In my last 1-year post-op follow up, I mentioned I was having knee pain. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with Patellofemoral pain syndrome, or Runners Knee. This normally happens when there is an imbalance or weakness in your leg muscles, which can cause inflammation under your kneecap/causing your kneecap to track. After going to physical therapy, I found out my left hamstring (the one that was used for my new ACL) lost a lot of strength since last year, my inner thigh muscle was weak and my hip strength varied on both sides. Also… my right leg is about 1 cm shorter than my left leg, which I was given an insert for my running shoes. So for the past month, I have been taking things slow, building up strength using weights, weight machines and doing a lot of balancing exercises. In between, I have been trying to build up my mileage – adding about a half a mile each time i run every few days. I started out not even being about to run .25 mile without having pain… now I am up to 5 miles, no pain! I’ve been using KT tape for my knee, which has been helping a lot as well. I tried a few ways, but this video was the most helpful – I have no knee pain when using this method.
Below are a few exercises given to me by my physical therapist, as well as a few others given to me by a local personal trainer:
- stability work for VMO knee strengthening
- 30 second balances on a bosu ball, each leg 2x
- Leg extension machine, with feet turned slightly outward – squeeze quad at top of extension for 1 second – you should feel this on the inner thigh – 3 sets 6-8x
- Hip aBductor machine – 4 sets 6-8x
- Leg press machine – put a band around legs to make sure knees are not buckling in – 2 sets 15
- Leg press machine – one leg, making sure knee is not bucking in – both legs – 2 sets 15
- Standing hip strengthening exercises with bands
- Single leg deadlifts (with or without weights) – both legs – 2 sets 10
- Donkey Kicks, both legs – 4 sets 10
- Step-Ups with a 10 lb weight – go slow, making sure knee is in line with toes – both legs – 2 sets 10
- Lots. of. Stretching.
- Icing after every run
- Using a rumble roller or lacross ball to work out any knots after every run
Unfortunately, I had to bump my half marathon I was signed up to run in May down to a quarter marathon since I haven’t been able to train like i need to. I’ve run both distances for this race before, so I am going to try and PR the quarter distance this time around 🙂
I have been going stir-crazy not being able to run as much as I would like, so lots of yoga and workout classes are keeping me busy. Has anyone else had issues with runners knee? If so, what have you done to recover?