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Anyone successfully got over runners' knee / knee pain?

(31 Posts)
runningLou Wed 22-Mar-17 11:22:06

Looking for some positive stories to cheer me up! Am sat here in my office chair debating taking ibuprofen as my knee is hurting. First experienced knee pain related to running in 2013 when training for a half marathon. Then got much worse and after lots of to-ing and fro-ing with physios and orthopaedics eventually had an op for a bad cartilage tear and cyst in Spring 2015.
Recovered really well and had just under 2 years of no knee pain but then recently upped my mileage to approx 30 miles per week (running with a friend who was marathon training - I'm not!!) and the knee pain is back with a vengeance.
Not sure what to do ... is this it for me and running now? I feel so disheartened as I'd had 2 years with no problems and I'd hoped that the op had sorted it.
Have seen a physio who has said that cartilage surgery weakens the knee joint so I am more likely to get injured.
I really, really love running, not just for health benefits but also mental health. I don't want to give up.
Has anyone used certain exercises to strengthen the knee and gone back to running?
Am currently cycling a lot and thinking of doing more swimming too as low impact.

floatingfrog Wed 22-Mar-17 11:26:47

I have terrible pain in one knee even after one run now. sad You probably have good knee supports? I think my running days are over (44). I was incredibly athletic when I was young so am paying for it now.

I am a demon in the swimming pool now and get a lot of pleasure from swimmimg. Maybe try swimming.

runningLou Wed 22-Mar-17 11:29:21

Don't have knee supports - what type of things do you mean?
I do have orthotics in my shoes (over-pronate) and the physio recently showed me some knee-taping which seemed to help the last time I ran.
It doesn't hurt while I'm running at all, but it does afterwards, and especially if I've been sitting still for a while and the knee seizes up a bit. I think that's typical of runner's knee.

floatingfrog Wed 22-Mar-17 11:33:03

Yes mine hurts when I've finished running and especially when I go upstairs. I have just order some supports off Amazon where you strap on a sturdy elasticated support and it supposed to stop the knee moving around. I am going to give that a go as I have heard a lot of people can run with no problems when using these supports.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Wed 22-Mar-17 11:39:35

I have apparently developed degenerative meniscus problems and my running days appear to be oversad My pain started a year ago and got progressively worse.

Like you I ran for mental health as much as fitness but for the last 6 months I haven't even been able to walk any distance, never mind run, it's all gone to shit!

I think once you have a weakness it can be difficult to overcome. I've been told surgery is unlikely to help because it's not a straightforward tear. I've had physio, a steroid injection and more recently PRP injection but all I've got to show for it is a lighter bank balance, my knee is not really improving.

It's crap, hope things improve for youthanks

FeelingSmurfy Wed 22-Mar-17 11:42:39

Not runners knee, but I have undiagnosed knee pain and acupuncture on my knees makes a big difference

Fintress Wed 22-Mar-17 11:47:38

My husband was a marathon runner and then he started with knee problems. He was advised to give it up and do other form of exercise. Pounding the pavements is really hard on the knees too. Maybe drop your mileage a bit? There are tons of knee exercises on the net you could try and see what's best for you. Knees are precious, we don't really appreciate them until they give us problems. Speaking from experience and a couple of major surgeries down the road. Hoping you find something that helps.

floatingfrog Wed 22-Mar-17 11:54:40

Yes Fintress. I feel that the less pressure on them is the best way forward for the future. I don't want to exacerbate the problem. How old are you OP?

runningLou Wed 22-Mar-17 11:57:50

I'm 37. Don't drive so very reliant on walking and cycling to get around and I don't want to end up finding everyday activities painful, due to running ...
My Mum has osteoarthritis in her knees and finds walking difficult, my Dad has just been offered a knee replacement at 66 - previous multiple marathon runner.
I feel like my family / injury history is probably indicating stop running but I really enjoy it!!

floatingfrog Wed 22-Mar-17 13:04:50

It's hard get your head around stopping. It has taken me 5 years to realise that my running days are over. You can still get 50% of the high by swimming fast front crawl!

Sorry OP it sounds like you come from a talented sporting family.

runningLou Wed 22-Mar-17 13:45:56

You can still get 50% of the high by swimming fast front crawl!

This sounds great! But I can't do crawl due to a dodgy dislocating shoulder (all my joints are a bit crap basically - hypermobility etc) so am reduced to sedate breast stroke!
I do get something like that feeling after a tough spinning class but there's something about being in the open air for running too ...

