Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Well, I have PFPS

Good morning! I hope everyone had a great start to their week. My week started off VERY quiet. If you know me, you know that when I’m at work I like keeping busy, it makes the time fly by so much faster than when I’m bored coming up with “make work projects” for myself to do. I love the feeling of being caught up however; it stresses me out when I feel like I’m behind in my work! Can anyone relate? Lately I’ve noticed that my knees have been hurting near the end of my runs, after my runs and the day after my runs. It almost feels like a dull ache inside the bones of my lower legs, almost like growing pains (which, as a 6-foot female, I had a lot of growing up) so I decided to figure out what this is before it gets worse. I went to the physiotherapist that helped C with his broken knee because I knew he was good. Basically, I have what’s called Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. This is how it’s described in Wikipedia:
The cause of pain and dysfunction often results from either abnormal forces (e.g. increased pull of the lateral quadricep retinaculum with acute or chronic lateral PF subluxation/dislocation) or prolonged repetitive compressive or shearing forces (running or jumping) on the PF joint. The result is thinning and softening of the articular cartilage under the patella and/or on the medial or lateral femoral condyles, synovial irritation and inflammation and subchondral bony changes in the distal femur or patella known as "bone bruises". Secondary causes of PF Syndrome are fractures, internal knee derangement, OA of the knee and bony tumors in or around the knee.
He examined my legs and discovered the root cause of my pain. As it turns out, there’s a lot more impact on my knee joint because I’m so tall, so that’s one problem. Another problem is that because I was a dancer for so long, used to pointing my toes for everything, and building strength while on my toes, my Achilles Tendon and calf muscles are VERY tight and while walking, stops my foot from completing a full range of motion in a straight line, which causes my hips to come into play and rotate my leg outwards so I don’t stretch out my calf muscle my accident. And last but not least, the most medial muscle of my quads is a lot weaker than the rest of my leg. So because my outer most quad is a lot stronger, it pulls my knee cap in an outward direction when my muscle flexes. Once I strengthen my inner muscle, it will be equal to the outer muscle and my knee cap won’t be pulled in one direction or another. Make sense? So basically I need to ice my knees for 30 minutes after each run, do the exercises I’ve been given every day to build up my muscles, and I need to stretch the shit out of my lower body. The best news of all is that he says I don’t have to stop running, because we caught it early enough it’s going to be back to 100% before my run! Woohoooo! So I’m back to running tonight, a 4km steady run. I’m interested to see how long it takes me. My runs are starting to get longer this week, my long run this Sunday is going to be a 9km run. Last week I did my 7km in 43:19, which is about 1:50 faster than I ran it the week before which was really exciting!
I think I’m starting to enjoy running outside, especially since the weather has been amazing! Wish me luck on my recovery! Stay sweet. xoxo

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