Can anyone help? suggestions please

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10/12/2009 at 22:54


 I'm hoping thati can get some advice, and have been pondering whether to start a thread or not!! here goes!

I've been running on and off for about 8 months, completed the GNR which was my first event, and have now started to fall in love with running, to the extent i needed a new goal so entered the brighton marathon, next year as something to do wth turning 30!

However, my left knee, has been swelling, and i've been losing a lot of range of motion in it, so thought it was just knees playing up like they have done for 13years! Anyway went to the doctors this week, as they have been so painful, and was told that i need to stop running, and stay fit another way, and give up the marathon dream! this did not go down well!

Anyway please could you give me you thoughts, as i'm thinking of taking December off of running, and then building up again next year, albeit it will be slower than i built up this year, and hope that my knees improve. What do you think? The thought of not running is horrible, as it's something i do for me, and as much as i sometimes don't want to go at all, when i've been i'm on such a high!

your thoughts would be great


10/12/2009 at 23:06

Many of us have been told to stop running... but we still run and still run marathons. Don't give up. Find out what is wrong with your knees and treat accordingly.

Are you running on pavement? try running on grass, it's less impact. Cross train also. Maybe on the cross trainer or rowing machine at the gym or go swimming. Crawl seems to work best for me.

R.I.C.E. - rest; ice; compression; elevation esp if your knees are swollen. I sure you know that already.

Take the marathon and the marathon training easy. Good luck. I'm sure you'll get good advice and encouragement by the bucket load here.

10/12/2009 at 23:09

Thank you for that.

 The cross training is helping me at the minute, as can't give up exercise completely! i'd go mad!!

 So slow and steady then! I am going to do it!!!

 Thank you

10/12/2009 at 23:11
I don't know what your doctor's like, but i would look for a specialist in sports injuries, someone that wants to help you run rather than perhaps seeing you as just another patient.  try searching the forum too, there are several threads about people who have been told not to run, but actually are running happily after a bit of proper treatment.
10/12/2009 at 23:12
Sounds a bit like ITBS-but i'm no quack or sport physio, and never give up the running, but do follow advice esp the RICE and don't rush back give it time, mine took nearly six months to clear up properly.
10/12/2009 at 23:12
there you go, x-post!
10/12/2009 at 23:14

ok, cool, i'll have a look at that as well.

I'm not used to being told not to do something, so as i say i'm going to not run rest of month, tho was promising self a run christmas day, so wouldn't feel guilty, lots of cross training, and then start slowly, which will be very frustrating, but worth it in the end i think, and find a sports therapist, think there's one just up the road.

Thank you too

10/12/2009 at 23:16

this is where i'm niaive!! What's itbs??

and i can do, you've all made me thin that again, thank you!

how are you all though?

10/12/2009 at 23:16
The Doctor's response was fairly predictable.
You need to go (and pay) to see a sports injury specialist (physio) and get some advice.
Then you need to listen to the advice (I only say that as someone who knows that runners don't necessarily do that)
You also need to go to a running specialist and buy some good running shoes. Even if you don't really need them straight away, if you are marathon training you will wear out your current shoes before marathon day.

Best of luck.
Hope it works out ok for you.
10/12/2009 at 23:18
I started writing before others had posted.
Must type quicker.
10/12/2009 at 23:18

Hi Natalie,

 I am  would agree with bikermouse 100%.  I have been running for 3 years and am training for the Edinburgh marathon in May.  This year, as a treat, my partner agreed to go halves with me so I could have some personal training for a few months.  My trainer is an amazing woman who has transformed my running. 

 the reason i am telling you this is because I used to do quite high mileage and feel pretty grim afterwards plus I got alot of injuries, some of them recurring.  My trainer said that I needed to improve my overall strength as "you have to be fit to run not run to be fit"!  As a result i am running further and faster, have lost weight and injuries have been few an far between.  She told me (and this was confirmed by 2 friends of mine that are GPs)  that most GPs have very little training on this kind of injury and that there is always a reason for it for example overuse, overpronation, strongly favouring the right or left side etc and once that is sorted out you will be able to run again. 

 Obviously you have to be careful and make sure you let your knee heal but I wouldn't give up until you have talked to a sports injury specialist about this.  Also you can cross train for a while and then mix in a bit of running when your knee feels up to it. 

Best Wishes,


ps if you live anywhere near Norwich I know my trainer would be delighted to talk to you!   

10/12/2009 at 23:19


Here's your starter for 10!!

10/12/2009 at 23:20

PS there are 100's of threads on here relating to this!!

10/12/2009 at 23:37
GPs are useless at this sort of thing! I was told to seek other forms of exercise and all I had was shin splints... don't let the doc worry/dishearten you! All the good advice is above - I'd like to add that there's nothing wrong with the NHS physios whom some people seem to disregard. Anyway, good luck.
Edited: 10/12/2009 at 23:37
11/12/2009 at 09:21

I'm not sure which side to take on these cases...

Sometimes I think doctors are too cautious and perhaps there are alternate solutions to our problems, but then other times I think they're only trying to look out for us - they wouldn't tell someone not to run for the fun of it.

I'd err on the side of caution to be honest - they haven't said you shouldn't run long-term (I presume?) so maybe just take their advice and cross-train for a bit.

Putting things into perspective, you've only been running for 8 months - if you don't take the sensible advice now, you may end up with an early negative experience of running, which could well destroy your motivation and wreck your 'falling in love' feeling with the sport.  

11/12/2009 at 09:51

All the more reason to get a more informed second opinion.  See a physio, get it checked out.  You'll most likely get a more detailed and accurate diagnosis - which itself will be a lot more reassuring than someone saying "Don't run" - and hopefully a positive prescription on how to deal with it.  This may include strengthening exercises, advice on shoe needs, etc but also more sympathetic views as to where it leaves your running.  The worst case scenario is that an injury is diagnosed which really does require you to stop running, at least in the short term, and advice on other exercises to keep fit until you can run again.  Chances are you will be able to run as long as you manage things properly.

Err on the side of caution, but do it from a position of being better informed after seeing a specialist who knows what they're talking about.

11/12/2009 at 09:58

Thank you everyone for all your advice, it's been really helpful, and given me a starting point as to what to do next.

Appointment for specialist, going to be made today, sooner the better, then i can take on board what i can and can't do.

 Thank  you so much for all your advice, again, it is invaluable. I can't show more appreciation by text!!

 Lea, i live in Cambridge, which is not far from you!! Let me know her details that would be great.

 Natalie x

11/12/2009 at 11:01

I'd also advise taking glucosamine supplements. I had dodgy knees when I started running and these helped no end. They're also known to be anti-inflammatory which can only help!

Good luck!!

11/12/2009 at 11:18

do you thinkglucosamine and chondrotin complex good too? or would it be better to take just the glucosamine?

many thanks

 i judst want to go run now!!!

11/12/2009 at 11:25
I only take glucosamine so not too sure. I doubt the chondratin would do any harm though. Sorry I can't be more help!
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