Thursday, December 18, 2008

Apocalypse... not now, maybe later

I feel like I've avoided some personal disaster, at least as far as my sanity goes.

An explanation:

I've been dealing with some right knee trouble for the last two weeks.

It started during a run on Monday, December 1, hurt enough for me to cut my December 2 run short and then was bothering me at my track session on December 4, which I stupidly decided to finish. It hurt enough that I took the entire following week off from running or riding. On Saturday, December 13, I did an easy 90 minutes on my bike (very easy) and then lifted (very light weights). My knee didn't bother me at all during the ride, but I stupidly pushed through some light pain during leg lifts at the gym. I tried running on Sunday morning and got 20 minutes in before the pain became debilitating. I then walked it back home.

Yesterday I went to see a sport orthopedist, who, much to my surprise, said I didn't need an MRI. Basically, it's just very tight iliotibial band, tensor fascia latea, and the assorted inner leg muscles combining in a perfect storm to pull my knee out of alignment, which, not surprisingly, hurts a lot.

The prescription is some vitamin-I for the inflammation and physical therapy and strengthening/stretching of all the assorted muscles in the area. Interestingly, I learned nothing yesterday that I didn't already know from the interwebs (specifically,, the best little strength training/injury site on the Internet -- complete with anatomically correct 3D digital models!), I just wanted a professional confirmation.

So, I'm off running or riding until this clears up. If might be as much as six weeks, but since that would be awful, I'm hopeful I can be better sooner. If there's one thing I am, it's aggressive about recovering from an injury (I kicked the crap out of my achilles/calf trouble 18 months ago -- take that body weakness!).

If you're looking for a lesson here, it's that you shouldn't be stupid about stretching and strengthening the unused parts of your body. This is closely linked to the hip (TFL) pain I talked about last time. Sedentary office life doesn't naturally mix well with having a healthy lifestyle.

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