Wednesday, March 30, 2011


    I was hoping to report back after a few days rest with no knee pain and lots of sunshine and roses.  No such luck :(  I really don't have the luxury of going to a sport's doctor right now so I'm gonna go the inadvisable route of posting the specifics of my injury here and asking for suggestions.  Obviously no one here is a doctor (that I know of), but maybe one or some of you have had the same issue before and can lead me in the right direction.

Here is what I did last week and how it affected my knee:
- First felt pain 1 mile into my easy/medium 3 mile run last Tuesday, I ran the first mile a little too fast in 6:13 and hadn't warmed up at all.  (I ran a 6:13 bc I tried to start out at a cruise pace, looked at my garmin 1/2 mile in and saw 3:06. I then thought, "well, lets see what time I can finish this mile in."  As soon as I started mile 2 (way slower), knee pain :/
- Wednesday I took off
- Thursday I ran stairs for 25 minutes and felt no pain.
- Friday I ran on the treadmill, felt pain 1 mile in and stopped at 2
- Saturday 4-miler same thing, right at the 1 mile mark inner knee pain came back. I finished the 4, but haven't run since Sat.

  The pain is on inner-topish part and it does seem to swell out a bit, it is definitely more lumpy than the right side (after running)

   During the 3 days I took off from running I felt scattered knee pain.  The worst times were when I sat in the car (passenger) for 15-20 minutes and walking after that was painful for a while.  A lot of the time though I was fine.  I've been icing daily.  I haven't even been doing my planks (I've been afraid of the rigid straight position of the leg, but It'll probably be fine)  or other ab/arm exercises because most of them still involve the knee to some degree.

Nighttime Abs/Arms have been replaced with:
Wine is probably not the best recovery drink, but it makes me feel better temporarily ;)
  I'm getting back to abs/arms tonight, there are plenty of moves I can still do.  I've just been using my knee as an excuse to be lazy.  3 days off though and I'm feeling very soft so no more excuses.

    Someone suggested that it could possibly be Plica Syndrome.  I've looked into this and it is a definite possibility.  Has anyone here had experience with Plica?

   I ran 2 miles today to test things out; the first mile I felt very mild pain, the second mile it hurt more, but I noticed if I landed lightly on my toe and pushed off quickly I had little to no pain.  This of course means I am running at a much faster clip. After the run my knee had irritation and side of my left knee was significantly bigger than my right.   I've taken an anti-inflammatory and iced since finishing my run.

 This is totally bumming me out right now 'cause the temps are just starting to warm up, racing season is here and I am ready to crush some PRs

    Any insight on what could be causing my knee pain is appreciated :)

 On a happy/funny note: One of the search terms to my blog was "pics of 3k run pros" which led to my Self Indulgent Pre Race Pics.  Sure I'll consider myself a 3k pro, why not? :)

    And if you haven't entered my Ryders Sunnies Giveaway yet you have till Midnight Friday :D  I'm loving checking out all the awesome styles you guys like.  There seems to be a high preference for Hot Pink, I'm a fan :)  I'm just sad that I can only pick one winner : /


Laura Frey said...

Dang...I wish I had advice! I've had almost every injury just not the knee. If there is any inflammation get some icy hot patches or cream. I always put the patches where ever it hurts after a run. I'd take maybe 3-4 days off with some Motrin and see how you feel. This is just a fluke!! No way did you do damage without a big increase in mileage or some trauma....hang in there!!

GI Jane said...

I tore my MCL slightly and never got it checked out. So it repaired itself wrong and became very painful. That said. Go see a doctor. Seriously. Even if it's just your regular doctor, an orthopedist would be best. Don't put it off for two years like I did. If you're really convinced it's not that bad, start with a physical therapist. They're little miracle workers. I lucked out and my personal trainer at my gym was also a certified physical therapist. He was wonderful and gave me alternate exercises to use.

Until then. RICE. Rest, ce, compression, elevate! When I hurt my knee I had a small stool under my desk to slightly elevate it, I iced a few times a day and kept it wrapped in an ace bandage to keep the swelling down.

Even now, a year(almost two) post surgery, it still gets sore. Sometimes I have to get up and move around, do some squats, lunges, etc to stretch my knee out. It pops but typically feels better afterwards. Look up some phyical therpay exercises to help build your glutes/quads/hip flexors which may help take the pressure off your knee.

Katie said...

Laura~ That is exactly what I was thinking! "I'm not even running enough mileage to get seriously injured!" I've been very cautious bc I wanted to avoid injury :/

GI Jane~ Thanks! I did read strengthening the quads and other leg muscles would help, I though I had pretty strong quads but maybe not?

Dax said...

I had similar symptoms last year and it turned out to be runner's knee (really smart people call it patellofemoral pain syndrome). It's very common and the treatment is pretty easy. I used A.R.T. therapy, but a good foam roller on the quads and hamstrings will help (try to work up to about 10 minutes on each leg).

A major cause of PFPS is the imbalance of over-developed hamstrings in runners and weaker quads. This causes the patella to go slightly "off-track." This is easily remedied by squats and power intervals on the bike.

Google PFPS and you will find a lot of information.

Hope this helps, and good luck with your recovery.

Rachelle Wardle said...

I have no advice on the knee girl. I have knee pain on occasion but I think it is just due to fatigue and overdoing it.

I love your recovery plan. ha ha you crack me up!

Good luck with the knee.

Beth said...

You won’t like what I have to say but I had pain in my knee this past fall that sounds very similar to yours. I went from being able to easily run 14 miles to not being able to run more than one or two miles without stabbing pain. I spent lots of money going to doctors, specialists and then orthopedic surgeons. I was devastated and had to miss out on running the first marathon I had planned to run (on my 30th birthday).

