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Ouch!

When I was in college I would run up the stairs to work and I would feel a very sharp pain under my right kneecap. I would stop and it would immediately go away.

Fast forward 20+ (cough) years and the knee pain has gotten steadily worse alternated with good days.

We had a huge snow storm followed by ice storm and I attacked the driveway with zeal (I had cabin fever and had to get out). I not only cleared my drive way and sidewalk but my neighbors on both sides and across the street (I live in a neighborhood populated with people in their 80's - I'm the spring chicken).

It took me about three hours and I was feeling great until the next morning. Both my knees ached. Usually I have been plagued by knee pain in my right knee only but I could barely walk!

It's now been three weeks. My knee pain in my left knee has cleared. I have only ran twice since then and after each time, I am sidelined with aching pain in my right knee.

I started taking ibuprofen twice a day to deal with the achiness. Today my knee is better but twinges....

Any advice would be really really really appreciated!

Suesan
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Any advice would be really really really appreciated!

Move into younger neighborhood?

Sorry, couldn't help it.

Ivan
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Usually I have been plagued by knee pain in my right knee
...
I have only ran twice since then and after each time, I am sidelined with aching pain in my right knee.



A problem with the knee causing significant pain and physical disability that recurs and doesn't resolve quickly needs to be looked into. I'd get an MRI of the knee, and then you'll be in a better position to decide if you need to modify your running plan or repair the knee problem to hopefully get back to baseline.

Having said that, there's nothing wrong with trying anti-inflammatory medication, glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, or any combination thereof, and watchful waiting.

The first approach is more aggressive while the second is more conservative. Your preferences and what you're comfortable with can guide you with either approach.
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A problem with the knee causing significant pain and physical disability that recurs and doesn't resolve quickly needs to be looked into. I'd get an MRI of the knee, and then you'll be in a better position to decide if you need to modify your running plan or repair the knee problem to hopefully get back to baseline.

Drats! I went for a walk, yes just a walk today and my knee is killing me. It didn't hurt when I woke up. It now does. And if I cross my leg or move my knee cap from side to side, sharp to dull pain.


drats drats drats drats!

Suesan
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Ivan,

You're tooooo funny!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sue
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Nerokitty, I see you kneed some advice, <ivan groans>

As with most injuries, a complex interaction of factors are usually involved. Also obvious, is that overdoing it by acting as a human snow blower, stirred the hornet's nest around both your knees. If only one knee hurts you could completely attribute the to the problem going back to your college days.

There are many things in the differential diagnosis (medical term for complete list of suspects). The list includes patello-femoral syndrome, an old meniscus tear, ligamentous laxity, and old ligament rupture.

Runner's knee aka chondromalacia (old term) aka patello-femoral syndrome (new term) can be contributed to by several causes:

1. Tight muscles (most commonly the quads, hamstrings, IT band or gastrocnemius).

2. weak muscles (most commonly quads, hams, and IT band). Rest can make runner's knee worse. If the quads atrophy with rest, they decrease the lever arm of the IT band causing IT band tendonitis or runners knee.

3. Foot pronation. If you have a foot type that "flattens out," it causes a complex set of foot motions which translates into internal rotation of the ankle. Since the "foot bone is connected to the leg bone," the knee attachment on the leg internally rotates. Some books call this a high Q angle. What it does is make the kneecap track off kilter.

4. Poorly designed running shoes or ones that are not a match for your feet. Worn out shoes are also a known culprit.

5. Past damage to your knee. That dance or skiing injury can come back to haunt even after many years.


Anti-inflammatory medication is mostly a treatment of the symptoms. It may retard the progression of symptoms but is not curative by itself. Glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and MSM have been known to help in a few cases of degenerative arthritis.

An MRI or other imaging tests can help in diagnosis but nothing beats a thorough history and physical examination by a good professional who happens to also understand the sports aspect of this equation.

The best treatment is to find and address the cause. The good professional will address at least all 5 areas above.

Instride

An HMO a day keeps the specialist away.
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Suesan,

I've had both chondromalacia (sp?) and tendenitis on both of my knees at different points. I've found that glucosamine helps, but long term what really does the trick is leg extensions (the exercise in which you sit with a bar across your ankles and straighten your leg), many reps with low weight(I do three sets of 20) performed one leg at a time. In addition, you have some inflamation and icing your knees will help the pain. Body Glove makes a ice pack neoprene holder that allows you to move around with the ice on the knee, you can take a look at one here:

http://www.volleyhut.com/volleyball/Products/P-1901.html

Finally, anti-imflamatories will work to reduce the pain, but unless you do something for the prevention side, more than likely it will return.

Good luck,

Beast
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Thank you for all your great replies.

I think I am going to have to see a specialist on this one.

After yesterday's long walk, I'm again walking around like I was a world war one vet (and I feel as old as one).

Ugh. I don't think falling out of the sky in graduate school and hitting a runway with my knee helped either. (My one attempt at sky diving and I do mean ONE) :)

Suesan
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