A Serious Post (for a change)

>> Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I think most of you tune in to my blog for crazy stories and self-deprecating tidbits. This post is a little less fun. This is about what’s been going on with my stinkin' knee.

Since October, I’ve been battling with my left knee. I the last time I ran was in late November. And on that run, I only got 1 mile from home before my knee was in some serious pain. I figured it was IT Band issues, but I wasn’t sure. The pain was a little different. It was always lingering, whereas when I had IT band issues in high school, the pain was really only while running or right after. I stopped running and started stretching and icing (but only in moderation). I took it easy.

Finally, at the very end of December, I met with a sports med doctor. I had X-rays, he poked me a lot, and he figured it was “just IT band issues.” So I was told to meet with a physical therapist and keep stretching. I was also taking 2-4 ibuprofen per day (not for pain, but for helping to reduce any internal inflammation). I’m not big on taking pills - never have been - but my pharmacist wife thought it could help.

At my first meeting with the PT, she gave me some exercises and stretches and had me come back in 2 weeks. Nothing was really helping. I didn’t think this could be “just IT band issues” anymore. At that point, I stopped biking or spinning as well. So I just kept lifting weights (upper body only) and swimming.

At my most recent PT appointment, she finally agreed with me. She thinks my fibula might be moving incorrectly over my tibia, or my crap-ula is moving incorrectly over my poop-ula - I’m not good with anatomy; I don’t remember exactly what she said. Anyway, she massaged it out for 10 minutes and actually bruised me pretty bad, which is strange because it has been 2 years since my last bruise. It helped though. So I don’t care that she turned my knee purple. She can bruise me all she wants. (That’s not supposed to sound dirty.) She gave me one new exercises and sent me on my way.

My next PT appointment is this Friday, and it’ll be my 3rd meeting with her. My knee felt better for a day or 2 after our last meeting, but it’s by no means fixed. I woke up this morning, and it was very sore, and I haven’t done anything that would have aggravated it for a few days. So I’m really frustrated, and, as I’ve noted before, I’m starting to see my IM dreams slip away. I just can’t see training like this. I wake up in the morning, and it’s sore. I sit on my ass all day and it’s sore. I’m up on my feet teaching all day and it’s sore. What will happen on a 2 mile run? It’s won’t hold up. Because of all of this, I don’t think I’ll be able to compete in the wussy little indoor triathlon coming up in 3 weeks.

The good news in all of this is that I’ve been hitting the pool and getting ever faster. On Saturday, I swam 60 laps in our 25-yard pool - that’s 1 and 2/3s miles! And I just tallied up my totals for January, and I swam 10.5 miles over the course of the month (and that was after not doing much the first week of the month). So, if I’m looking for any sort of silver lining, I guess that’s it!

Well, off I go - these leg exercises won't do themselves....


RobbyB 3:56 PM, February 06, 2007  

Have you heard of 'Pain Free'? It's amazing how such simple exercises can do so much.

Also, to talk the talk now that you're walking the walk, consider referring your swim distances in multiples of 25s. So, your 60 lap swim is a 3000 ("three thousand").

Keep up the good work and don't worry about running. It's too cold!

Triteacher 4:31 PM, February 06, 2007  

Ugh, that does suck. Thank god for swimming, ay what!

:) 4:42 PM, February 06, 2007  

From one bum knee to another, I hope the pain ends soon.

Good luck.

John 5:06 PM, February 06, 2007  

Sorry to hear your knee is still giving you so much trouble. Knee pain sucks! Have you considered a second opinion?

Good Luck

TriShannon 5:54 PM, February 06, 2007  

I think maybe a second opinion is needed as well.

I had nagging knee pain for a year and same as you got to the point where I was doing nothing to aggravate it and it still hurt all the time. I went through 3 doctors, surgery, a cortozone shot and months of PT only to find I had a huge knot deep in my hamstring/adductor that was causing everything to pull on my knee. So, the source of the pain was not even in my knee. It took weeks of massage (which included bruising), combined with stretching to get it completely worked out. Anyway, just a thought to check the muscles that attached at or around the point of pain.

Allez 7:58 PM, February 06, 2007  

That sounds like the exact same thing that kept me from running a marathon in Dec. Sorry to hear it! Have you tried any different running shoes?

Allez 7:58 PM, February 06, 2007  

That sounds like the exact same thing that kept me from running a marathon in Dec. Sorry to hear it! Have you tried any different running shoes?

RunBubbaRun 5:30 AM, February 07, 2007  

Hang in there, the season is still early. I was injured during mid-season training last year for IM, I felt the same way for IM, it sucks big time. Get different opinions, get different therapy. There is a cure somewhere, the best doctor could be you, there is so much info out there. I went to 3 different doctors before they told me what I wanted to hear.. I think I knew more about my injury more then they did sometimes.

Steve Stenzel 8:23 AM, February 07, 2007  

Thanks everyone for your comments and advice!!

Joy | Love | Chaos 10:32 AM, February 07, 2007  

Remember, the hardest part is figuring out what the problem is. If you've been stretching and treating an IT issue, but really you have a floating knee cap...well, not too much help. If you can figure out what the real issue is, you can find the right knee support for your sessions, create a strength plan that helps support what needs support, and plan your training accordingly. You're almost there!

(btw, I have ZERO advice on what to do about your crap-ula/poop-ula issue. You're On.Your.Own with that one...)

qcmier 4:04 PM, February 07, 2007  

ITB issues do suck. I got over it by resisting the urge to run. Yeah it sucked. Good luck with it.

Julia 1:55 AM, February 08, 2007  

The problem is mostly like NOT in the knee but more related to your posture or misalignment in the pelvis area. Find a good Osteopath who can take a look at your posture. You're probably favoring the knee so you put more stress in it. Lay off the antinflammatories...

teacherwoman 12:29 PM, February 08, 2007  

Sorry to hear about the knee pain. ATleast you have the pool to strengthen your body while recovering...right?

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