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Exercises to speed knee recovery (Read 1243 times)

     For about a month, I've been having knee problems and haven't been able to run. I visited a sports physiotherapist, who told me that I had "patella chondromalacia" and advised me to not to run for some weeks. In the meantime, he's given me a regimen of pilates-type exercises to be doing thrice daily. These include: squats, leg lifts, bridging (with leg extensions), and a few more I can't think of at the moment. Many of these I did prior to injury, with the exception of squats, which I now regret not doing. 

     

    Does this sound like it should expedite recovery? I'm not necessarily asking for a second opinion, per se, but I know that it might be nice to get advice from some of the runners out there. He said it might also be nice to do some gentle biking, on a push-bike or stationary bike, but advised me not to consider it "training", i.e., put strenuous effort in. I'm not a biker, but I would definitely be willing to check that out. Does anyone else have experience with this type of injury? If so, can you offer any suggestions? Thanks for the help! 

     

    dave 

      Those exercises with rest make sense. Bridging with leg extension is fine but should avoid the traditional leg extension machine with weight. I wold add hip abduction/adduction exercise if not already. The gluteus medius is an important exercise for runners and running form stability. Band walking side to side is a good one. I do think biking is good with proper seat height and not cranking the intensity. Give it some time - you don't want this to be a long term issue.

      Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

      JennyJJ


        Also be sure to stretch properly. Calf raises, hamstring stretches, anything leg related will help to relieve some of the imbalance.

          Thanks for the help - I'm now doing both forward and reverse lunges and squats with weights.

          Already after a week and a half I think I've seen a difference, I'm hoping I'll rebound relatively quickly.

           

          He told me to do three sets of 15 reps on each leg for each exercise, which seems to be a common regimen. Is it assumed that this workout is to be completed once daily? He had me doing other (easier) exercises three times a day, but the newer ones are much harder, especially with weights. He didn't say how many times per day to do the new workout, though I'm inclined toward quality over quantity for this sort of thing. 

          josh_colby


            Dave,

            I have also had this same injury, and I also did the knee exercises you described (lunges, squats, leg lifts, etc.).  I went through this routine of exercises for about a month with little to no improvement.  But what helped me finally overcome the injury was purchasing a Patella knee strap.  You can find these at any Walmart or Walgreens.  It is a little velcro strap that you put right under your patella to help support your knee.  I could still run with the strap on, so that was a bonus.  I wore the strap for about two months during running or working out, and it helped tremendously!  I finally weened off of it, and am running injury free now (knock on wood).

             

            Good luck!

            Josh

              Thanks - yeah, eventually, I came to the realization that it was necessary to run to heal, even on top of all the exercises I was being given. 

               

               I'm able to run now, but am being really conservative with how many miles I run at this stage. I also carefully monitor my pace/stride so I can avoid just getting hurt again. I wear a Garmin just to track mileage, but put a piece of tape over the pace section so I don't get tempted to run too fast (it really is that much of a problem for me!) 

                Those exercises with rest make sense. Bridging with leg extension is fine but should avoid the traditional leg extension machine with weight. I wold add hip abduction/adduction exercise if not already. The gluteus medius is an important exercise for runners and running form stability. Band walking side to side is a good one. I do think biking is good with proper seat height and not cranking the intensity. Give it some time - you don't want this to be a long term issue.

                 

                Everything here that Tchuck said especially the glute/hip stengthening.  Once I started adding this, my injury issues pretty much went away.  The band walks which I call monster walks are great and I do these at least 4 days a week.  Along with some squats, lunges, and bridges....that's pretty much all you need to strengthen the main areas you need when running.  I'd also start adding some core exercises to get the mid-section and lower back stronger.

                  Yep, all good stuff, thanks. Here's what my current strength training regimen looks like at present. I do this every other day - doing it every day on top of running is too much for me right now. 

                   

                  - Push-ups (50 reps)

                  - Bridging (50 reps) 

                  - Bridging (w/ leg extensions) - held for 1 minute each side

                  - Straight leg raises (50 reps each side) 

                  (short break...) 

                  - Squats w/ weight (50 reps) 

                  - Forward lunges w/ weight (3 sets of 15 reps) 

                  - Stationary reverse lunges w/ weight (3 sets of 15 reps)

                   

                  I'll probably adjust this as I gain fitness, most likely in how much weight I do the squats and lunges with. Should this routine help to prevent injury again? 

                    Runner's knee is genreally a muscle imbalance issue. I'll only add that you need to make sure you are squatting correctly. Look up "squat Rippetoe" on youtube. SquatRx on youtube is also very good. Doing them incorrectly can just make the imbalance worse. When most people do squats, they are very quad-centric and never use their hips, hamstrings and glutes - your posterior chain. Squats should not be a quad exercise, it's a posterior chain exercise. Good luck. 

                     

                      Runner's knee is genreally a muscle imbalance issue. I'll only add that you need to make sure you are squatting correctly. Look up "squat Rippetoe" on youtube. SquatRx on youtube is also very good. Doing them incorrectly can just make the imbalance worse. When most people do squats, they are very quad-centric and never use their hips, hamstrings and glutes - your posterior chain. Squats should not be a quad exercise, it's a posterior chain exercise. Good luck. 

                      Thanks. What is a good weight to start off with for 50-rep sets? That's what my physiotherapist recommended, but

                      he didn't give me a set weight to use, he just said to do 50 reps. 

                       

                        this ridiculously easy step-down exercise has helped me a lot! I don't even use weights, but I have incorporated 10 reps on each side pretty much every other day.

                         

                        http://chadwaterbury.com/step-down-for-stronger-healthier-knees/

                          50 rep sets? I'd do them unweighted. Add a little weight over time I guess if you can. I've never done 50 rep sets.

                           

                          runwietecha


                            LIke others said, band walks and focused on the gluteus may really help you.  I had the same injury earlier in the year, and I wasn't able to do any lunges or squatting.  Once I started focusing on the glutes, things got a lot better.

                             

                            Here is a good link to check out: http://runningwritings.blogspot.com/2012/03/injury-series-uncovering-role-of-hip.html

                             

                            If you don't want to look at your pace, you can take that off your Garmin window.  Just put one window on there, showing the total distance.

                              50 rep sets? I'd do them unweighted. Add a little weight over time I guess if you can. I've never done 50 rep sets.

                               

                              Nobody can do 50 squats. And +1 to tending to the glutes.

                              “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

                                Nobody can do 50 squats. And +1 to tending to the glutes.

                                 Yeah, here's a video which demonstrates it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYBxMNxXIG4

                                 

                                I find the method he demonstrates a lot harder than the method which the physiotherapist prescribed

                                to me. The way he said to do it is to stand with my feet shoulder-width apart, lean my hips way

                                bag and angle my back at about 45 degrees while keeping it straight as I sink into a squat. I 

                                must be doing it wrong or something, because I can squat like that 30-50 times. Any ideas? 

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