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Jan 28th, 2015
I have been running for years taking part fairly regularly in half marathon
races. Having not done much towards the end of 2014 due to a busy schedule, I
started a training plan in January for a half marathon end of March – 4
runs per week, which included two track sessions – during the second track
session I felt a twinge in my right knee (outside/underneath knee cap) which
gradually got worse during the session – which I still completed. Since
then walking (just 5-10 minutes) initially was painful so I stopped running
altogether for over two solid weeks. The pain had gone completely and doing
other forms of exercise was ok (netball, yoga, PT) so I tested it out on
Sunday following that two week break from running. I had barely run for half
a mile (gentle jog) and the twinge came back! I walked for approx a mile and
the twinge persisted. I was then short on time and had to run for the bus…
that half a mile was excruciatingly painful! Not sure exactly what the
problem is and how long I will have to stop running for or if there’s any
sort of strapping that might help and enable me to continue to run or
exercises I can do to speed up the process/strengthen it again?
The Guru Responded:
Sounds very much like “runners knee” [a common sports injury] which is an issue with the way your kneecap moves in a groove on the front of your thigh.
It’s super common and very treatable, but there are a few put falls as you’ve established.
Think of it as you’ve got a whopping bruise on the back surface of your kneecap – and every time you poke your bruise or bend your knee it hurts. But give it some time and less poking and the bruise starts to settle and feel easier.
But, if you then don’t quite let the bruise heal fully or know what caused the bruise and the tissue is still naturally tender to repeated touch and load – it will break down really, really quickly….and stay broken down for longer. Healing tissue on previously fully unhealed tissue just takes much longer.
You need to allow the “bruise” to fully heal by making sure your kneecap moves correctly in the groove and you put appropriate load through it. Think Goldilocks – not too much (breakdown) or too little (delayed hearing) but just right (painless).
Taping your knee into more appropriate alignment to allow the stabilising muscles to work better is smart stuff – try this http://youtu.be/Ukh8ZTyqnHY
Foam roll your ITB and get better control of your gluts – lunge and squat. Shoes may also need a bit of attention.
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