The main issue throughout the year has been my knee tracking. My left kneecap has been pulling to the left, causing the bones to rub against each other. Painful. The more I’d do, the more it would hurt. I took weeks off at a time more than once.
I was seeing an athletic therapist, who has helped me in the past. He thought it the issue was stemming from my neck. There were a lot of exercises I had to try and keep everything in line. Unfortunately, it just didn’t do the job of keeping my kneecap in place.
I finally (like a whole year later) decided to get a second opinion and went to a physiotherapist a couple weeks ago. He thinks the issue stems from my quad muscles, with one being really tight and one being really weak. And because my knees move around a lot, almost like being double-jointed. (I don’t remember how to explain that part properly!) I’ve been doing specific exercises everyday, and it feels like it’s improving slowly. The therapist said it’ll still hurt, and I still have to ease into things. But, he’s confident I’ll be just fine.
I’m hopeful based on last week’s workouts. I haven’t felt that good in a year! I’m also hesitant to get too excited, as I’ve felt better before and then had issues come back stronger.
Another piece to the puzzle is massage. I hadn’t been for a massage in over a year. I went for one two weeks ago, where she focused strictly on my back and neck, and another last week, where she worked my tight quad muscle and back and neck. My workouts the day right after the massage were the strongest of the week.
I plan on seeing the physio until he doesn’t need to see me anymore. I’ll keep doing my exercises diligently.
I’d also like to get a massage every couple weeks for the next little while. Once my muscles stop going back into their tense state so quickly I’d like to continue with monthly massages until at least after the Ironman.
If something doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t. If you experience pain, don’t try to push through. I ended up getting sidelined a couple more times than I should have because I was stubborn and didn’t want to lose my fitness. In the end, I lost a ton because of how much time I had to take off!
Get a second opinion. I love my athletic therapist. I fully trust him, too. However, after such a long time with the same issue, I should have gotten a second opinion sooner. The physiotherapist I’m seeing now is awesome! If I don’t continue to improve though, I’m going to find somebody for a third opinion.
Don’t give up. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s true. I was so frustrated on more than one occasion. After missed workouts, missed months, and missed races I thought my ‘fitness career’ was over. Turns out, you just need to find the right solution. In the meantime, have patience and relax. Read some books, get outside, visit friends, or do an activity that won’t irritate your injury.
Anybody else with nagging injuries? Any more advice you would give?