New to running and love it but now have hurt knee - need reassurance please

(11 Posts)
Homerun Sun 16-Mar-14 08:07:48

I started running on a treadmill about 10 weeks ago and built up to running outdoors. Alas, my very first run I strained my knee (wrong shoes, stupid route maybe). I have always walked lots (prob about 10000 steps most days as I don't drive).
This was 7 days ago and I rested it completely (as far as possible with small kids) for 4 days and then saw a physio on Friday as by that point there was no improvement and in the evenings it was so bad I couldn't weight bear. She suspects patella femoral syndrome (basically runners knee). I walk loads, so it could be related to that plus the extra strain of running. My questions to you experienced people are:
1. When will it get better? Sometimes I think it's getting there, I do a bit too much and then I can't walk sad
2. Should runners knee be as bad as non weightbearing? Or is it something worse?
3. How can I keep fit while recuperating? I have worked so hard to get to this point.
I am getting totally obsessed with it (I keep checking for signs of recovery, google the symptoms constantly and am boring everyone - mostly dh - with it). I am just so desparate to start running and walking again. I found the running totally life changing in terms of my mental health. I really need to get back to it .
Any wise words. Thanks for reading.

Ladycurd Sun 16-Mar-14 08:16:57

Google knee strengthening exercises there are quite a few you can do which will help. I like the knee dance ones, basically sit on floor leaning against wall sit up straight with legs out in front and get your kneecaps to jiggle but don't lock them. Lots of other exercises to help.

Secondly get good trainers. I only started running 8weeks ago and have gone through knee hip and ankle pain, got my gait checked at a proper running shop spent £100 and it has transformed my running, no more pain.

You could also try acupuncture for the knee, but defo really focus on knee strengthening exercises, I was also told squats can help as they srethen the leg muscles that support the knee but you have to be careful not to put your knee over the foot in squatting.

Good luck.

Running is ace I am a total convert not having run or been an exerciser at all before!

Homerun Sun 16-Mar-14 08:24:33

Thanks Ladycurd. How bad was your knee pain? Did you just run through it? I am not sure whether to totally rest to heal it - will knee exercises at this point help or hinder recovery.
You're right about the trainers - am so annoyed with myself that i scrimped on them and thereby my health.

OneHandFlapping Sun 16-Mar-14 08:55:15

I haven't got any answers for you, but I've noticed that running on a treadmill is very different from running outside, and it definitely uses different muscles.

So when you transfer to running outside, you need to build up distance and speed slowly, to allow the new muscles and tendons to strengthen gradually. Don't just think that because you can do a certain distance on a treadmill, it will easily transfer to the same distance on the ground.

Walking also seems to use different muscles - especially in the lower leg.

LordEmsworth Sun 16-Mar-14 09:22:05

Didn't the physio answer some of these questions?

Do not run through pain - taking a bit longer to recover now, will minimise the chances of making it worse and leading to a longer lay off. I know it's tempting grin

Cross training is the way to keep fit meantime - swimming is good because it keeps weight off; elliptical cross trainers are meant to be good because they don't put strain on the knee, so that might be an option. Strength/resistance training, especially for the core, is also good as that helps your running technique as well - have you looked at the Runner's World website, they have a section on injuries and the mag often has routines/exercises to help beat/prevent injury, which might be helpful

Ladycurd Sun 16-Mar-14 12:11:58

I was doing couch to 5k so interval training and building up. My knee pain was never bad enough not to run on it but I did have a week off for ankle pain but that has been transformed by good trainers. Agree with others do non impact exercise in meantime and gentle knee strengthening exercises in meantime.

Homerun Sun 16-Mar-14 16:02:16

You're right, oneHand - the treadmill as so much easier grin but a whole lot more boring. I didn't really appreciate the extra fitness required for outdoor running and was probably a bit gung ho and didn't pace myself better. Am really paying for that now.

Lord and Lady I couldn't run through the pain if I wanted to (which of course I do!) as my knee gives way with it. And in answer to your question Lord, the physio was quite vague (ie she said it would heal between 2 and 6 weeks but cld be longer; to walk on it to the point where it hurt - which has made it worse). I thought I needed some 'real life' answers - professionals sit on the fence a bit, I think.

I did try swimming g yesterday (crawl to lessen knee impact) but as I was in agony by the evening I wondered whether it had made it worse.

You read horror stories about knee injuries on the net, how they become chronic and you never run again....

kaizen Sun 16-Mar-14 18:01:42

Get a sports massage to loosen your IT band, as that pulls on your knee cap and can cause runners knee. Also tight quads can. Just google a local sports masseur as you will need one as a runner!! Don't just focus on the knee as it will be connected to the rest of your leg muscles. As a new runner, it takes a while to get on board with this but nothing injures itself in isolation.

Also, beware doing wimming- I'm a swimmer and breaststroke and front crawl puts pressure on your knee joint. You could swim with a float between your thighs if you want to stay fit and exercise. Sorry that's all a bit rushed, but I'm on my way out. I've had runners knee and it will be ok grin

LordEmsworth Sun 16-Mar-14 19:09:50

I am surprised that the physio wasn't a bit more helpful... Given what you've said, I'd be tempted to take a few days, maybe a week, with no exercise at all. I know it sounds like a long while but as you say, knees are quite vulnerable and hard to fix, so better safe than sorry! Are you familiar with RICE - rest, ice, compression, elevation? Maybe do that for a few days.

Then some cross training - walking, swimming, core exercises etc - for another week, and ease back into running (in your whizzy new shoes). Not going hell for leather all at once and trying to make up the missed time!

I did have two weeks off running with an ankle injury last month - nowhere near as bad as yours sounds, and it was really hard to do, but I am back up to where I was before now. Agree on the sports massage, a good one should HURT but it will fix you!

youbethemummylion Sun 16-Mar-14 19:16:42

Ooh I feel your pain. I did total rest for 2 weeks (as much as you can with kids) then a week on bike/cross trainer then built up the running slow and short at first then uncreasing speed and distance. Get some patella bands, some proper trainers (get your gait analized). Ice your knee/knees (mine was in both) after each run wether it hurts or not. Well thats what I did anyway but might help.

Homerun Sun 16-Mar-14 19:54:08

Thanks for all your advice and your reassurance - kaizen, I believe you! I have been doing RICE Lord, but probably not enough and I've been doing too much on my feet, which negates the food stuff. It's hard to sit down with kids...
Yoube - I will follow that I think; hoping I can get back to proper walking next week. Patience, patience.
Losing running is like unrequited love - so much longing!

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