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Help with shoes & knee pain (Read 814 times)


Not dead. Yet.

    I'm a new runner (6 months) and have been working on form/equipment problems that I believe are causing knee problems while running.  I'm dying to get these issues figured out so I can safely increase my mileage and start going longer and getting faster.  And to be more comfortable!

     

    I started out on C25K with some Nike Dual Fusion ST2's that I bought at Kohl's in August.  Once I started getting my mileage above 20 miles a week, I started to have some left knee pain so I went to my LRS and got put into motion control shoes.  The new shoes felt great and the pain in the left knee went away.  After a few weeks though, it was replaced by a worse ITBS pain on the right knee.  I worked on that for a while, and managed to control it with strengthening, stretching and foam rolling.  It never went completely away, and now that the new year has passed, I am beginning to ramp my miles back up again and am still having some problems.  I finally realized that the ITBS pain started right after I got the motion control shoes, so I ordered some neutral shoes (KSwiss Keahou II) in hopes that the change in shoe style would at least shed some light on my problem.

     

    It's been several days now running in the neutral shoes and the ITBS pain is much better, but the pain has instead migrated to the bottom of my kneecap, instead of the outside.  On my run today, I also noticed that my left footstrike felt comfortable and natural, but when my right foot strikes in the new shoes, it feels like my big toe has a lot of room and is slapping down.  It is very odd, and something is obviously wrong.  My first thought was that the laces in the front by the toes were too loose.  I checked them when I got home and they weren't very tight, but not loose either; about the same as the other side.

     

    Is it possible that I over-pronate only on the right side?  How would I correct that?  Should I get an orthotic for that side only?  Is it possible that the shoes are causing the pain to move around, or is it just a way for me to rationalize it?  Is it possible that these are the right shoes, and the new pains are just unused muscles developing (or being abused) for the first time?  In that case, do I need to give it another week to be sure?

     

    I will go to a doctor/PT, but I'm trying to exhaust all options first and at the same time learn something about these things.

    How can we know our limits if we don't test them?

    Jan26.2


      It appears that you went from one extreme to the other with shoe stability. Have you ever tried a regular stability shoe - one that has more support than neutral, but less than motion control? Motion control shoes are usually for severe over pronators, and it doesn't sound like that's you. I've run in Asics Gel Kayanos, Nike Lunarglides, and Mizuno Nirvanas and Alchemys - they're all support shoes with various amounts of support. You might try some middle ground with shoes to see if that helps.

       

      It is possible to have different foot strikes on each foot. I was told my right foot pronates much more than my left.

      PR's: 5k - 23:33/ 10k - 48:30/ 5 mi. - 39:21/ 13.1 - 1:53/ 26.2 recent - 4:34

       

      Upcoming races: Resolution Run HM 1/1/13

                                  Phoenix R&R    HM 1/20/13

        Why are you trying to exhaust all other options before getting professional help with a DR (not PT)? A podiatrist might spot your issue right away and get you set up.

         

        I have flat feet and, being a dummy, I just complained about inner knee pain. I finally did the right thing, got orthotics and life is good.

         

        Another possibility is that you are ramping your miles up to quickly. It looks like you just finished a C25K and now you are going over 20 mi/wk. To me, this seems to much too soon.

         

        Finally, don't buy shoes from a Kohls.Go to an honest to god running store. They generally have people that can put you in the right shoe.

        John
        www.wickedrunningclub.com
        I run to clear my head and talk to my friends.

          You have thrown in a lot of things here--all due respect, you seem to be thinking too much without thinking deep enough.

