I’m sitting here icing my knee and feeling sorry for myself.
A couple of weeks ago, my right knee started hurting a little (around the time I ran my first 5 mile run). I ran a little slower and did some lower mileage weeks, but it didn’t get better. In fact, my right knee started to hurt too. The pain is on the outside of both knees and as best as I can tell by diagnosing myself through googling my symptoms and reading running sites, I have an IT Band injury. What’s that? I’m so glad you asked. According to sportsmedicine.about.com the IT Band is “a strong, thick band of fibrous tissue that runs along the outside of the leg. The IT band starts at the hip and runs along the outer thigh and attaches on the outside edge of the shin bone (tibia) just below the knee joint. The band works with the quadriceps (thigh muscles) to provide stability to the outside of the knee joint during movement.” This will be interesting to about 2 of you! IT Band syndrome is pretty common in runners and can happen for a variety of reasons: overtraining, doing too much too soon, running on the side of the road with causes one foot to be lower than the other the entire time you’re running and faulty biomechanics (muscle tightness, lack of flexibility, bow legged).
So, I’m sidelining myself completely for two weeks and working on icing twice a day, taking ibuprofen and doing stretching and strengthening exercises to help with the pain and hopefully speed up my healing. The strengthening exercises should help when I return to running as strong muscles in the quads and hamstrings help protect the knee from injury. I guess I should also call my doctor tomorrow and see if she wants to see me or refer me to sports medicine doctor or if she has other options for me.
It’s such a bummer though because I’ve been running for 6 1/2 months without any problems. I ran all through the winter in the bitter cold and I was really looking forward to running in sunny, warm weather. Now, I can’t. I had finally found an exercise that I really love. I’ve never loved any sort of exercise before and the thought of not being able to to it is depressing. I’m hoping I’ll be back in the game soon. I would really appreciate prayers for healing.