Fintress Wed 22-Mar-17 15:47:20

You could try high intensity interval walking, that's what I do. After years of hellish knee problems/surgery I have had both knees replaced and I'm a lot younger than your dad. I was a runner, keep fit fanatic, skiier, was jogging 3 days before my daughter was born but out of the blue my knees packed in and I had to give up all my activities and adjust accordingly. For every pound you weigh, you put at least 3 times that through your knees when running.

floatingfrog Wed 22-Mar-17 16:12:48

Sorry Lou. How about cycling outdoors at a club? How are knees when you cycle?

runningLou Wed 22-Mar-17 16:44:34

Fintress yes I know ... That's another thing that worries me about giving up running, that I'd put on weight and that would make things even worse for my knees.
floating my knees are ok on the bike. Physio said cycling should be ok as there's less weight on knees and feet are anchored?
Do enjoy cycling outdoors but not as much as running. Also I don't get my heart rate up or push myself on the bike as much as when I run.

Lousylo66 Wed 22-Mar-17 17:23:31

I didn't run massive distances - just a hilly 5k x 3 a week but also did several high intensity spinning and body combat classes. Ironically I was prob the fittest I've ever been in my late 40s ! Last year I sustained a meniscul tear and cyst behind my left knee. Couldn't exercise let alone run for a good 7 or 8 months. I also have a job that entails spending many hours on my feet (HCP) which exacerbated the problem.
Over the last few months I've been building up the exercise - started gentle spinning but avoiding the uphill standing sections to now running some very very slow 5 - 6 kms again - bought some new trainers and wear supports on both knees - look like robocop ! also much more focused on cool downs and stretching post run - I suspect I neglected that before to be honest sad I also try to run on softer surfaces - regularly do a lovely run through a pine forest near home I still get niggles now and again but just try to make sure I have decent rest intervals between runs. The physio I was referred to did give me
a comprehensive selection of knee exercises which I found helped a lot too you've just got to make time to practice them every day Hope that helps a bit !

Emphasise Wed 22-Mar-17 17:32:59

Very often it's nothing to do with the knee which is why treatment and supports don't help - you're treating the wrong bit.

It could be a problem with your it band,hip or back among other things. I'd see an osteopath and ask them to check you over A good one will find the problem without you telling them where it hurts

Fintress Wed 22-Mar-17 17:36:50

Yes cycling and cross trainer are fine. I hate swimming so don't do it. Only time my body sees a swimming pool is when I'm lying beside it in a tropical country with a cocktail in my hand.

floatingfrog Thu 23-Mar-17 12:49:59

I have just done an intensive dance workout with supports. I normally cannot put any weight through the knee whilst going upstairs after this workout but I have no pain today!smileThe supports have definitely helped I will try them on a run at the weekend.

runningLou Fri 24-Mar-17 12:22:05

That's great news floatingfrog! Which ones are you using?
Just been reading some stuff online about imbalance between quads and hamstrings causing knee pain, so I'll have to try some stretches later ...

floatingfrog Fri 24-Mar-17 15:14:06

They are Calibre knee supports from Amazon. I will have a look at the quads and hamstring stuff too thanks.

Anglaise1 Sun 26-Mar-17 08:35:03

So sorry about your knee runninglou. I have a torn meniscus and a cyst in my knee and my knee always hurts but most of the time it is bearable. It is always worse after intervals so I do fewer of those. I also find that running trails instead of the road is much less painful for my knee. Occasionally the knee pain is unbearable so I have a couple of weeks off and then it goes back to normal. Would a cortisone injection be an option at all? A friend of mine has had an operation which and is now having cortisone injections as he still has some pain. Good luck.

lljkk Sun 26-Mar-17 10:25:22

Scary thread!

megletthesecond Sun 26-Mar-17 10:36:11

Yes. I saw a physio and she traced the problem back up to weak quads and lower abs. I had some exercises to do and try to remember to engage my abs if I feel any discomfort in my knee.

SeekingSugar Sun 26-Mar-17 10:40:04

This is going to sound whack but I had knee pain for years, nothing helped, until I tried Reiki. Cured on the spot and it's never come back. Might be worth a try!!

daisychain01 Sun 26-Mar-17 11:53:36

Knee pain can be resolved with a good quality physiotherapist who is knowledgeable in the biomechanics of the knee in the context of running.

In short the action of running builds up the hamstrings which are much stronger than the quads at the front of the leg, and this weakens the quads which are meant to support the knee cap. It creates misalignment of the knee and multiple problems.

Solution is to rebalance the quad muscle strength with 100s of daily reps which involves straightening and bracing the affected leg and using a small sandbag or weight on the ankle, just raising and lower the leg. Sets of 50 or start with 25 and build up. Do on both legs will keep them balanced.

It sounds tedious but if you enjoy running like I do it's a sacrifice worth paying.

Keep the exercises going regularly even when you're better.

Also, downward facing dog is great to stretch the hamstrings and keep them from shortening which is a very common plague for runners.

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