           

          First of all, you're trying to change, besides your shoes, your form and also to increase your mileage.  Your "injury" may or may not be caused by any of or, combination of, these.  Throw in the surface of terrain you're running on, whether or not you're running on one side of the road all the time.  ITBS, for instance, can be caused easily by overly developed stability/motion-conrol shoes but also if you're running one side of the road all the time and compared which side of the leg you're getting ITBS (if it's facing the edge of the road), then that can be easily explained.  You do realize also that, all those stretching or foam rolling or whatever, they MAY work just fine but, unless you identify and remove the cause of it, it's nothing but tampering.  Your first shoes (Fusion) seem to be very basic "cheap" shoes (at Kohl's) with fairly minimal sponge under your foot--I'm a minimalist so the shoes not being the top of the line is not a bad thing at all; however, if the shoes are constructed cheaply with cheap material, then that's a whole different story.  In other words, the shoes may cost you $50 instead of $120 and they can be one of the best shoes or they can be disastrous.  It's not how much they are; but what you get from that same bucks.  KSwiss shoes don't look that overly built but I'm curious what shoes you were wearing when you actually developed ITBS...  All due respect, I wouldn't trust everything LRS people might tell you.  I'm all for supporting LRS, I have many good friends working there here but there are also a lot of not-so-knowledgeable people, genuinely trying to help but sadly only reading out of the manuals.  In a way, same with lots of PTs.  To jump the gun but here's an interesting not-so-scientific but quite clear observation article on orthotics: http://www.scienceofrunning.com/2013/01/what-do-orthotics-and-shoes-actually-do.html  I totally agree with him; something my mentor and myself been saying since 1980s.

           

          Almost NONE of us run symmetrically from right and left side.  My left leg is slightly longer and my left leg is definitely stronger than my right; I land slightly on the outside of my heel on my right foot while my left foot is almost totally mid-foot; I pronate slightly on my left foot due to a structural issue.  I use to over-think about these things until I saw these twin brothers; one leans distinctly to the left and the other to the right--probably that's the way they were crammed into their mother's womb!!  One ran 2:09:05 and the other 2:08:50.  Those form or leg length discrepancy didn't seem to hurt them much at all.  Probably what helped them is the fact these guys train in pretty much the same type of minimalist shoes you can see them running in this picture.  Remember; the closer to the ground you are, the MORE stabile you'll be.

           

          Try REALLY hard to identify whether your pain is the beginning of injury or just a growing pain.  If you worry too much with a growing pain and you keep stopping your training or changing things that were actually working, you'll never grow stronger.  If you change shoes every time you feel some nibbles and soreness without thinking deeply enough to identify what they are and what's really causing it, it'd be the same as throwing some workouts into your training without thinking--in other words, crap-shooting.  You may get lucky but you'll never grow and succeed from crap-shooting.

           

          I'm a new runner (6 months) and have been working on form/equipment problems that I believe are causing knee problems while running.  I'm dying to get these issues figured out so I can safely increase my mileage and start going longer and getting faster.  And to be more comfortable!

           

          I started out on C25K with some Nike Dual Fusion ST2's that I bought at Kohl's in August.  Once I started getting my mileage above 20 miles a week, I started to have some left knee pain so I went to my LRS and got put into motion control shoes.  The new shoes felt great and the pain in the left knee went away.  After a few weeks though, it was replaced by a worse ITBS pain on the right knee.  I worked on that for a while, and managed to control it with strengthening, stretching and foam rolling.  It never went completely away, and now that the new year has passed, I am beginning to ramp my miles back up again and am still having some problems.  I finally realized that the ITBS pain started right after I got the motion control shoes, so I ordered some neutral shoes (KSwiss Keahou II) in hopes that the change in shoe style would at least shed some light on my problem.

           

          It's been several days now running in the neutral shoes and the ITBS pain is much better, but the pain has instead migrated to the bottom of my kneecap, instead of the outside.  On my run today, I also noticed that my left footstrike felt comfortable and natural, but when my right foot strikes in the new shoes, it feels like my big toe has a lot of room and is slapping down.  It is very odd, and something is obviously wrong.  My first thought was that the laces in the front by the toes were too loose.  I checked them when I got home and they weren't very tight, but not loose either; about the same as the other side.

