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Old 08-26-2007, 01:22 AM   #1
Vinnie Carden
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Knee problem

Hey all, I've been lurking on the boards here off and on for a couple of months now, and have been attempting when possible to start into the crossfit method, but now I've got a problem with my knee and would like some advice. Background of the problem is a little long, please bear with me: 24 y/o male, prior to this the only lower body work I did at all was running. I didn't run much, probably around 10-15 miles per week. So about a month and a half ago I began squatting. I looked throughout the site and other sites to help with squatting form, began with airsquats, and all that. I am still working on form, but it's hard as the internet connection I have doesn't allow me to view pretty much any video or slideshow of an exercise. Everyone here that I ask for a hand with squatting is of the never never go below parallel method, so that isn't super helpful, either. Whenever I do squat it is always my quads that I feel it in, they get extremely tight, almost as if someone wrapped duct tape around my leg tightly above me knee.
No problems at first, but then after 2 weeks I began to notice my left knee was significantly tighter than my right. The range of my motion was reduced when stretching, squatting, or even just moving my leg. No pain, but a lot of tightness. I'm currently deployed, and despite being on a very small base, there is a physical therapist here. So I went to see him, after an exam he said there wasn't really anything major wrong with my knee, but it might be patellar tendinitis. His advice was just RICE for 2 weeks. So I did that, and then last week began squatting again, but no running. Then on friday, while squatting the tightness came back, very noticeable, and this time there was pain. So I stopped, and iced the knee. Next day my knee was very tight, and if I attempted to stretch out my quad there was a sharp pain directly over and below the cap. So I searched the boards, and the internet, and from what I could find it seems like it is patellar tendinitis, and I followed suggestions I found of aggresively massing the tendon with ice and point-massaging certain spots on my thigh. They helped, then I stupidly attempted a heavy quad stretch also reccomended on the board, which said it would be painful, and it was, very, only not in a good stretch way, but over the knee again. Then I thought about, realized probably want to wait for stretching till after a few days at least go by. Now as I sit for longer than half an hour, there is a faint pain in the knee and definite tightness.
Anyway, that was a lot of background for basically want amounts to a simple question. Anyone have any input or suggestions on this? Should I completely give up on squats and go back to just running? How long should I wait before stretching? Could it be something other than patellar tendinits? Any and all help very much appreciated, thanks.
Vinnie
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Old 08-26-2007, 02:42 AM   #2
Aileen Reid
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Re: Knee problem

Battling my own knees at the moment so you have my sympathy. I wonder if there is fluid there and that's why it feels tight. However with fluid there's normally aching/pain - you are now getting that. Its hard to say witohut a proper assessment. I presume your VMO is adequately developed and your kneecap is tracking properly. IF you see a physio that is the first area they will look at. Patellar tendonitis in all its forms is most often a "too much too fast" sort of thing. So in the absence of a firm diagnosis I would suggest let pain be your guide. RICE. Run if it doesn't hurt, squat if it doesn't hurt but maybe restrict your range of motion and drop the weights back. But only if it doesn't hurt. Lots of stretching too, quads, ITB, hip flexors, hammies, glutes. I'm also assuming your squatting form is OK. IF you have access to massage, go for it. I doubt your squatting days are over, I think you maybe just have to reel it in for a while and let your knees get used to the abuse!
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Old 08-26-2007, 01:03 PM   #3
Derek Maffett
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Re: Knee problem

I get something similar (though not nearly as bad) when stretching my quads sometimies. I was directed to something called fascial tension. Maybe you should ask your doctor about that.
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Old 08-26-2007, 04:15 PM   #4
Aileen Reid
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Re: Knee problem

If its facial tension then maybe try a bowen therapist.
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Old 08-27-2007, 01:51 AM   #5
Vinnie Carden
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Re: Knee problem

Hmm, I will ask at the medical center about the fascial tension release. I just tried checking into it online, doesn't seem to be much there in terms of what it is other than it's offered by chiro's and other professionals. I have a feeling that if the pt here could do it, he would've mentioned it last time, but at the least it'll be something to keep in mind for when I get back stateside next summer, so thanks for the idea.
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Old 08-31-2007, 06:40 AM   #6
Vinnie Carden
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Re: Knee problem

So the pain is pretty much gone, and I've started trying to stretch my quads in order to regain the range of motion. But every time I stretch my quads, it's seems like my knee gets tighter. Also I frequently feel the stretch over my knee cap after the first couple seconds instead of in my quad. But I haven't been doing any lower body work at all, just trying to stretch quads 3 times a day usually with standing quad stretch, and my knees are only getting tighter and tighter. Any ideas, anyone? Thanks
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Old 08-31-2007, 04:52 PM   #7
Aileen Reid
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Re: Knee problem

Maybe you just have to run thorugh the whole gamut of stretches for a start. Maybe your kneecap is not quite tracking properly. So run though ITB, hip flexor, pyriformis, quad and hammie stretches. Especially VMO. How is your VMO, is it activating properly and not wasted. Are you quad stretching correctly, with pelvis tilted forward etc etc. Even get the tennis ball or foam roller out on the ITB. Even lower back tightness/unevenness can upset everything else down the line!

Are you sure there is no fluid in your knee anywhere - that could be giving you feelings of tightness - thought without pain I'd say its unlikely.

Do you have a physcial therapist you can go to for an objective assessment? Just in case there is something there, you don't want it to build up and cause more problems over time.
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Old 08-31-2007, 10:44 PM   #8
Vinnie Carden
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Re: Knee problem

Thanks, Aileen, for the tips. I will start running the whole line of stretches, maybe that is the problem. The physical therapist here said there are no major problems, take motrin, ice it, and lay off. I figured the few weeks I did that the first time was long enough, but guess not. Of course, take a bunch of motrin and rest is sort of a typical Army doc catch all.
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:05 PM   #9
Aileen Reid
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Re: Knee problem

They do say that the best thing you can do for your kneecap is keep all your muscles above it as loose as possible to keep the pressure off it so it can move as freely as possible.

Good luck with your knee, I've been resting and treating mine for months now, just hoping this last cortisone jab might turn a corner. I'm getting sick of no leg work - well no quad work, no squatting, running, cycling.......
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