/ Runners Knee - can it disappear as quickly as it appeared?

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abcdef - on 11 Oct 2017
About a month ago I developed slight knee pain when running (mostly one, but can feel it slightly/occasionally in the other). Its pretty minor, but don't want it to develop into anything problematic. Not sure the cause, but seemed to have occured straight after a bit of foot pain (now virtually gone) so possibly due to some sort of overcompensation etc

Anyone had this and then it disappeared never to return? Or does it ALWAYS deteriorate without rest/reducing the miles/strengthening?
john arran - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to abcdef:

I'm an occasional runner, usually overdoing it between periods of months when I might do no running at all. Occasionally I have experienced something like you describe, where one of my knees feels like it's swollen when running (when it doesn't look it), stiffens up and feels very dodgy to continue at any speed. I have responded by continuing at a much slower speed, at which the knee feels only marginally stiff, by cutting runs short when the pain doesn't subside enough, and by resting more between runs. Over the course of a few weeks or so, the problem has disappeared without any further action from me.
richlan - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to abcdef:

Where on the knee is the pain ?
abcdef - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to abcdef:

hi john - that sounds more severe than i get (but wanting to avoid it heading that way)

rich - its internal/lower kneecap generally. not sharp, not really dull either - a poor description i know!

when it first bothered me i had been in the process of increasing my distances again (after a bit more focus on improving 5k times). later that day i did feel it when walking down stairs but that has gone (though i have taken a break and/or cut back the miles in the past few weeks so perhaps that helps). after 10 days rest i went out and did a 5k where i could feel it a tiny bit (just reckoned i needed a few more days rest - but felt it was almost sorted). did a 10k a few days later and it was more noticeable again, starting about 7k and going up an incline (not sure if diatance or hill are relevent in any way).
richlan - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to richlan:

OK, only reason i ask is that runner knee generally refers to Patellofemoral pain syndrome*, so is a specific issue, i have had a horror show with ITB issues before.

I have always found a session with a sports physio* as soon as an issue starts is the best course of action, i have delayed going for an issue that cropped up before and ended up not running for a month because of it.

* I am not an expert, or a sports physio
abcdef - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to richlan:

got a physio booked for the week after next when i come back from holiday. hopefully the break as well as doing some ITB prevention exercises in the meantime will mean its unnecessary
wbo - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to abcdef: really from what you've written it's nearly impossible to tell if it's going to go away , get worse, whatever - too little info?
Were you running slower, faster than normal? Tired? Good shoes bad shoes? Hills? Road, grass, trail? Normal distance run?
All these and more affect the answer

abcdef - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to wbo:

"Were you running slower, faster than normal? Tired?" - difficult to say as I have been varying the type of running based on whats i have been aiming for. looking at my recent stats May, June, July, Aug i did 96K, 95K, 101k and 129k (on any given day I was running between 5k and 20K). last month only 63k but by mid way in the month i had felt the pain, so cut back.

from memory, the week I noticed it I had just done a 21.1k run Monday AM (max distance so far, but not by much), felt OK and then did quick 5K on the Thu. On the Fri i did a further 10k - according to strava my fastest at the distance, so must have been running 'well' - I think(?) this was the first day of pain (and noticeable going down stairs).

"Good shoes bad shoes?" - replaced pair at start of June. not found them particularly forgiving as running by and large exclusively on pavements.

"Hills?" - used to run a fairly flat circuit, but since July mainly now use one with a fair bit of up and down. mainly because it also takes in part of the parkrun course which itself has some steep parts, so wanted to make that easier
wbo - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to abcdef: What sort of unforgiving shoes did you replace? Do you normally run on the road?
abcdef - on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to wbo:

ones i have now are a bit firm - saucony guide 8. apparently i am borderline structured or neutral. the helpful thing about these type is that the outer heel outsole is rounded off. this is the area of the sole that i wear through first on neutrals which means they don't last very long

its running on tarmac - pavements and paths
RX-78 on 11 Oct 2017
In reply to abcdef:

As a mediocre runner for the last few years after cycling for years, I found running down hill caused most of my problems, I live on a hill so it is unavoidable for me but I used to sprint down the hills and i don't think my joints etc were ready for it. You say you started doing hills in July, Could it be contributing? is it worse on the downhill? A quick google will give loads of info on the dangers of downhill running.
zephr - on 12 Oct 2017
In reply to abcdef:

Think of it a little bit like Goldilocks.
Too hot, too cold, just right.
Too hot - you train too much/too hard, the knee pain will come back.
Too cold - you rest , the tissues don;t adapt to the running, so every time you run you will be overdoing it - the pain will come back.
just right - you just so happen to pick the right amount of running/training to do, your tissues adapt to the load, and you become a stronger runner.

Sounds easy - but it obviously isn't...
not only that, but muscles, ligaments, tendons etc. all strengthen at different rates and with different loads being optimal for getting stronger. It is a case of getting it right.

That being said, if there is something pathological going on, no amount of training is going to get it better. Reducing load and starting at a lower level before building it up is the way around it. Which is essentially Rehab, which means finding a good physio.

Also, if you're running around without using Gluteus medius working your knees might end up being painful because your quads are overworking yadda yadda yadda, find a decent physio.

Also, if running downhill makes your knees hurt, get stronger, practice it more. It is NOT "dangerous" to run downhill, it is simply something that needs to be got used to in terms of tissue strength as there is more pressure/weight going through the joints/tissues. Again - goldilocks principle. Practice eccentric loading, practice it faster, then do it one legged, when you can do that, you probably wont have any issues.
But again... if in doubt, see a physio.

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