Friday, November 30

Patellofemoral pain syndrome = sad face

I was putting it off because I had hoped that if I gave myself enough rest that it wouldn't bother me...

After the Ohio Outside trail race on November 17th, my knee hurt pretty badly the next day. I took care of it the best way I knew how and eventually it felt normal enough for everyday life. But when I tried to exercise again, the pain returned. 

I tried running again this past Tuesday. I walked five minutes, ran two. Walked five minutes, ran two. I felt okay the whole time I was on the treadmill. 

Wednesday morning was a different story. Reluctantly, I called the doctor. 

I met with a physician's assistant instead of my usual primary care physician. Ryan was really helpful. I explained my running lifestyle a little, when the pain started, where it was, and when it seemed to appear. 

I allowed him to flex my knee, hip, and ankle joints, testing for abnormalities. He told me what many other doctors have mentioned: I have extremely "pliable" joints. They're loose. I sprain easy. I haven't slipped a shoulder or anything, but I commonly feel my bones slide around to the point that when I had X-rays once or twice the doctors have retaken them and had me flex different muscles to view the bone positioning.

I'm not a perfect human specimen. I know that.

Without question, I have runner's knee. Ryan didn't have to think twice about it. My pain is above the knee cap and fits all the other criteria like hurting more when I walk downhill or down stairs and feeling like it needs to "pop ." What's crappy is that I've learned that I have a number of criteria that make me more likely to have this and to get it again: 

  • I'm female (we tend to have wider hips, thus making the alignment of hips, knees, and feet a bit more challenging) 
  • I overpronate (i.e., I have flat feet; no arch to speak of)
  • I have weaker thigh muscles than calf muscles
So I can't not be female or not have overpronated feet... but I can work to strengthen my hip flexors and other muscles for alignment, and I can ensure I'm wearing proper footwear for running. And for those pesky thigh muscles? Well, quadriceps, you have met your match. You've got to stop letting those calves carry you.

I have a race tomorrow. The third trail race in the Ohio Outside trail series. I'm sorry to say that I won't be running it. I might walk it, if I'm allowed. I want to complete the series... I plan to rest, do some really gentle cross training (I'm thinking yoga), and do the stretches Ryan the PA gave me so that I *might* be able to run in the Doomsday Dash 5K in Columbus on December 15th. I reeeeeeally want to run that one... not only because it looks freaking awesome, but also because if I don't run it then I won't have run a race in December, which breaks a NINE MONTH RACE STREAK part of my goal to run a race every month, which would really tick me off. Oh, and I paid to run the race so I want to do it. There's that.        

Have you ever had runner's knee or another injury? How long were you sidelined? What did you do to help yourself get over the physical AND mental parts of being injured?

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