Cross training for Runner's Knee (PFPS)

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4.6out of 5
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  • Anonymous Runner's Knee (PFPS)

    • Age 35-54
    • Female
    • 230 lbs
    • 5' 7"
    • Phoenix Arizona
    24
    Nov2016
    • Injury Status Recovering
    • Physical activity per week 0-4 hours
    • Chronicity 18+ Months
    • Repeat injury? No
    • Pain with prolonged sitting Standing
    • Doctor/Care Giver Fierro

    Treatment Ratings

      Not Improved
      NSAIDs - Anti Inflammatory drugs, Cross training, Strengthening Exercises, Stretching, Supportive Shoes, Brace, Rest, Massage, Platelet Rich Plasma Injection, Ice, Physical Therapy, Supplements
      Worsened
      Other

    Is just little reliefs


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  • tawandacat Runner's Knee (PFPS)

    • Age 55+
    • Female
    • 145 lbs
    • 5' 7"
    • Binalong Bay, Tasmania
    22
    Sep2016
    • Injury Status Cured
    • Physical activity per week 8+ hours
    • Chronicity 6-18 Months
    • Repeat injury? No

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Barefoot Shoes, Proper Running Form
      Improved
      NSAIDs - Anti Inflammatory drugs, Ice, Strengthening Exercises, Cross training
      Not Improved
      Orthotics
      Worsened
      Supportive Shoes

    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.


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  • 03
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      NSAIDs - Anti Inflammatory drugs, Ice, Rest, Supportive Shoes, Stretching, Strengthening Exercises, Cross training, Proper Running Form

    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.


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  • 03
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Cured

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Cross training
      Improved
      Physical Therapy, Stretching, Foam Rolling

    I had runner's knee for 2 years. I thought it was never going away. I tried everything from foam roller, stretching, going to PT.
    What worked in the end was cross training. I needed to strengthen my quads. Biking, hiking, swimming, climbing stairs did the trick. I could not only run everyday without switching it up.


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  • 03
    Dec2015
    • Injury Status Recovering

    Treatment Ratings

      Almost Cured
      Physical Therapy, Rest, Supportive Shoes, Strengthening Exercises, Cross training, Foam Rolling

    in my case -
    got MRI diagnosis was ligaments pulling kneecap up too far toward the quad
    did a bunch of physical therapy got a lot better after a few months, but honestly don't run as much since
    if you want to stay healthy running:
    get right shoes, replace them often if you have opportunities to run miles on something that's not pavement, take them. also cross train with e.g. biking, swimming, other low-impact
    stretch well (in my case, especially quads. also hamstring, calves, hip flexors - Google those running stretches). flexibility improves your form and posture and distributes strain. Yoga seems great but can't say I've ever managed to get into it. foam roll that quad and ligament
    LIGHT squats, lunges, reverse lunges, side lunges, agility drills vary the training, include hills, interval training
    truth is, some people are sound and run into old age, quite a lot of us are not and something gives out, knees are a prime candidate. in my case, adding 10-20 lbs didn't help ease the strain on joints. like a car, change the oil, take care of yourself and hope for the best. This has been the best for me and so far I'm good.


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  • 21
    Aug2015
    • Injury Status Recovering

    Treatment Ratings

      Improved
      Ice, Strengthening Exercises, Cross training, Foam Rolling

    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.


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  • 02
    Dec2014
    • Injury Status In Pain
    • Chronicity 6-18 Months

    Treatment Ratings

      Not Improved
      Physical Therapy, Ice, Rest, Stretching, Strengthening Exercises, Cross training

    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.


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  • 30
    Mar2013
    • Injury Status Recovering
    • Chronicity 0 - 6 Months

    Treatment Ratings

      Almost Cured
      Physical Therapy, Ice, Rest, Brace, Strengthening Exercises, Cross training

    I am recovering from Runner�s knee. Keep icing it and don't run for at least a week. You can buy those knee straps in case it hurts walking around, I also wore mine for biking (did biking and swimming every day until I started running again although too much biking also irritated it). On the advice of my P.T., I also did the leg extension machine at the gym, using the lightest possible weight and holding it for 3 seconds when I straightened my leg. I did that every day.

