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Hello,

This is going to be a bit of an essay so please persevere with it and thanks in advance for any help.

Basically I have a bad knee and am seeking some advice on the best way to go about bringing it back to full fitness. I'll start at the beginning!

In the middle of December last year I decided that I was too fat (approaching 15 stone, 5' 8", BMI of over 30, clinically obese at 23!!!) and too unfit (I'd had minor flertations with jogging, 5 a side football etc) so I decided the time was now and entered a half marathon that was at the end of May.

I went out for my first jog around my estate and was out of the house for less than 15 minutes and that included having to walk home up the hill. I kept at it and gradually increased the distances according to a training plan I downloaded (short run tues & thurs with an increasing distance on a Sunday). I improved quite quickly and lost weight. In March I did a 10k race in 54 minutes and all was looking good.

One week I ran 8 miles on a Thursday, 'felt' my knees a bit, then on the Sunday I did another 8 miles and after about 6 both knees really hurt and I walked home. There was no particular twist or incident.

I was a bit worried but didn't really think much of it, thought that they'd get better with a weeks rest. They didn't so I went to a running shop in Bristol (Easy Runner I think - highly recommended) for some advice. The very helpful guy watched me run and said I was stiff around the waist, I was wearing Asics GT2110's that he said didn't provide enough support, I ran over his pad that showed that I overpronate quite a lot, anyway, he told me to see a physio.

I went to see a physio and he said that I have tight muscles in my thighs that have been pulling on the knee causing the problem. There was also swelling. He gave me some massage and ultrasonic treatment and took my £25 for his 25 minutes. Said that he'd like to see me a couple of times a week and that it could be a long process. He noticed that when I stand my feet point outwards, my worse knee more than the better knee. I showed him my running shoes and he didn't seem to consider anything to do with pronation. I saw him a few more times before it got too expensive.

I then went to the local college for treatment by the trainees (£7 for over an hour). Diagnosis is completed with one of their teachers, and they noticed that my ITBs (muscle between hip and outer knee) were particulary tight and again decided that this was causing the strain on the knee. More massage, heat lamps, parafin wax, suction cups, ultrasound, once a week for about a month until they broke up for summer! I was still exercising at the gym on the bikes / cross trainer but no running. The half marathon was now out of the window.

The knee seemed to get better and I gave it a lot of rest but when I tried the odd mile on the tread mill or played 5 a side football and whilst it didn't hurt I could feel it. In the process of playing football I got some nasty blisters on the inside ball of my feet, this bought back to me my pronating feet so I got some insoles, something that running shop had suggested before.

I tried them with a 3 mile run the other day but after about 2 miles the knee hurt and I had blisters (to be expected!).

The knee hurts at the front in the middle just at the bottom of the knee cap when I use it, but the swelling I get is on the top inside of the knee, and its sore to push.

My ITB's or other thigh muscles aren't tight anymore and I stretch properly.

I don’t really know where to go with it now, its been dragging on. I want to start running again for general fitness (I'm now playing Sunday league football) and I want to complete a half marathon to prove all the mick takers from when I dropped out wrong.

Would there be any mileage in seeing my GP? Something that seems obvious from writing this is that maybe I should go back to the physio as much as I can afford…

I've lost 2 stone and am now about 12' 10".

Any suggestions, info on stretches / exercises or other info would be much appreciated.
 

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Knee problem

You need to go and se a good recommended podiatrist book an appointment as soon as possible you problem is biomechanical and no matter how much treatment, stretching or corrective exercise you do will get to the core of the problem, orthotics will enable the foot to correctly strike the ground and lessen or get rid of the exesive pronation and many of the problems. in the meantime find a good sports & remedial therapist you need between 2-3 sessions before you wear the orthotics & the same after the orthotics are fited and then regular massage sessions at least every six weeks
 

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I suffered really badly with tight ITBs last summer and I was off running for 3 months and even when I returned to running I had niggles around my knee and hip particularly in my left leg. I've had custom made orthotics, tried loads of different styles of running shoes with my orthotics. I've also had regular sports massage and some chiropractic treatment and its got to a stage where it is manageable.

In my case I have knock knees (they turn in slightly) and I overpronate more on my right foot than my left. If your GP is sympathetic and fairly proactive you could ask him to refer you to an NHS physio - it does get very expensive (hate to think of how much I've spent) but I did manage two half marathons this year but I'm generally chasing some injury or other and if its not my knees and hips its my shin. I still love running though.

All I can say is do all your stretches and strengthening exercises on a daily basis, ice after every run, make sure you rest between runs and I would look into a more supportive shoe as ITBS is generally linked to overpronation.

