Banner - Hide this banner





Author Topic: Intermittent Knee Issues  (Read 947 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mkcarguy

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Liked: 0
Intermittent Knee Issues
« on: September 26, 2010, 03:10:18 PM »
I apologize if this is the wrong area. I've also tried looking through the threads but there are so many knee issues, I have no idea where mine would fall. Plus, many of them seem so similar that it would be hard for me to distinguish. Anyway, here is my story...

Approximately a month ago, I noticed a dull pressure in my knee after a run and then cleaning in my basement (which consisted of jumping in and out of crawlspaces). The next day, it was difficult to go up and down stairs (particularly down). After that, I was laid up for a couple of days (not due to pain but rather preventative measures) and proceeded to RICE.

Now, a few days had passed and the stair issue had subsided. Since I was feeling better and figured it was an isolated incident, I went for a run. About 3/4 of a mile into the run, there was a shooting pain in the side of my knee. However, I could walk fine but the moment I started to pick up the pace, the pain returned.

I rested it again and the next week I decided to avoid any impact exercises and worked my legs through lunges and squats. I could do leg exercises perfectly fine for any given amount of time. Then, last week I visiting my girlfriend at a 4-level beach house. For two days, all of the stairs never bothered me, I jumped and swam in the ocean, walked on the beach. Then, the night before I left, I was walking on the beach and the pain returned, full force. It was so bad I had to hobble back to the house.

I rested it again all this week. But I forgot I promised to help a friend move yesterday. I was worried about my knee but lifting boxes, a refrigerator, washer/dryer and more stuff didn't affect it. However, when I got in the car and drove an hour to their new place, I got out with it feeling "stiff". It didn't hurt, just a lot of pressure on the outside and towards the bottom front of the joint. After a little bit of moving stuff into their new house, the pain returned but was VERY intermittent. Most of the time it just felt like pressure, but the wrong step and it would send a sharp pain through the leg.

When I got home, I proceed to roll the muscles with a rolling pin and a foam roller for self-myofascial release. After working my quads, IT band and calves, the pain felt tremendously better. But, walking up stairs, I could still feel "stiffness". Today, my knee is very stiff but nowhere is it tender to the touch.

I'm not sure if this is a muscular imbalance or a ligament issue. It seems as if the pain only flares up after impact activity or heavy activity. It's strange that it will be fine for hours of days of light or resistance activities. Unfortunately, I'm unemployed and have no health insurance. Thanks for any help or advice!
« Last Edit: September 26, 2010, 03:12:36 PM by mkcarguy »

Offline knee always hurts

  • Forum Faithful
  • ****
  • Posts: 233
  • Liked: 0
Re: Intermittent Knee Issues
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2010, 07:38:22 PM »
Hello,

It sounds like you have what's known as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. This is basically a catch-all term that doctors use when they don't know what is causing the pain behind your knee cap. The common theme is this: You overloaded your knee, which disturbed the equilibrium or homeostasis of one or more of the tissues in your knee. It is then more vulnerable to overloading for an extended period of time, and this can go on indefinitely if not resolved. It can also be much worse. My knee has ached continuously for 3 months now, with no end in sight. You want to prevent it from getting to this point. The most important thing is avoiding activities that you know will antagonize your knees. You are actually fortunate that you are unemployed right now as you will be more able to structure your day so as to affect the greatest chance of a positive outcome. But, you also need to avoid even things that don't bother your knee at all. There are two ways to overload your knees. One, a few repetitions of extremely strenuous activity (like squatting) can overload your knees. Or two, a lot of repetitions of light activity (like walking) can also cause overloading. You want to avoid the heavy activities altogether, even if you aren't bothered by doing a little of it, and you want to minimize the amount of light activity for a while.

Another thing to consider is something as seemingly innocuous as sitting. You've going to want to sit with your legs propped up for a while, as sitting with the knees bent can actually overload the knees as well if they are in a heightened state of sensitivity. Basically, anything which stresses the knees too much is going to prevent you from fully recovering. I would suggest that this sort of conservative treatment followed for a month might do the trick, but your mileage may vary. Even after that point, you are going to want to increase your level of activities slowly over a period of a at least couple of months and not suddenly go all Rambo on your knees. Let me emphasize again: Even if it doesn't hurt, you might be preventing your knee from fully recovering. So don't go based on feeling alone. And don't think it can't get worse, as it can get much worse. If your knee is bothering you at all, you are at risk of entering a cycle of pain which could be difficult or impossible to escape from. Don't ignore the signals your knee is giving you.

After following this conservative regimen, you might want to implement some stretches or strengthening to help prevent it from coming back, as conventional wisdom suggests. But it is foolhardy to do things which cause overloading of the knee since overloading is the main problem here. Wait to do that until your knee is feeling better for an extended period of time.

If you're interested in reading more, here are some links:

http://sportscenteraustin.blogs.com/the_view/2009/04/why-do-i-have-pain-under-my-knee-cap.html This blog has a lot of other useful information if you search for it.

http://saveyourself.ca/tutorials/patellofemoral-pain-syndrome.php If you don't mind spending $20, this E-book could be invaluable to your recovery.

And here are a couple of threads that I've been posting on:

http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=52020.0
http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=53006.0

Good luck, and if you have any more questions feel free to ask!

Offline mkcarguy

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Liked: 0
Re: Intermittent Knee Issues
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2010, 01:04:29 AM »
Thank for you such an in-depth response. I'll be reviewing all of your links and all of the tips you have given.

Offline knee always hurts

  • Forum Faithful
  • ****
  • Posts: 233
  • Liked: 0
Re: Intermittent Knee Issues
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2010, 02:32:55 AM »
I was just reviewing your post again, and I noticed you said that the pain was on the side of your knee. It's hard to tell if you mean the side of the entire knee joint, or the side of the kneecap. I'd suggest taking a look at this:

http://saveyourself.ca/articles/diagnose-runners-knee.php

If it is ITBS, I won't be able to help you much. But I'd imagine that site's e-book on that would be excellent as well.

Offline mkcarguy

  • MICROgeek (<20 posts)
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Liked: 0
Re: Intermittent Knee Issues
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2010, 02:40:39 AM »
Another link to add to my "Knee Issue" folder  :)

Unfortunately, I couldn't tell you exactly where the pain was since it's subsided. I don't feel like aggravating it again in order to find out. But, in the off chance it does, I'll be sure to try and decipher it from the links and post it up here.

Offline knee always hurts

  • Forum Faithful
  • ****
  • Posts: 233
  • Liked: 0
Re: Intermittent Knee Issues
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2010, 02:50:09 AM »
Keep me updated on how it goes for you then!  ;D