Fat Girl gets Runner's Knee (or Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS)). That's my right knee you see on the right (I took a picture of the x-ray with my cell phone. Tricky, eh? One day I'll post a capture from my MRI)
Lucky for me I have a friend that works in one of the best orthopedics practices in DC that is explaining this all to me (also the best single man in DC that I know). Even when I first hurt my back, he was the person I went to. More than anything he's able to tell me "Go to a doctor." And I listen. When I hurt my wrist from taking a fall (normally it wouldn't have hurt, but the steroids I was on at the time for my back made me prone to injury) he was the one who patched up my little wing. (and he, himself, is the
I like the recommendations that the first link has on how to avoid this injury:
- Stay in shape. Good general conditioning is important to controlling and preventing patellofemoral pain. If you're too heavy, you may need to lose weight to avoid overstressing your knees.
- Stretch. Before running or any other exercise, first do a 5-minute warm up, followed by stretching exercises. Stretching, particularly in the face down position (prone), will help keep the supporting structures around the front of the knee flexible and less likely to be irritated with exercise. For example, when lying prone, grab the ankle of the affected leg with one hand, and gently stretch the front of the knee. Stretch before and after exercise.
- Increase training gradually. Avoid sudden changes in the intensity of exercise. Increase force or duration of activities gradually.
- Use proper running gear. Use running shoes with good shock absorption and quality construction. Be sure that shoes fit properly and are in good condition. If you have flat feet, you may need shoe inserts.
- Use proper running form. Lean forward and keep your knees bent. Also, try to run on a clear, smooth, resilient, even, and reasonably soft surface. Never run straight down a steep hill. Walk down it, or run in a zigzag pattern.
And in case you were interested in some other photos of me...