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Author Topic: Running Steady After 10yrs of Pain below the knee  (Read 10720 times)

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Offline ModMan_70

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Running Steady After 10yrs of Pain below the knee
« on: April 28, 2010, 01:07:22 AM »
Hi Everyone,

   Just wanted to share that the final solution to pain free running was 'forefoot' running.

I had been having pain below my right knee for years.  And now, OMG...it's so wonderful.  It's so nice to knock off 10km without
feeling like someone had taken a spike to my knee...and my heart.

I don't want to say forefoot running is the 'magic bullet', but for me, I'm sure it was a big part of the solution.

I have posted this on another thread.  Here it is...enjoy and

God Bless ;)

http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=40870.

« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 01:09:57 AM by ModMan_70 »

Offline amcknee

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Re: Running Steady After 10yrs of Pain below the knee
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2010, 12:29:18 PM »
hi ModMan_70,
I was so glad to read you post, as it seems we have quite similar knee problems. I ran in the 1990's (marathons and ultras) and eventually stopped, as my knee was in tatters. After an 18 year gap, I have started again, and 3 weeks into things, my left knee is once again shredded. I ran an 8km time trial on Thursday, and although I can endure the pain during the run, afterwards I was in complete agony, and almost nauseous from the pain. It takes about 48 hours to get back to a semi-normal walking stance, so it's pretty bad.
I'm hoping your solution can help me, and I 'm definitely going to give it a very serious try..runnning as though I'm barefoot..
By the way, did you need to change to a pair of 'newton' shoes or Vibram five fingers, or did you just continue with your 'normal' running shoes and modify your running style and foot landing position?
Thanks, and I'll let you know how I progress - amcknee

Offline ModMan_70

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Re: Running Steady After 10yrs of Pain below the knee
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2010, 05:41:46 PM »
Hi amcknee,

    I continued with my normal shoe. 

    When I first started running as though I was barefoot, I noticed around my hips were sore.  So, you will need a great deal of patience to take it easy.  From what I've been through, I would say start with no more then 5Km at a time.  Maybe try this:

1. Three 5km runs/week for the first two weeks.
2.  Four 5km runs/week the next two weeks.
3. Then Three 8km runs/week the next two weeks
4.  Four 8km runs/week the next.

The idea is to gradually increase to give your body time to adjust.

I don't buy any special shoes for this, infact...I've just removed my orthodics...so far so good.
I did try the shoe Nike "free", it wasn't too bad...but I didn't buy it.  It may work for you.
I have not tried the other five fingered shoe.
Thus far, what I am doing is working for me.  So, you me need to try these shoes if they well help you run more properly.

But, this is what I look for in a new shoe:

1. Very soft padding. Avoid rigid, or springy soles that will direct kinetic energy back through your knee.
2. Very flexible at the ball of foot area...shoe can bend in half easily. 
3. Can twist easily (grab shoe and twist in spiral motion slightly).

That's it...soft and flexible to let your foot move the way it needs to.
The upshot to buying a shoe like this, these shoes tend to be the less expensive ones.


Now, when it comes to your running gate, during your runs, run nice and slow.  Have days that are 'Tai Chi' slow if you know what I mean.
At a slow trot, your almost flat footed.  With this gate, learn how to put everything together not only smoothly, but effortlessly. 
Your hips slightly roll.  Let your arms, chest and head will follow.  Notice how some some long distance runners heads have a smooth wobble to them?
The head is a counterweight.  Everything comes into play when you run this way. But, it takes time to make it flow together.

Mentally, I was tempted to 'overcompensate' the roll of my hips, the twist of my chest.  So what I did was constantly 'relax once in awhile' and let the body do
its own thing.

This summer I wore sandals almost constantly and even with fast walking I was on the forefront of my foot.  When I need to run across the street, it definitely comes into play.

As you add mileage to your program, use your LSD runs to work on technique...those runs should be only for technique.


NOW WITH YOUR KNEE.

I believe, like me, you did too much, too soon.  I had to back off too.  I'm at about 40km per week now..no problem.
Ease up on the mileage and give it time.
 
Stretch your legs and hips.  Stretch to the point of slight tension, and then a tad more....this should not cause pain or make your face grimace.

Stretch after a run, because the muscles will slowly pull tight in the quads and may likely cause your knee cap to track the wrong way.

After longer runs..next day off with walking and stretching.

And as always, listen to your body, don't ignore the 'injury type pain'....which I think your doing anyway which is a very good thing.

Good Luck, keep me posted.

« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 01:07:53 PM by ModMan_70 »

