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Very Disappointed

In what you might ask!?!?!

In my NEW Pro-Tec Knee Strap that arrived Monday and that I used during my 3 Mile Run on Tuesday morning!

WHY???

Because, it didn’t help and I actually think it made it worse!  =( 

Now, at first I thought it helped.  As I felt no pain and it felt really good to run!  I even ran slightly faster than I usually do, around a 10 minute mile pace, without much effort on my part…..which is not very common for me. 

However, on my way back home after finishing Mile 2 I noticed discomfort in parts of my knee that I had not felt before, plus I felt it on my other knee for the 1st time as well.  =(  Nothing major now, but discomfort (light pain) non the less. 

I also noticed that the discomfort on my knee with the strap was coming specifically from the area that the strap was around and this was not the same area that I experienced discomfort in previously.  So, I thought I might have possibly strapped it too “tight” but after checking it several times and referring back to the instructions that came with it I saw that it was put on correctly. 

My heart sank at this point!   What was wrong?  I didn’t get it!?!

On Saturday, I ran 4 Miles (strapless) and had very minimal discomfort and no pain.  So why now with the strap did I have pain???  I was so confused!  I thought maybe I ran to fast and that caused possibly caused the discomfort I was feeling.  As I had not run that fast in awhile, but could that alone cause the discomfort?  I mean yes, I ran faster, nothing major though??? 

That got me thinking and I decided to do some more research on Runner’s Knee  and on “straps” themselves after getting to work to see what I might have missed before or where I was going wrong………here is what I found out:

  • “Runner’s Knee” is the most common pain runners get!  Sports doctors, orthopaedic surgeons, family doctors and internists see this in runners more than anything else.  Understanding the real cause makes treatment easy and pain relief possible in a short period of time.
  • When it comes to Runner’s Knee (a/k/a chondromalacia patella, patellofemoral disorder), biology is destinyAnyone whose foot rolls inward (pronation) during a stride is a candidate.  Your parents gave you those feet – not your sport, your activity, or a specific injury.
  • Of all the aches and pains that one can get, Runner’s Knee the easiest to get rid of! It can happen at anytime and age.  And the treatment, which is not complicated or extensive, is the same for everybody from kids to grandparents.
  • It all starts with the kneecapIn a perfect world, it rides up and down in the V shaped groove just behind it as you walk, run, or cycle.  More typically, though, your foot rolls in, or pronates, as you move from heel strike to toe off, and the kneecap ends up scraping along one side of the groove instead of sliding smoothly up and down the middle.  The cartilage there doesn’t much like getting sandpapered down that way, nor does the back of the kneecap, which begins to weep fluid that in turn produces a feeling of stiffness. 
  • Physicians can diagnose this from the other side of the room: joint hurts, no particular injury caused it, worst going upstairs and downstairs (or walking down an incline or running down a hill which tightens the thigh muscle pulling the kneecap down into the groove causing a painful rubbing), stiffens after sitting awhile, like it needs to be stretched.  That settles it, you have “Runner’s Knee”!
  • Proper orthotics (full length, soft, controlling the forefoot) are the single most important step, since they prevent the roll that caused the scraping in the first place!  Runners spend close to 80% of their time on their forefoot; an orthotic must control that area to be effective.  The good news is that once you start wearing them, your knee cooperates quickly: The patella cartilage that’s been rubbed down is able to regenerate and heal itself. Just give it the chance. (Note: Orthotics that end mid-arch DO NOT WORK!)
  • But orthotics alone won’t do it!  You need your other ally, the medial quad, the muscle in the front inside of your thigh that’s supposed to hold the kneecap in the center of the groove.  The stronger it is, the better it can do its job.  Terminal extension exercise (see below), which limit the motion to the last six inches of extension, don’t. – – – Do them daily until the pain disappears, then twice weekly.  Both legs, please (do one at a time), even if only one leg hurts.  Your knees are a matched pair, and what’s already happened on one side is a good bet for the other some day.

Terminal Extension Exercise

Photo

1. Sit up on a desk or high surface, stick your leg out straight, drop it about 6 inches and support it with a chair or stool.

2. Fill a gym bag or duffel with weights (books, soup cans, whatever) and strap it to the lower leg.

3. Lift only the last 6 inches (about 30 degrees) to full extension, hold for three seconds, then come slowly back down. Do five sets of 10 reps daily, with just enough weight that you get to five or six on that fifth set, and have to stop. Can’t get there? Take out some weight. Can do all 10? Add a book or some soup.

If you’re at a gym…
Use the leg extension weight machine.  Do one leg at a time.  Hold your one leg out to full extension with the weight.  Then drop your leg down 6 inches and put the pin in to lock it at that point.  Do five sets of 10 with as much weight as it takes to get to five or six on the fifth set.