           

          Is it possible that I over-pronate only on the right side?  How would I correct that?  Should I get an orthotic for that side only?  Is it possible that the shoes are causing the pain to move around, or is it just a way for me to rationalize it?  Is it possible that these are the right shoes, and the new pains are just unused muscles developing (or being abused) for the first time?  In that case, do I need to give it another week to be sure?

           

          I will go to a doctor/PT, but I'm trying to exhaust all options first and at the same time learn something about these things.


          Not dead. Yet.

            I realized last night after making the post that it's probably too much detail to be asking on a forum.  I think it's probably time to at least check in and give my story to a doctor who can look at my exact situation and get me started on the right path.  That being said, I'm a control freak and am going to continue analyzing it until I can get in.

             

            I would almost be open to trying a stability shoe, except that I just got these others  a week ago.  I chose the Kswiss because I have a family friend that hooked me up with a steep discount there.  They seem like they make good shoes, just not as well known as the other brands.  The LRS originally set me up with Asics Gel Evolution 6 shoes.

             

            It's very hard for me to tell whether the pain is a growing pain or not.  I can tell you that I ran through the pain I had yesterday (in the new shoes), but the ITBS pain I was having previously was bad enough to stop me in my tracks several times.  I ended up walking home several miles a few times.   I am a pretty big guy (210lbs) and had bad shin splints for several months in the beginning, but those issues just disappeared one day.

             

            I know I'm throwing alot of variables around at once, but that's kind of where I am.  I want to get these issues figured out now so I can have a good year.  My left foot/leg felt great yesterday, and the big toe slapping down on my right felt so odd.  I'm almost thinking to try some orthotic in my right foot only as a last ditch effort before going to the dr.  I guess I need to do a little research on orthotics.  Do they actually stop pronation?  Is a heel lift the same thing?

             

            Thanks Jan, Sluggo and Nobby for your advice!

            How can we know our limits if we don't test them?

              It's very hard for me to tell whether the pain is a growing pain or not.  I can tell you that I ran through the pain I had yesterday (in the new shoes), but the ITBS pain I was having previously was bad enough to stop me in my tracks several times.  I ended up walking home several miles a few times.   I am a pretty big guy (210lbs) and had bad shin splints for several months in the beginning, but those issues just disappeared one day.

              In general, if you can PIN-POINT the pain, that's usually the beginning of injury.  If it's more of a dull pain that seems to move around, that's the growing pain.  If you start out nice and easy and, as your body warms up, the pain eases or sometimes even disappears, that's the growing pain.  If it gets worse, stop--that's the injury bud.  If the pain really moves around; starts out on your knee and now the knee pain's gone but your quads are sore and, the next day, it's your hamstring...that's a growing pain.  Often if you are a big guy and just starting out your running, you tend to get "a shin soreness".  I wouldn't necessarily call it a shin splint as yet.  As I'm sure you've heard it before somewhere that, on your each step, your leg would take 3-5 times your body weight.  Your lower leg is consists of 2 bones, tibia and fibula.  They sort of stretch out (the gap, that is) each step and it almost acts as an accordion-like spring.  If you're big, and if you land hard on your heels, then you really stretch it out and damage your sheath between these 2 bones.  In the extreme case, it ruptures or literally gets damaged.  That's a severe case of shin splint.  If it's just stretched out, sore it may be, it's just a growing pain still.

               

              If you can run with mild discomfort and the pain eases while running and as your body warms up, I'd encourage you to continue running.  Added circulation and increased body temperature usually helps overcome the problem.  Just keep it nice and easy and short but keep at it.  Keep the sore area warm during the day and ice massage it after you workout.  You need to overcome these growing pains; not wimp out.


              Not dead. Yet.

                Thanks, Nobby.  I'll keep on keeping on and re-evalute in a few weeks.  I have no intention of wimping out.

                How can we know our limits if we don't test them?

                  Just FYI; I wrote a blog on what I've learnt from Arthur Lydiard on shoes: http://www.lydiardfoundation.org/Blog/EntryDisplay.aspx?EntryID=124  I know some people would think my view on running shoes is a bit off-the-wall.  But then again, I was talking about minimalist shoes, per Lydiard's teaching, back in 1990s; at least a decade before Dr. Daniel Lieberman started talking about barefoot running and/or "Born to Run".

