I have been battling knee pain for just about a year. Basically, as I was recovering from my ankle injury last year, I babied my right ankle and wound up messing up my left knee somewhere in my crash-training-for-a-half thing. I tried resting it, I tried doing more squats and lunges, and inevitably I would tweak it doing something at home. Something dumb like mountain climbers. I’ve run two 5ks since my half last May, and I keep meaning to get around to going to see a doctor or a PT or something. I did a free injury clinic and the guy was like, “come by my office and I will dry needle you for free!” and I did not because 1.) my follow up isn’t great and 2.) I have no time.
So when one of my best friends asked me about my knee again at Stroller Strides, and I complained that it still is busted, she told me to come over so she could dry needle me (she’s a PT, not a weirdo who just has a house full of needles.) I said sure, then promptly did not do it. She bugged me again about it last week, and I was off on Monday and daycare was closed and I really want to do another half this year, so off I went.
She poked at me and then told me to foam roll a LOT more than my current amount of none, and so I did, and then my knee didn’t hurt after our run on Monday and it didn’t hurt after Body Back on Thursday night when we did a lot of running, and it didn’t hurt after Stroller Strides on Saturday. She made me come over again on Saturday night and recommended I keep foam rollering and told me to come back in a week.
Here I was, convinced that I had some kind of crazy runner’s knee situation and I would need 6-8 weeks of PT and many many clamshell exercises and lunges and squats and other things that are good for your knees. And it turns out it really is as simple as foam rollering a ridiculous amount and also following through on the dry needling thing. I’m sure I can also benefit from PT, and I will go if this doesn’t turn out to be a long term solution.
She said something really interesting last night though, which is that for each decade of life that you have, you should do that x10 minutes of stretching, foam roller-ing, or general work to prepare your body to like, be functional. I mean, I don’t have 30 minutes a day to stretch right now, but I think I’m going to try for at least 10. And it made sense, because I’ve been feeling generally stiffer and less flexible, and I thought it was just a not-going-to-yoga thing, but I do think it’s also an age thing.
So yeah, stretch and like, go see a doctor. I highly recommend it. Sometimes things have a simple fix.