Friday, May 9, 2008

Runner's knee

I have had a few questions about the thing on my leg in my pictures. Here's the story...

Back in 2006, I was in the best shape of my life. I completed a triathlon and a half marathon in 2005 and my commitment to exercise was entrenched. After completing the 2006 Sun Run, I went of vacation with my family to Maui. Unlike any prior vacation, I found time to run. I even ran along the beach.

However, that turned out to be a terrible mistake. Once I got home, I tried to get back to some serious training but my knee hurt. It would be fine for a few minutes but once I hit the 20 or 30 minute mark of running I would experience sharp pains. I think that the uneven surface of the beach was to blame.

I rested for several months hoping that it would get better but it didn't. I started seeing a physiotherapist and he explained that I was suffering from patello-femoral syndrome. He had me do various stretches and exercises to even out muscle imbalances. Things weren't improving much after several more months and I eventually I asked him about a knee brace and he suggested a patellar tendon strap. I bought one made by Pro-Tec. It's supposed to aid the tracking of the knee cap.

I found that it helped and I was able to run again and to eventually start building up the mileage. I sometimes wonder if I still need it but I'm dependent upon it now and it's part of my standard running gear.

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