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Sprints w/ bad knees?

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  • Sprints w/ bad knees?

    I've been dealing with tendonitis and chondromalacia in my knee since this past October. After giving up first squats & lunges, then leg presses, then the rowing machine, then the stationary bike, all I'm able to do with my lower body is straight-legged deadlifts and the elliptical trainer. The elliptical is what I use for my Tabata sprints, but I usually don't make it to the gym as often as I would like. What options do I have for sprinting at home? It has to be low-impact, so things like running and jumping rope are out, and I can't put much weight on my bent knee, so burpees or anything else that would load bent knees are out.

    After a few months of conservative treatment and no improvement, I'm about ready to go get a steroid shot. If anyone has any miracle cures, I would be more that happy to hear them.

    My blog: Pretty Good Paleo
    On Twitter: @NEKLocalvore

  • #2

    Annika--Ice, rest, etc is all good, but get yourself checked out by a posture or movement specialist who can analyze your posture pattern and identify the imbalances that are causing your knee issues. Many excellent options here: Alexander, Feldenkrais, and Egoscue are a few.

    The steroid shot is just a stronger way of masking the pain and reducing the inflammation. With it, you're not treating the problem at its source: a faulty movement pattern that's putting unequal levels of force and stress into your joints. I'd hate for you or anyone to get stuck in the spiral of frustration that comes from a symptom-targeted approach to healing posture-related pain--this is something all we MDA readers know very well when it comes to diet, and with your adherence to PB principles, you're probably already in good shape when it comes to creating a low-inflammation environment in your body that can facilitate healing.

    In time you should be able to work your way back up to sprints and other impact activities--the body was designed to accommodate impact, and it's even necessary for joint health, so eliminating these movements and activities entirely is a bad idea; fine while you're healing, but not in the long run.

    I've spent several years tackling my own aches and pains and imbalances, and have learned a lot (though only a speck compared to what I don't yet know!) about the interaction between the mind-body and its (I like to think of them as one thing a lot) capacity to heal and reorganize itself. I'm always happy to chat in more depth about this stuff, either in the forum or via email. Hope you feel better soon!

    Check out my blog here.


    • #3

      Annika, do you have access to a community pool of some kind? There's always underwater arm swings, or holding the edge and swishing your legs.

      I don't know how much this would help your knees, but in conjunction with the anti-inflammatory PB diet like Chowza mentioned, maybe it's worth a try before going with the steroids.