Ice for Runner's Knee (PFPS)
- Treatment Reviews
- Videos & Guides
- Injury Status In Pain
- Physical activity per week 0-4 hours
- Chronicity Under 1 Month
- Repeat injury? Yes
In august I had taken a step over somethings and had heard a pop in my knee and couldn't walk on it, I had gone to the hospital as it has also automatically swelled up, like you couldn't even see my patella (knee cap) and they had prescribed me toradol and was on that, crutches and immobilizing brace for about 2 months from mid August to mid October. I then saw our orthopaedic surgeon and he said my MRI was clean and that I had PatelloFemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) and to try physiotherapy. I then went to physio and my therapist was positive that it wasn't pfps.. but anyways we continued with physio and I did it for twice a week for 8 weeks. After the eighth week we decided to get another opinion on my knee as it wasnt helping and why go to something expensive twice a week for something that's not helping? So I saw another ortho surgeon in Brampton and he said I had good mobility but my knee was still extremely inflamed and was still having lots of pain so he figured a cortisone shot would be the best approach so that's what we had done. I had my shot on January 30th and after it he said he thought that it would be good from now on and not to suspect of anymore more problems.. but 3 weeks after I woke up one morning not able to bend, straighten my leg or able to weight bare at all... so, here I am again waiting to see the ortho surgeon to see what the next step is, and my knee is in just as bad position as it was before i had gotten my cortisone shot.
- Injury Status Cured
- Physical activity per week 8+ hours
- Chronicity 2 - 3 Months
- Repeat injury? No
I had been running for years in really cushioned shoes (Asics Nimbus) When I was in my 30's I developed a sharp pain in my heels. I fixed this problem with orthotics as it was a quick fix to my problem. I ran with these orthotics in very cushioned shoes for 20 years. Then in my mid 50's I developed runners knee. I couldn't run anymore it hurt too much. So I started bike riding. I found that if I pointed my feet outwards (externally rotating the leg) when I peddled, it didn't hurt my knees. I took this concept back to my running. I read the book "Born to Run" By Christopher McDougall. I discovered that really padded running shoes gives the body a false sense of protection. When the brain doesn't perceive danger it does nothing to protect itself from repetitive actions like running with the knees misaligned as in my case, despite the orthotics. I switched to a mid barefoot shoe and got rid of the orthotics. I found the idea of using my feet and having a better connection to the ground profoundly interesting and helpful. I became very interested in posture and mechanical alignment of the body and how it correlates and affects performance. After reading the book "8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back" by Esther Gokhale. I signed up for the Gokhale Method Foundations Course. This is where I learned to walk a line with my inner heels on that line. This was the deal breaker for me. I found that this movement along with using my feet properly and engaging my glutes externally rotated the leg and aligned my ankles, knees and hips. I am now 58 years old and I am happily running again without any knee issues. Today, I just came back from a barefoot run along the beach. I haven't had knee problems for 2+ years now.
- Injury Status Cured
All there's no magic "cure" for injury prone knees. There are a host of things you can do to make life easier.
Wear the correct shoes, you already have orthotics which is a great start.
Have your gait analyzed, again you know you pronate so you can make a conscious effort to adjust your run and gear.
Don't just run. You could have some sort of strength/flexibility imbalance in your feet, ankles, calves, thighs, back etc. Swim, stretch, cycle, do some yoga, pilates. Becoming a good all round athlete promotes healthier running.
Don't run hurt. If your knees are crying in agony, don't "man up" and smash them into the concrete. Running is about making small incremental improvements, no one gets to long mileage without building up properly (or if they do, it's a recipe for injury).
Establish a recovery routine. Ice, compression, elevation, ibuprofen. Even if you're not injured, these can help with post-run fatigue/aches and mean you can do more with quicker recovery between runs.
Run short, run fast. Not everyone is made to plod 23 miles. Try short speed work, intervals, aim for 20 min 5ks, 6 min miles, there are plenty of challenging short distance goals which will challenge your running. What separates beginners to advanced runners is not their mileage but their abilities at the preferred distance. I have no knee pain since.
- Injury Status Recovering
I think this is it for my knee pain as well. There's a time when I push hard enough (running/back squatting) where my knee starts to ache the next couple of days. It become worse when I sit and layoff of it. Then my CrossFit coach (pretty sure CF added to the reason I have these knee probs) said after a while of resting your quads get weaker and other muscles are compensating for it leading to knee aching. He suggested to ice my and compress my knee so any swelling goes down then slowly do quad exercises to help strengthen them till the aching passes.
This seems to be my solution that works for me. Recently I've been hitting some gains in the gym on my squat and do some all out sprints for cardio. After one sprint session I felt that pain in my right knee and was like "not again". Next day it became painful to break parallel on a squat.
For two weeks I laid off squatting and running and did low impact cycling and elliptical for my cardio. I iced my knee night and morning to help with the pain, then wore a sleeve while a slept and and during work to keep it warm always. Before a work out I warmed up more by cycling and foam rolling the quad. Pain was gone when warmed up.
After two week knee felt better and I'm ramping up the weight in my squats now. Now going into week three I'm gonna start on the treadmill and see if it flares up. I'm hoping to get back to my squat weight in a few weeks.
It's now a constant balance of finding that line and not crossing that line for the rest of my life. If I do cross it, I have to take a few steps back and push on. I can live with that as frustrating as it is.
I'm in my early 30s and don't want a serious knee probs getting older, since it'll be harder to deal with later in life. I've yet to have kids and want to be active in their lives when the time comes, yet I don't want to be a coach potato just to avoid injury. I love being active and hope to be no matter what age I'm at.
- Injury Status In Pain
- Chronicity 2 - 3 Months
In march 2014 I was crazy excited to train to bike up one of my favorite mountains. I started training early in the season. I haven't had a car in like...5 years and uphill/downhill street riding is part of my norm. I ride trails on the weekends and early mornings on some weekdays. In addition, I was doing some light running and squat workouts.
Anyway. Long story short is, I had pain under my kneecaps when I was resting, thought that it was a sign of be being whiny, so I pushed harder, which made it worse. Both knees had the same thing going. I don't have insurance, so I had to go by Dr. Google and some friends, but runner's knee seems to fit my symptoms. I did nothing, rested, elevated, iced, compressed, all that stuff. I did that for a couple weeks. Then weeks turned into months. It hurt to walk across my apartment, it hurt to sit, it hurt to freaking lay down.
I'd read this stuff that would say "oh, you have runner's knee? Try riding a bike!" and I'd smack my forehead. There are 2 things that make my knee freak out instantly, that's anything resembling a pedaling motion and squats.
It's been 8 months. I'm going crazy. I didn't realize how much of myself was wrapped up in riding/hiking/spelunking, but dammit, being immobile is really wearing me down psychologically. I can't even get freaking groceries because I don't have a car. I haven't needed one until all this. I was watching a show yesterday and one of the characters knelt down and was doing something while talking, and I realized that someone crouching down on the ground seems superhuman to me at this point. It drives me insane. A year ago I was doing higher level canyoneering, some pretty technical spelunking trips, and riding further/higher than I ever have.
And here I am. If I walk half a mile on a flat road to the store, I'll be paying for it for days. My uncle is a PT with an emphasis in Sports stuff. He's trying to help me out, but I don't have money, so visits are infrequent. All the exercises he's told me to do make it hurt more, or leave me feeling the same. I'm foam rolling 3 times a day, strengthening medial quads, stretching IT band, and trying to avoid any kind of stressful activity. When I get back to riding, I know I'm going to do a lot of things different, but for now, I just want to use stairs again. Or, you know, not have to ice my knees for months on end.