QUESTION: Have you ever had runner’s knee? And what can you recommend?
ANSWER: Yes… See the bruised and swollen specimen on the right? That’s my actual knee. I had a knee operation at age 14. And while the hole in my knee caused by a broken off piece of cartilage apparently closed up fairly well, there must still be a bit of scar tissue in the area, as my knee will swell up anytime I increase or decrease impact sports (basketball, running etc) too quickly. When I maintain a fairly steady level of exercise or increase my running volume slowly, the knee is fine. I put this down to keeping my knee joint well maintained by creating strong supportive muscles that keep it tracking in alignment> The moment anything goes out, my knee hurts.
Comparing this to what is commonly known as patellofemoral pain syndrome – or runner’s knee -, I have all the common symptoms of an overuse injury, with pain below or to the side of the kneecap, swelling of the bursa and a responsiveness to treatments commonly recommended for runner’s knee.
SOLUTION: I use Brauer Joint and Muscle Gel or Voltarengel if the inflammation is back. Over the course of the last decade, I have also learned that hitting the knee with 24-48 hours of Voltaren (or Nurofen) works best to bring the inflammation down. Also, RICE: rest, ice, compress and elevate. Boring but effective. Best to do this as soon as you have symptoms. Generally, waiting and continued running will make the symptoms much worse.
When the pain is there, I lay off my running for a few days, until pain is gone or tolerable. (NO twinging or sharp pain!) I alternate my running surfaces and love soft sand and trails for my knees.
Also, I do alignment work for the tracking of my legs on the reformer and sometimes wear Reebok Runtones to get my hip stabilising muscles to work – they have little air pockets that make your legs work similar to running on uneven terrain.
To prevent flare-ups, I take glucosamine, chondroitin and lyprinol and have ginger (in everything and anything). I also sometimes strap my knees if I feel there’s a misalignment. Keeping your bodies general acidity levels down is the best thing I can recommend: have your greens, lay off caffeine, sugar and toxins.
Any questions? Would love to hear from you!