                  Thanks, Nobby.  I'll keep on keeping on and re-evalute in a few weeks.  I have no intention of wimping out.

                  mandytheartist


                    Here comes my predictable advice:  Ditch the shoes and try running barefoot.


                    Duke of Douchebaggery

                      First, as other people have stated NEVER, NEVER, NEVER buy running shoes at Kohl's.  Going to your LRS was a good move.

                       

                      Second, I am not a fan of running on just one type pair at a time.  And no, not for the myth that it takes shoes 48 to recover completely from a run because that has yet to be proven.  I alternate shoes because no one shoe is completely perfect for my foot and each one is going to change the way I run just a little.  In my case I am a neutral cushion guy so I alternate at any given time between two models from that area.

                       

                      Ok, now on to your pain.  Be careful with that.  I had a similar thing happen a couple of years ago and I kept pushing and eventually ended up with a knee effusion which will pretty much grind your running to a halt for awhile.  So, first you probably need to take a few weeks off.  This is a good time to do some core work, swim, etc.

                       

                      Once you have given your body time to recover then I recommend trying to run one day a week on grass in barefoot.  It doesn't have to be really far and you can do laps at a local football field or something.  What that will do is force you to be more aware of your stride.  It's very possible that you have a slight stride imbalance causing this and doing this type of running for awhile will help your body adjust a little.

                       

                      And finally...NEVER, NEVER, NEVER buy running shoes at Kohl's.  Shoes are really our only significant expense and you should care more about your body than that.


                      Not dead. Yet.

                        I don't think I'm ready to try barefoot running yet, or to cut down to one day a week.

                         

                        My last few runs have been better, so I'm going to keep pushing forward for now.  The recent pains have kind of moved around like Nobby said, and haven't been severe enough to stop me at all.  I'm hoping that since I switched to the neutral shoes, some new muscles/ligaments/etc are being abused that weren't previously, and that's whats causing this pain.  The ITBS was unbearable, but this isn't.  I think that's a good sign.

                         

                        I've also been trying to keep an eye on my form,  and think I found out something interesting that seems to affect my knees.  I caught myself dragging my right foot a little bit while running during a long run last week.  It was almost like a shuffle.  Instead of swaying my knee back and forth like a pendulum, i was keeping my foot very low to the ground and was moving it kind of in an elliptical pattern back and forth.  I couldn't figure out exactly what causes it, but if I concentrate on bringing my heel up toward my butt it seems to make it swing properly and minimizes the pain.

                         

                        In regards to the Kohl's shoes... LOL!  I realize now that was a dumb move, but the even dumber move was trying to do my very first run in just regular old tennis shoes I wear around.  That was painful.  The Nike's served their purpose though; they got me started.  When I got them I wasn't sure if this was something I was going to have an interest in continuing or not.  Now that I know I do have an interest, I go the the LRS.

                        How can we know our limits if we don't test them?


                        Duke of Douchebaggery

                          I don't think I'm ready to try barefoot running yet, or to cut down to one day a week.

                           

                           

                          I didn't mean to just run one day a week.  I meant substituting one day a week of normal running with a barefoot run on grass.  You may not be ready to try it yet but file it somewhere in the back of your mind.  It really is a very effective way to correct stride flaws.

                           

                          Good luck.


                          Not dead. Yet.

                             I didn't mean to just run one day a week.  I meant substituting one day a week of normal running with a barefoot run on grass.  

                             

                            I will try it out.  Thanks!

                            How can we know our limits if we don't test them?

                            mandytheartist


                              Just to clarify my advice: I'm a fulltime barefooter.


                              Not dead. Yet.

                                Just to clarify my adive: I'm a fulltime barefooter.

                                 

                                I kind of got that from your response.  I wonder what kind of wonderful things you can do with those toes.  Smile

                                How can we know our limits if we don't test them?

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