Dealing With Knee Problems

Hi everyone! After a couple of days of forced rest, I could run another 10k easy pace lunchbreak run.

The rest was forced by my left knee which began to hurt in the night of Sat to Sun last week (a week after Frankfurt Marathon and after running fairly easy paced 10 and 13 km runs on Wednesday and Friday) . The pain wasn’t that strong, but strong enough to call it a day and see the doctor on Monday. The symptoms suggested either an iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS – also known as “runner’s knee”) or a problems with the meniscus medialis (although very improbable for running). The knee was not swollen or even hot. But the doc bent the knee back and forth and said everything was ok and nothing was hurt. Just a bit of overload. It’s ok now. In hindsight I assume a very light ITB problem which I got rid of by cooling and a bit of ibuprofen.

During the first 1 1/2 years of running, I went through all the common knee and tendon problems. After talking to my orthopaedic, who also recommended taking 2 400 mg ibuprofens twice a day during phases of acute pains, I began to cool my knee joints and achilles tendons after each run, even if there was no acute pain. That’s probably the best you can do. The last time I had ITB problems was before the Berlin half marathon in 2014, but since I had already started to stretch my ITBs after each run, things went better, and I could run the Vienna half marathon some days later without any problems whatsoever, and the pain never came back.

In any case, if you begin running longer distances, make sure you frequently stretch the ITB after each run, together with calves, quads, hamstrings, and all the other leg muscles. At least that’s what I have been doing all the time. I usually do the basic “crossed legs” stretch, as shown here, albeit with the feet spread more apart (about 30 cm), like this:

As usual, when stretching, don’t push the limits. If it starts to hurt, it’s probably too much.

Happy stretching!

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