  • In addition, physical therapy is initially needed to stretch the connective tissue that has tightened laterally holding the kneecap on the side and not allowing the medial quad to hold it in the center of the groove.  There is no substitute for a qualified physical therapist to stretch this retinaculum properly.  Once stretched to allow that kneecap to stay centered, your doing the exercises should be able to hold it for life.
  • IMPORTANT – – – Knee sleeves, braces, straps, and ACE bandages are out!!!  Think about it: If you compress the kneecap, every motion will press it into the groove. Keep it loose and free.  Those devices are making money for someone, but not helping you in the long term!

Will all the above cure you?  NO!!!  You could have your orthotics Super Glued to your feet for a year, and if you took them off, a minute later your inherited biomechanics would resume – and eventually the pain right along with it.  But utilitze the information give and make the exercises a part of your weekly routine, and you can rid yourself of this unnecessary pain forever.  (SOURCE – – – Runner’s World.com, Ask the Running Doc)

__________

In addition, to the above I spoke to Caitlin @ HealthyTippingPoint via email on the subject and received the following advise from her:

if you have recently really increased your mileage and frequency, i would say that is probably one of the primary causes of your knee pain. i would recommend seriously backing off until it goes away and then trying to increase even slower. you can get through MM just fine, I’m sure.  I would really recommend ICING right away more than anything. it makes a HUGE difference.  I take some ibuprofen after runs (don’t take too many! it can mess with kidneys and hydration. 

I also found the following information on her blog back when she was suffering from Knee Pain as well:

Here’s my (Caitlin’s) treatment plan:

  • Go to physical therapy to learn how to strength my VMO muscle.
  • Have the physical therapist teach me how to do patellar taping.  He said I was on the right track with my knee sleeves, but patellar taping will be stronger and more effective until my VMO muscle can do the work on its own.
  • Take an anti-inflammatory OTC drugs before and after my runs.
  • Ice my knees after a run to prevent inflammation.
  • Get orthotic arch supports because apparently I pronate a little bit, which is making the situation worse.

These are the orthotic arch supports the doctor recommended, they were $30.
 
CIMG6001

__________

In conclusion, I have decided to do the following after all my research and tips received:

  • Lay off the Long Runs for awhile, anything longer than 5 Miles! 

However, I will still run in this weeks 12th Annual MiracleMiles 15K Race that I have been preparing for over the past 4 months!!! 

I probably should not run, but I just can’t bear missing it after hard work I put in and the fact that I have been wanting to run in this race for over 3 years now and am finally ready, aside from my knee of course.

  • Ice my knee after running, in order to prevent inflammation per Caitlin @ HealthyTippingPoint.
  • Buy orthotic arch supports per the recommendation of the article I read at RunnersWorld.com and Caitlin @ HealthyTippingPoint.
  • Visit my local Runner’s Store, TrackShack, with my running shoes so they can offer their advise on my situation.
  • Make a doctor’s appointment if it doesn’t get better!

I will of course keep you posted on how things go!  And, fingers crossed this weekends race goes well!  =)

___________________

In other news – – – I thought you might be wondering what I have been EATING over the past few days, if so please check out the below:

Breakfast (Monday)

Lunch (Monday)

Dinner (Monday)

Dessert (Monday)

Breakfast (Tuesday)

 

Snack (Tuesday)

Lunch (Tuesday)

Dinner (Tuesday)

Dessert (Tuesday)

That about covers it! 

Pretty good for the most part, though I did eat a few to many chocolate covered raisins……=O

Oh, and I highly recommend the salads I have been eating these days:

  • Avocado Black Bean Corn & Cherry Tomato Salad w/Newman’s Lime Vinaigrette Dressing
  • Avocado Red Bean Corn & Cherry Tomato Salad w/Newman’s Olive Oil Vinaigrette Dressing

They a quite tasty and also very good for you – with all the healthy fats from the Avocado, fiber from the beans and vitamins from the cherry tomatoes.  Plus, they are very easy to make and affordable to eat!

__________________

FALL 2010

Guess What!?!?!

Today is the 1st Day of Fall!!!  =)

Which, just happens to be my favorite season……..for so many reasons!

  • The weather starts to get cooler, LOVE the nice cool breezy nights here in Central Florida
  • My daughter, mom, step-dad, step-son and dad were all born in the Fall! 
  • My wedding anniversay is also in the Fall – October 20th!
  • All the best holidays are in the Fall – – – Octoberfest, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve of course!

What is your favorite season and why!?!?!

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  1. September 22, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    What a disappointment! I was hoping that strap would be good news…I am in the market for one too. SIGH!

  2. September 23, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Ugh…so sorry to hear about the Runners Knee! I had a bad case of it this past February. I laid off of running completely for about 2 months before reintroducing myself slowly to it, but the exercises that PT gave me as well as continuous icing, stretching, cross training (with biking) and foam rolling did wonders.

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