I got a lot of conflicting information but most thought it was damaged cartilage from over-use. Two suggestions I got were surgery that might or might not make things better, or rest for a long time. I decided I didn’t want surgery so I took a full two months off running. It was awful, I had a really hard time with it. I should have been swimming, biking and lifting weights. I did a little bit off cross training but all I really wanted to do was run. I iced a lot and came back to running very slowly, I started out with a long run of four miles.

Beth said...

The best advice I can give is to rest I kept trying to run for awhile after being hurt, even pushing through a very slow, painful, tearful 15 miles. Only to prolong my recovery time. I am so sorry your knee is hurting, I really hope it gets better fast!

Kristin @NyceLife said...

Well, since you are a 3k pro, I'd think any sports doctor worth his salt would love to treat you for the free publicity :)

I'd keep resting/icing and if at all possible have someone look at it- even just a trainer or something.

Adam said...

I wish I had some advice for you. Most of my knee pain isn't localized or on the inside. So, I don't want to speculate.

ALTHOUGH, i'm not going to be one of the people who poo-poos asking for advice on your blog. I totally do it too. Someone will inevitably say "shouldn't you be asking a doctor?" and I usually think to myself that they should shove it.

Jim ... 50after40 said...

The "sitting for 15-20, and then pain when walking" sounds like tendonitis to me. I struggled with this earlier this winter. After I would ride for 2-3 hours in a car on the way home from a business trip, it would be really painful, right on the top part of my knee cap. It never swelled, but hurt the most when I ran. I took additional days off during the week and used a heated bean-bag and it really seemed to help.

It would be worth a try. If you don't have a bean bag, you can make one by filling a sock with white rice and then microwaving for about 1 to 1-1/2min. The rice pulls the moisture out of the air and when heated creates a nice moiste warm bag. It feels awesome.

If it's not swelling or red, it sounds like you don't have inflamation - so I would try heat for a while, especially before you run. It worked for me anyway! Best wishes!

Doug said...

I am constantly dealing with knee pain off and on. I think it is patellar tendinitis. I haven't seen a specialist, because I don't want someone telling me to rest when I already know how to do that and I don't want someone telling me that they are going to open up my knee and take the chance of never running again. That's just me. I wish I could give you some really good advice, but nothing that I have tried over the years has quite done away with it. Good luck!

Michael said...

sorry, no suggestions, but hope you feel better soon. REST!!

Meg O @watchmegorun said...

I don't have any advice, hope it feels better soon :( I think wine is a good way to help u feel better temporarily! It'd be soooo fun if you did that 5k over the brooklyn bridge too! We should definitely make it happen :)

Nelly said...

I agree with Dax above, I've actually had some knee trouble recently, and its because my hips are too weak it seems like, my knees bow inward when I run sometimes, straining my knees. (this is what the sports doc guy told me today).

I think my symptoms were exactly the same as yours. They did some ART therapy on it, as well as some other stretches, and it does feel better. It is not 100% by any means, but it already feels better than before. So I would take a little more rest, ice daily, and try ART therapy if possible. No idea on how to determine if your body parts or hips are supporting you correctly or not. The doctor today had me do a squat to see if my knees bowed inward when I did it, and he said my hips were too weak.

Good luck!

Diet Chic ~ Jury said...

Oh no Katie, I'm so sorry you're hurting, I have no prior knee injury advice to offer, but I hope it gets better :)

Small Town Runner said...

Ahhh! I am so sorry, Katie!
I really don't have any good advice here- other than the obvious (ice and rest)....but I would ask if you have changed shoes recently.

coach dion said...

There are many things that could be the course of your pain. Yes resting and icing are good, but we need to find out what is the route of the problem...

I like what 'Dax' and 'Nelly' have said. For my creeky old knees I spend my life stretching my quads. You know that standing on one leg holding the foot of the quad you are stretching, well I do that with an 'elastic' then after 30 sec I 'work' the quad a bit against the elastic.

Faith said...

Haha, sometimes wine is the perfect recovery fluid ;)

coach dion said...

Faith, I'm with you...

Matty O said...

If you are doing high intensity running you are more prone to injuries. Speed work will aggrevate things 10 fold.

I would drop the pace down drastically and hop in the pool for some cross training for a week or so and see how it is.

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Probably tendinitis, just to be safe should probably rub some dirt on it (-:

RICE that sucker!

JohnP said...

Do you get pain on the top of your knee? Do you see redness/swelling/bleeding the top/lower part of you knee? Abrasions? Embedded stones/dirt?

If you do not, then WHY NOT?

It sounds like an under-use injury to me. You need to use them more often and they'll toughen up.

I hope this helps! Get better soon! lol

Obviously I have nothing intelligent to contribute to the diagnosis lol :)

Nelly said...

I thought a little more about your knee problem, and it also might be caused by that really fast 6:13 mile you ran as part of that 3 mile run. Doing a mile that fast without any warmup can't be good for your body. Always want to try to warmup before doing a mile that fast, that sounds about 90% of your all out effort for a mile. I bet your knee got inflamed from not being warmed up properly and having it run that fast.

Amanda@runninghood said...

looks like you got all the advice you needed! Yikes, sorry about your knee...crazy girl going out so fast the first mile into it! :) Awesome time though. I had to catch up...sorry it has been so long. Hope you are recovering quickly!

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

I wish I could help, but all of my knee ailments have been on the outer knee.

The fact that a faster pace feels better sounds like it's an issue with form. That's the reason I typically run faster - I mess up my shins quick when I run slow (too much vertical movement).

I do agree with the idea of seeing even the primary care physician or possibly bullying a trainer into giving you some ideas (while trainers certainly don't have medical degrees, they still see a lot of injuries).

Best of luck!!