Offline amcknee

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Re: Running Steady After 10yrs of Pain below the knee
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2010, 04:19:29 PM »
thanks again ModMan_70,
here's what happened and how I 'fixed it'..it was my damn shoes! they were absolutely killing my left-hand knee. I used to run in the early 1990's, and stopped after incredible knee pain, and only when I started running again in July 2010, did I realize what the problem was, as I bought the same pair of shoes (just a newer generation) that I had ran when I gave up running 18 years ago. Looking back(and looking at old running photo's), I realized that I only started wearing Nike Air Pegasus AFTER my Comrades marathon run(in my injury-free days) and then I started with the knee problems, and that killed my running career. Then when I started running again in July, I went and bought the same shoes again - and BAM!! the knee injury just started up again as if it had never even stopped. So, in complete desperation, I took the shoes back to the running shop, and the manager checked out my running gait and said I should NEVER have worn those shoes, and recommended a pair of Asics Nimbus for supinators, and GOODBYE KNEE PAIN!!!
I completely agree with you about the hips - in fact the only pain I now have is in what I believe to be my 'iliac crest' (very tender right on top of the pelvis) - I keep a running diary, and looking back this is EXACTLY where the new hip pain started(when I swapped the shoes) but, I believe with stretches, it is manageable. I guess another reason is that I am very impatient, and want to get back into things as soon as possible, and since my knee is now fixed, I just want to run as much as I can..I run 8km, 11km and 15km per week now, and besides the hip, I am feeling better every single run..
Although I know what you are saying about taking it easy and running really slow on some runs, it makes me crazy to run slower than about 05:45 per km - I feel like a jogger! I just want to beat my previous time on every run that I do, and I always drive myself too hard too fast(I know it, yet I cannot stop myself, haahaa)
I hope many, many people read this and can benefit from your experience as I have..I would recommend people with knee problems to first try the simple solutions like running style change, or shoe change before ever considering any type of surgery. As much as I enjoy running, I'd rather give it up than have surgery..
I swapped the shoe on 12 August and have not had any knee problems since..I tried to run like I'm barefoot, and was surprised at the amount of concentration needed to keep up the gait. I was wondering if my hip pain is a result of over-compensating? I can't find any really good hip stretches though - they all seem a bit 'lame' compared to stretches like calf stretches etc..

Offline ModMan_70

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Re: Running Steady After 10yrs of Pain below the knee
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2010, 05:35:33 AM »
Hey amcknee,

    Really glad to hear that you discovered it was your shoes that were giving you trouble.  Makes sense since each company will engineer their shoes to what they believe your gait should be.

    With barefoot running, usually it's runners who have tried everything else who come to it as a last resort.  And lately, it seems to popping up in articles everywhere.  But, I strongly suspect some people will get carried away and do too much and create other injuries.  Luckily, I've managed to prevent that.  And that's most likely because I've had 10 yrs of on an off mental stress from my pain.

    I hear you when you say that it's hard to run slow....especially when you see another runner zoned in on you!   But for me those 10 yrs of knee trouble keep me in line on those runs.

    Running like your barefoot in your running shoes does take concentration, but it does eventually work its way into your natural gate.  I'm constantly 'feeling out' different things.  As of late, I realize that I have probably over accentuated the minor nuances of my gate.  In short, I probably forced a little too much hip rotation, landed too far on the front of my foot, or too much shoulder sway, etc etc.
So, I do a little less of this...a little less of that, and see how it feels.  One time I thought to 'sneak across the ground'.  When I say 'sneak', I mean as if you were running across a creeky hard wood
floor and your objective was to not make the floor to creek.  When I thought of that, everything seemed to work much better.  I believe it may have been attributed to thinking of how the whole body should be rather then one part.  Also, it probably helped me to mentally let go a bit when I just thought of 'sneaking'.  When I did that I noticed the gate tightened up, stride was shorter, but their was even less bounce and more flow.  Maybe another word to think of would be "float'?

    It's kind of hard to articulate, but I think you get what I'm driving at.

    Anyhow, I think my barefoot style will take another year before it gets  half decent.  However, it will never be perfect...just like a swimming or golf stroke..all which have common ground with a 'running stroke' (if I may dare coin that phrase).  I also think that, while most everyone can run, only a few can run efficiently.  I see it when I watch joggers/runners.  I see some runners which are fast, but expend huge amounts of energy to run as quickly as they do. And then I see other runners who look way more relaxed at the same speed......I don't believe it's any different in swimming, or golfing.

    With your slow runs, all I can say is try to focus on flowing smoothly with little bounce to help take your mind of the fact your going slow.  But I tell you what might happen: you'll get your form flowing just right for awhile...and when that happens it can feel pretty sweet (at least it did for me), then you'll really want to rocket after that little zen buzz.  I've done that a few times...feels too good to resist sometimes ;D.  But, I do try to slow it down later.

   
    Oh, for the hip stretches, I just stand with my feet a little wider then my shoulders, hands on hips.  For the right hip I just push my right hip out to the side while pushing a little with my left hand into my waist.  And I move my hip to the back a bit for a deeper stretch.  Opposite for the left hip.  And most times I'll have one hand up in the air to stretch the back at the same time.  I'm sure there might be better stretch for this but it seems to work for me.  Also, when a stretch doesn't work that well, I search for new position within that stretch until I feel slight tension. 

    Well before I ramble on too long, I'll leave it at that.  And again, I'm really happy my posts have helped you.



 :)

« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 07:05:32 AM by ModMan_70 »

Offline amcknee

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Re: Running Steady After 10yrs of Pain below the knee
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2010, 09:12:01 AM »
hi again ModMan_70,
just an update to let everybody know that the 'fix' was not just a flash in the pan. Since my return to running, I have now started on proper training for Comrades Marathon 2011 and am running 6 days per week. In October I ran 234km. This would have been unimaginable 3 months ago when I was in knee-hell. Looking through some of the posts on this site, it seems like I have had it easy compared to some people, but it just proves that there are other options to fixing knee problems than surgery(which often doesn't solve the problem anyway). Three months ago, I was desperately trawling the internet for knee injury information and how to get back into running after a knee injury - luckily for me, you had already posted your story and it made me realise that there are more than one method of solving the knee problem..change your running style or change your shoes - it works!

Offline ModMan_70

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Re: Running Steady After 10yrs of Pain below the knee
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2010, 09:50:17 PM »
amcknee,

   Sorry for the long delay.

   Glad to hear you found the fix.  My knees are still fine as well.

   I hope others who were in the same boat as we were will give it a try.

   Good luck on your 'Comrades Marathon'.

   And 234 km in October :o????  That's amazing.

   God Bless.















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