Stopped before I’ve Even Started?
“I know you think you know everything,” my husband said to me with a disapproving look in his eye. “But searching Google does not make you a doctor.”
“A doctor would just tell me to rest, ice, take an anti-inflammatory and maybe discuss inserts in my shoes,” I retorted. “There’s nothing different a doctor would do for me or tell me that I don’t already know myself.”
“It wouldn’t kill you to at least go talk to someone with a medical degree,” he replied as he turned and walked away.
On Sunday, I was running on my treadmill and was surprised to feel some soreness in my knees. I’ve never felt anything like that before. I figured it was just some achiness associated with returning to exercise after so much time off. I’ve been extraordinarily careful and cautious about reintroducing running and cross-training, going very slow, never running two days in a row and only running two to three miles at time with walk breaks no more than three days per week. And I’m only on week two!
On Tuesday, I went for another run. This time, I knew something was wrong. Every time my foot hit the ground, it felt like pins were being stuck in the area below my knees. I cut the run short and returned home.
That’s when Dr. Google showed up.
The pain is actually below both my knees toward the inner side of my legs. A dedicated Google search leads me to believe I may have the beginnings of Pes Anserine tendonitis or bursitis. There is a bursa (fluid filled sac, often at a joint) between the place where a bunch of tendons attach together at the inner part of the lower knee and the tibia bone. Guess when this bursa becomes inflamed? When there is repetitive friction in sports such as running. You can imagine my annoyance and dismay at potentially having an overuse injury when I’ve been so cautious and have barely been “using” much of anything.
Here’s a photo from MedScape that shows you exactly where I’m feeling the symptoms.
You can also imagine my disappointment at the thought of having to stop running before I’ve really even started.
For the next week, I’m going to take things easy and see if I experience any relief by doing the following:
- Avoiding any exercises that aggravate the area, including stopping all running. I went to a spin class yesterday where it didn’t hurt. I will probably just focus on upper body strength work and possibly seated bike and elliptical if neither create any pain.
- Ice the area on both legs several times per day for about 10-20 minutes at a time
- Stretch my hamstrings and do exercises to strengthen my adductor muscles
- Take a breast-feeding-approved anti-inflammatory if I feel it gets to that point
As someone who is rarely injured and has taken so much time off, being laser focused on returning to exercise safely, I feel deflated by this setback. I have been waiting for so long to start running and really training again … not just the 40 weeks I was pregnant and the six weeks of recovery, but the entire year before I got pregnant and was trying to start a family. It has been since October 2014 that I trained hard for a race, and the beginnings of building back to something later this year have been extremely exciting to me.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is just a little inflammation that will completely go away in a week or so by resting and doing the right things. And if not? Well, then, I guess I’ll have to follow Mr. rUnladylike’s advice and go to the doctor after all.
Have you ever experienced Pes Anserine bursitis? Do you ever make self-diagnoses from Google, or are you smarter like Mr. rUnladylike?