    When I started back running, I was very careful, warmed up on the bike for 5min, ran for 20 min. on the treadmill, run 2 min. walk 1 min., every other day. It can be frustrating though because you'll think it's getting better and then suddenly one day it will start hurting again. When you can start running outside normally again, you might have to walk for a block or so to warm up a bit.

    I went for a total of 3 weeks with no running and then about 2 more weeks of the run/walk thing on the treadmill which was almost as bad as no running. I have a friend who only needed 2 weeks off and then was back at it right away but I've read about people who've had this for MONTHS, so be careful! And make sure to test it out with some hill repeats before you try speed work!


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  • 21
    Jan2010
    • Injury Status Cured
    • Chronicity 18+ Months

    Treatment Ratings

      Cured
      Massage
      Improved
      Physical Therapy
      Worsened
      Rest, Cross training

    I know the frustration that comes with this injury/syndrome whatever you want to call it. I was able to run on this injury for about a year before my left knee totally crapped out after the last track race of my season. While I was running it got the point where I felt a sharp pain inside the knee joint when running (but it did not hurt every step just some of them) and pretty much everyday pain and stiffness around the knee.

    Once my knee totally crapped out I could not run at all because the sharp pain was there constantly, my knee crunched when fully extending the leg, it popped and felt extremely stiff. I took the whole summer off and tried to run one day on the treadmill and that hurt like hell and leg extensions on a machine caused the most sharp/excruciating pain I ever felt so I could not do those.

    So time off didn't help and I spent the next year doing physical therapy, researching the injury, trying supplements, and trying some alternative therapy (prolotherapy) that I never heard of before. From February to August of last year I did 6 rounds of the prolotherapy and in August I was finally able to start running again without any sharp pain in my left knee and I have been running ever since then. During this time I also did physical therapy etc but I believe the prolotherapy was what allowed me to come back. I am no where near the level I once was, but I am running 25 to 30 miles without pain a week as compared to the 50-60 I was doing. I also do a 30-45 min plyometrics workout once or twice a week, do heave squats, deadlifts, RDLs, lunges etc without pain, which was not possible before.

    I will tell you that even though I am able to run and I consider myself healed I still struggle with inflammation/stiffness around the knee cap. luckily not under, usually either the patellar or quad tendon. It's not bad but it is noticeable. I notice it more when my diet is crap, traveling, and after runs done up and down hills.

    I have noticed that using the Quad Baller from TP therapy to massage my quads is very helpful in reducing it, actually plyometrics helps and having a good diet helps too. when i'm traveling and it is crap inflammation increases noticeably.


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  • 17
    Jan2010
    • Injury Status Cured
    • Chronicity 6-18 Months

    Treatment Ratings

      Improved
      Cross training
      Not Improved
      Physical Therapy, Rest, Stretching

    I couldnt run at all for 6 months because of it (and the 6 months before that point were sporadic at best). I tried stretching, strengthening, PT, and rest. Nothing worked. 2 months ago I started a bikram yoga class and i noticed improvementspretty quickly. If you do it every other day, all out each time, i swear it can fix a lot of imbalances and really increase your flexibility way more than just stretching on your own. If it seems like nothing is working, i recommend trying to find a deal at a bikram place near you. Its not like mom yoga, its challenging. Also, i'm trying to make the transition from heelstriking to midfoot, running in lighter shoes.


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  • 06
    Jan2010
    • Injury Status Recovering

    Treatment Ratings

      Improved
      Rest, Stretching, Strengthening Exercises, Cross training

    Well the good news is, my knee seems to be getting way better. I went swimming today and then did some stretching afterwords, and when I went to just walk around the track, my knee felt amazing. I mean the left leg is still quite weak because of my knee, but thankfully I can at least tell it's getting better. I'm not going to run for quite a while, but hopefully when all the pain goes away, I can start to do more exercises to build up strength in my quads/hamstr