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Offline Mooza

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PT caused big knees
« on: October 25, 2004, 07:50:06 PM »
Hello There-
I'm new to this site and will try to make my long story short.  I just completed my first marathon on October 3rd.  The Portland Marathon.  

During training I developed hamstring pain and stiffness on my left leg.  I saw a chiropractor and massage therapist who helped alleviate the acute pain and I was able to complete the marathon.  Although it didn't feel good at all at the end.

I've followed a the Marathon Clinic training clinic schedule during training and in the weeks after the event.  

2 weeks after the marathon I went to see a PT who looked at my gait, my shoes, leg length etc., strength between left and right leg, flexibility and didn't see any one thing that was leading to my hamstring issue, but  alot of little things.  She gave me some stretches to do 4 times/day for my quads, hamstrings, calves and inner thighs and has begun treating me with ASTYM on my left leg.  She's found alot of scar tissue around my knee, inner thigh,  hamstring, especially where it meets the glut and calf.  The hamstring has gotten a little better, but I don't know if it's because I've decreased my mileage and am avoiding hills.  

My knees have felt stiffer than normal during training, but not enough to cause me to seek treatment .

This leads to the knee issue.  The quad stretch was one in which you start on your hands and knees and put one leg from knee to toe on a wall behind you and then come up on the front knee.  I could do this one OK to stretch my left quad, but my right quad was really tight and I could not come all the way up into the complete stretch.  After doing this stretch for about 4 days along with some squats on a few days, both knees got really swollen.  My right knee about twice the size of the left with most of the swelling to the right and a little above the kneecap.  I thought it interesting that my right knee is worse than my left since it has been my left leg with all of the issues thus far.

I've stopped that stretch and let the PT know, but she didn't seem that concerned about it.  She gave me a less difficult quad stretch.  My knee was really swollen on Friday and I iced it and took anti-inflammatories.  On Saturday, the swelling was mostly gone and I ran 8 miles with some hills.  My hamstring bothered me but not my knees so I thought it was OK.  That afternoon, I went up and down some stairs working in our house and by late afternoon, my knees were so swollen I couldn't walk without a pronounced limp.  I iced several times Sat.  night and several times during the day Sunday and did the stretches that I could do.  (Only the calf and hamstring ones.)  This morning, the swelling is down enough where I'm just walking a bit stiffly, but not limping.  

I have another appt. on Wednesday with the PT.

I'm extremely frustrated since I went in to the PT with one hamstring injury and now have issues with both knees too.  My knees are making daily tasks and sleeping difficult, while the hamstring thing was annoying while running and sitting at work, but didn't prevent me from most of my daily activities.  


What is causing the swelling?

Should I run?

If no, what kind of aerobic exercise can I do that will not exacerbate the issue?

What kind of stretches can I do that will not exacerbate the issue?

What kind of strengthening exercises can I do that will not exacerbate the issue.  

I don't want to lose the fitness I gained during marathon training.  

Sorry this is so long.

I appreciate any help, advice you can give.  

Offline Janet

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Re: PT caused big knees
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2004, 06:35:47 AM »
I would definitely suggest you stop running until you get things under control. And you're right not to do anything that makes things worse. If you have swelling, you should be icing and elevating, and taking it easy.

It doesn't sound like you know the cause of your problems, so it can't be treated correctly. Have you seen an orthopedic surgeon? I can tell it drives you crazy to be inactive, but best to be safe until you get some better answers.

Torn quad tendon repair & VMO advancement 4/99, MUA with LOA 10/99, Patella baja and arthrofibrosis, LR & medial release & LOA 5/01, LOA & chondroplasty 6/03,TKR on 11/06, MUA 12/06. From perfect knees to a TKR in 7 years, all from a fall on a wet floor...and early undiagnosed scar tissue.

Offline MHB

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Re: PT caused big knees
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2004, 08:59:53 AM »
Hi Mooza,

I sure can't guess what your knee problems are -- maybe you need a checkup with a knee specialist. I can report what I did, some years ago, when running too much too soon brought me knee problems in a hurry, which I had never had before through all kinds of sport endeavors.

I visited an orthopedist, also consulted with my brother, who is an orthopedist. Their opinions, without many diagnostics, differed considerably. I chose the most conservative remedy to try.

I quit running -- really tough because I was somewhat addicted to aerobic exercise. The fill in the gap, I used a Nordic Track ski machine, which one can set at a high enough incline/resistance to get all the aerobic experience one can handle! I used this machine for an hour or so a day for about two months.

During the same time period, also followed recommendations to strengthen the VMOs -- simple VMO isometrics  -- tighten the muscle as much as you can and hold to some count -- performed whenever it crossed my mind, quickly produced the inner thigh"cord" that most men are blessed with naturally (I had no visible VMO at all) -- a really "something for nothing" and easy exercise to do.

Returned to running a couple of months later, no problems ever again. And I ran a lot back then -- marathoning distances -- just for entertainment.

I understand that the newer exercise machines offer a similar workout with no shock to the knees -- the ellipticals and stuff like that. So you have a number of choices if you decide you want to rest your knees.

Best of luck, anyways -- MHB
« Last Edit: October 26, 2004, 09:09:13 AM by HHB »
4/4/04 - Horizontal patella fracture
4/5 - ORIF 2 screws, figure8 wire, immobilizer, walker
4/16 -  cane
5/10 - no immobilizer
PT -- 5/17 to 6/8
OS Release - 7/12/04

Offline Mooza

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Re: PT caused big knees
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2004, 07:11:00 PM »
Thanks for your replies.
I'll cut back, ice, elevate and, if these don't relieve the issues, seek more medical attention.