The ITB is actually a tendon not a muscle so most stretches are aimed at stretching the muscles that connect to if mostly those in the hips and backside. My personnel favourite is the pigeon pose (its a yoga position). Sit as though going to sit cross legged and tuck your right leg under your torso, extend your left leg behind you and lower your torso to the floor. Hold your stretch for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side. You should feel the stretch in your bum and hip.

Good luck and hang in there.
 

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I agree with what SE has said, keep up with the stretching, and strengthening exercises.

But also, I don't think you are giving your knee much of a chance to recover. I've often heard of runners who also play football constantly getting injured, probably because football stresses the knees even more.

If you want to be able to train properly and successfully complete a half marathon, the stark truth is that you'll have to let your knee recover properly
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies and advice.

I see your in Plymouth, I'm in Saltash! Small world!

I've got some ITB stretches to do, but where can I find any info on strengthening exercises?

Looking back at what I wrote I think the problem stems from what I was told about my legs not aligning correctly from the hip. Any advice on how to increase the movement there would be very helpful.

Trinity, the knee had a good couple of months to rest when it first happened and it started to get better, then as soon as I used it again it starts to hurt. I'm no expert but I dont think the problem has been rectified and if I give it all the rest in the world it will still come back. So I dont want to rest it unless I know that rest is what it needs.

My understanding is that this is a wear injury from misalignment and not a twisting injury so the playing football shouldn't cause this injury any more of a problem, but I accept that playing football only increase the risk of injury...

If my knee starts hurting I stop what I'm doing, but that only seems to happen when running. I enjoy the football too much to stop!

Thanks again.
 

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Actually I'm in Manchester this weekend - I completed in a 5 mile race in Salford and did better than expected considering I've not had much opportunity for training recently.

Have a look at www,physioroom.com basically you want to do some clamshells or lateral leg raises. Start off with 10/20 reps on each side and build up to 3 sets of 20 on each leg. Pelvic tilts and pelvic rotations will also help as well. Pilates could really help you strengthen your core muscles I used to go to a class in Plymouth and some of the lads from Plymouth Albion used to come along as well.

How long can you run for without the pain coming on?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well done and thanks again.

About a mile on the road, during football on grass its normally ok, sometimes feels 'warm' afterwards.
 

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miles... I wasn't suggesting that you give up football, just that if your knee is carrying an injury, whether it hurts on the field or not, it's likely to take longer to heal completely if you're putting it under any kind of stress.

The 'warm' feeling that you get in your knee could be due to friction.

Bottom line is, if a knee injury isn't respected, treated, and given the rest it needs to fully recover before embarking on a half marathon training schedule, then it could take you out for months.

I know physios can drain your pocket, but if you get a good one then it's worth it in the end

good luck
 

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I had a similar problem with the ITBs that flared up a week before my first Olympic distance triathlon. I saw a physio nearly every day for that week, luckily paid for by work, and the thing that seemed to help the most was the manipulation. Particularly helpful and painful was where he looked for the spots that were tender, then pressed on them incredibly hard until the pain went away.
You can do this yourself or with a friend, although I would recommend that you take advice first, and don't do it too hard, the physio is after all a professional.
Also the stretching is massively important. I'm a chef and am on my feet for up to 18 hours a day, and didn't do much exercise for years. I was a national level decathlete when I was a teenager and thought I would be fine, but I found that the years of standing had taken their toll and I was finding all sorts of problems that I didn't expect.
Be patient, it's sure to get sorted out eventually, and congratulations on taking the initiative to be healthy and fit!
 

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miles said:
Hello,.............physio as much as I can afford…

I've lost 2 stone and am now about 12' 10".

Any suggestions, info on stretches / exercises or other info would be much appreciated.
Trawling through old posts looking for sympathy with my current thigh strain I cam across this!

12' 10"... It's not a physio you need, more like Ross Mcwhirter!
 

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well I have read your story and with my recent bad experience,I have to make some advices..
First of all your objective is giving weight,running is not the only method..Secondly in Running you exert tension by every hit to your joints..And muscles are safeguarding the mechanics..I suppose your muscles are not properly strong to go on with high performence..Therefore my humble advice is..

Make long term planning and never set a goal.Human body is not machine.try to make your muscles strong and know that you can achieve nothing in one day..
I advice for some time swim..By swimming you loose weigh and you can make your muscles evolve..

Dont forget,avoiding an injury is much more difficult than having one so set difficult goal and listen the voice of your body and slow down..Swim in safe shores....
 
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