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I am FAT and I RUN so it’s hardly surprising that I have knee pain right? Cos everyone knows that running seriously takes its toll on the knee joints particularly if you are overweight, have bad form or crap trainers. So considering my weight and the amount of running I have done over the past 10 years it’s quite surprising I have any cartilage left all.

Back in my twenties I used my dodgy knees as an excuse for not running all together, but I would happily spend hours at the weekend doing the running man, the shuffle and the two step around my handbag in the nightclubs of East London with no such trouble.

In fact I think during my drinking days I put my knees, and my body more generally through 10x more stress and strain than any created through my running. In fact on one occasion whilst drinking I slipped on a crisp wrapper whilst following (ie dancing behind) a float at Notting Hill Carnival, twisting my knee as I went, I got back up no problem, laughed it off and carried on partying, but the problem was the alcohol numbed the pain and it wasn’t until the next day that I realised I couldn’t walk…AT ALL.

A trip to A&E revealed I had torn all of the ligaments in my right knee. I had no movement up and down and twisting caused the most excruciating pain. What followed was 6 weeks on crutches and a further 6 months of physiotherapy and ultra sound to repair the damage, and get this…no swimming, which at that time was the only exercise I did.

About a year (and 3 stone) later a lady I worked with suggested I gave running a go to aid my weightloss, but I told her about my knees expecting her to give up and agree with me that running wouldn’t be wise, but instead she said that running if done correctly would strengthen my knees…and I never looked back.

In the 10 years of running that followed I have never once encountered knee pain…until now that is. So hundreds of 5ks, about fifty 10ks, 10 half marathons and a full marathon without so much as a twinge.

So why now??? I’m not even at my heaviest anymore.

Let me describe the pain. It’s only in my right knee although my left knee doesn’t feel to steady either. It’s been there for about 8 to 10 weeks now. It didn’t hurt to run on at first, and I mainly felt it when getting up and down from the sofa…so when the joint bends. But yesterday when I went for my long run I could feel the pain slightly and I am sure the pain is getting worse.

For the first time ever I am a little worried about my capacity to run another long distance run. I mean you only have one pair of knees. You can’t replace them like you can your hips or your toenails.

So what’s the verdict? Should I stop running until I find out what it is…and who should I go to, my GP or a sports injury professional? Anyone else have problems with their knees?

  1. October 24, 2013

    I had a similar thing that started up towards the end of my Moonwalk training. I managed the whole Moonwalk but it took painkillers and a knee support and I only a power walker not a runner and not really overweight anymore. You can read about it if you like http://www.fatgirlslimblog.co.uk/?p=9394. It was only in one knee and sounds very similar to what you describe. It took about eight weeks or so to heal and only did after all the Moonwalk training malarkey when I rested for a week or three. I never did find out what it was because I never went to the doctor but maybe a little rest and a knee support is the answer. 🙂

  2. October 22, 2013

    I don’t really have any advice but I would definitely get it checked out before it gets too bad

    • October 22, 2013

      Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your words of advice and support. I am defo gonna get it checked out next week!!

  3. I had some knee pain that started about a year ago. I kept putting off having it checked out until finally it was hurting to walk. I was told to self-refer to physio. I learned that I had a muscle imbalance and was prescribed exercises to help deal with it. I was back to running 2 months later.

  4. October 22, 2013

    Knee pain is often caused by weak gluteal and quad muscles. Could be you have strained some other muscles and are now compensating and putting more weight on the knee that hurts you. Get a referral from your GP for physio and go see a sports massage therapist who can ease the tension in your glutes and quads which will free you up to keep running. When I see clients with knee problems in my clinic, I often give them exercises to strengthen the muscles right around the knee as well – which is a good thing to do if tendonitis is the diagnosis. Be sure to ice your knee after you run and remember to warm up and stretch after you run as well to prevent injury.

  5. October 22, 2013

    I have been training for months to run my first marathon this Sunday. I need to lose a stone or so but am not very overweight. About 2 weeks ago at my peak miles (22) I developed increasing discomfort and tenderness in my right knee only. It has got worse since then. I’m told it’s probably my IT band and should use a foam roller on my right leg and keep icing my knee. I’ll be running the marathon come what may on Sunday. My point is that anyone can get knee problems through running. As someone once said to me though. “I would rather run and have a healthy heart and bad knees later on, than the other way around!”. It’s quick and easy to check I. With a sports therapist and get their expert opinion. The sooner you do, the sooner you can be back out running and on top form. Many congratulations on your achievements to date, with your weight and with your running xx

  6. October 22, 2013

    My cousin had knee replacement surgery not to long ago.

  7. October 22, 2013

    I haven’t had any knee, hip or ankle problems since I switched to bare-foot-esque trainers. Except when I have another problem that causes me to compensate on the other leg, such as now; I have a trapped nerve in my right bum. The pain causes me to twist slightly when I walk and run and thus strain my right knee. It’s very, very frustrating.

  8. October 22, 2013

    Defo get it checked out. I’d choose GP in the first instance just in case it’s easy to fix, but I’d expect to end up going to sports injury specialist physio. Often GPs arent great with this sorta stuff. Don’t despair though- I bet it’s fixable, most runners get something at some point. Chin up!

    Oh and for the record it’s totally possible to have a knee replacement- just like hips!!

  9. October 22, 2013

    I don’t have knee problems, but I think you should definitely get it checked either by your GP or physio. Keep us posted!

  10. October 22, 2013

    Sounds a little like tendonitis to me, if it happens after sitting. Maybe look into different knee tendonitises and treatments. I wouldn’t give up! It just needs to be treated.
    Best wishes to you. 🙂

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