pain is all that bad really, it's that I'm afraid to make it worse. But I would say that it usually isn't any more than a 3 on the pain scale most days. I was freaked out at any sign of pain. I do ice it when it's hurting which helps a lot. So what exercises do you do? It makes me feel better to know that a small amount of pain isn't anything to worry about.

I really don't have time to go do more physical therapy right now. I'm in nursing school so I'm low on funds as well as time. Thanks for the advice!

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 Post subject: Re: Runner's knee
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:22 pm 
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So Totally Yiffy

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:49 am
Posts: 34
Location: Florida
I was worried about a little bit of pain, too and to tell you the truth, it is always lurking in the back of my mind about whether or not it will get worse one day.

I'm not sure what exercises they had you doing in PT, but the easy stuff I do every other day are: quad sets, leg raises, side leg raises, clam shell, and the band exercise that you wrap around your ankles and walk side to side. I also do the "running man" stretch to keep the quad limber

2X a week I do leg presses, the squat rack, leg extensions and hip abductor/adductor exercises.

I understand not having the time or money for more PT, and it sounds to me like you have it under control.


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 Post subject: Re: Runner's knee
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:17 am 
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Tofu Pup

Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:12 am
Posts: 3
I have something like runner's new, tendinitis, yes.

Most important thing is to stop doing the things that hurt. I used to love running. That's a no go no. I had to switch to the eliptical machine instead. I also enjoyed Spinning classes, again. That makes it hurt afterwards, so just stop all sports which hurt it.

Light exercise daily, strengthen your legs and stretch reeeeally long afterwards, especially your quads (thats where my problem is).

Don't cross your legs when you are sitting, use a little stool thingy to put below them so your knees are at 90 degrees (if you work in an office all day).

Go see a physio for some massages and bands. And to offer you exercise tips, although this has never helped me. Ive been to see so many doctors. Best is to just do it on your own. Stretching + strengthening. It will probably never go away completely, but it can get a lot better.


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 Post subject: Re: Runner's knee
PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:20 pm 
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Baking In The Flavor
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 5:01 pm
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Location: Reno, NV
Ooh, also, I've found that when it gets really bad, cutting back on inflammatory foods helps quite a bit. For me, that means wine and sugar. When I cut these out for a few days, the pain goes away. Not sure if this is the case for others, but you might try it.


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