Stopped before I’ve Even Started?

March 2, 2017

“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.

Photo from Medscape

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?

Comments

Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes
Reply

Oh man, I’m sorry. Remember even post partum your body is full of the relaxin hormone that may be contributing to something like this?

rUnladylike
Reply

That’s what I was thinking and hoping too! Gotta start even slower than slow 🙂 Hoping a few days off will help.

Kimberly
Reply

Turmeric nearly gave me instant relief when I had inflammation (maybe tendonitis) in my elbow. I used the actual dry spice and not the pills. Added half tablespoon to my smoothies or shakes. Alters the taste a bit but the relief was well worth it. Feel better!

rUnladylike
Reply

Great tip Kimberly! I’ll have to try that in my next protein shake! xo

Leanne- Treadmillrunnergirl
Reply

I’m sorry! I hope that taking it easy and icing this week will clear things up. Having an injury and taking time off stinks (as I have my booted foot propped up while I type this!)
And you and your husband sound exactly like me and my husband. As I took 2.5 weeks to see the Ortho after my fall and got the “I told you so” look from him when I came home wearing a boot.
Good luck and heal quickly!

rUnladylike
Reply

LOL Leanne! I’m so so sorry you’re in a boot. It can be so hard to take so much time off and restart over again but the time will go fast! Thinking of you and wishing you a speedy recovery! xo

Kristin
Reply

a lot of PT places do free injury screens (I’m a PT and my company does them), so consider checking into that. they can check things out and tell you what you’re dealing with and if you should see your doc and if you should get some PT to nip it in the bud

Laura @ This Runner's Recipes
Reply

Oh Jess, I’m so sorry! I hope things clear up for you – it sounds like you’re taking the right path of action. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

Katie
Reply

Relaxin hormones!! Will make everything achy and sore. Go easy girlie!! And be kind to yourself!! You will be back at it before you know it!!!

Heather
Reply

That stinks! I second the suspicion that relaxin is the culprit. I tore the meniscus in my left knee twice… once when my oldest was 8 months old and once when my youngest was 8 months. Both times my doctor said he thought relaxin was a major factor bc it probably lead to some muscle imbalances that couldn’t really be corrected until I stopped nursing. SO FRUSTRATING. I feel you. Hope it just something a little rest and TLC will take care of!!!

Natalie
Reply

Sorry, Jes – but I am siding with Fran on this one. Go to the doctor, stat! I was a runner that never, ever had knee problems – felt pain in my knee, tried to figure it out for a few weeks (It was post marathon and I thought I just needed more rest) and eventually it was revealed that it was something bigger than I ever imagined. I am sure this is not your case, but I would just cruise into the doc for a look. Better to be on top of right away than not. Sending healing vibes, friend and let me know how it goes! xo

Katie
Reply

I recall, after my first was born, feeling as though I had emerged into this world with an entirely new and different body. A woman (who if I remember properly, was younger than I am now), told me “not everything in your body goes back to the way it was before”. I figured she was talking about something like my hips being slightly farther apart from now on, but I think it may have been more philosophical. I’m not saying (clearly!) that just because you have children that it’s time to throw in the towel. Some of my most rewarding years of running were when I was pushing my babies in the double. Our bodies will teach us lessons in the years after childbirth. I know it is hard to take a long view of things, but I promise you will be able to return to exercising at an intensity that makes you happy. I hope this resolves quickly, but don’t be discouraged, Jes! I think this is very much part of the process.

Frank
Reply

Sorry to hear this – and I hope that it’s temporary – but I agree with the others that urge you to see a doctor.

Mary
Reply

Oh no, so sorry! Not the comeback you envisioned. I too started with slow jogs at 6 weeks post partum only to have my hip flare up, which has never happened before. I’m totally blaming the hormones. I gave myself a few weeks off, which was a bummer but the time went by quickly and now I’m back to running slowly again. Good luck!! 🙂

Amanda N
Reply

Hope you figure it all out. Our bodies are different and still going through so much post partum. Figure it all out, work on strengthening, the running will come. Hoping for the best!

Reca
Reply

Haha, Dr. Google. I have self diagnosed myself with Morton’s neuroma thanks to Dr. Google. Although Dr. Google convinced me I had tendinitis when I had a stress fracture and I ran a 5k with said stress fracture. We can’t be right all the time.

I hope it’s just your hormones settling and rest will help. I know I’ve been eager to tackle my speed goals and I ended up sick for a week. At least you have other items to focus on, although I know the running bug will be there.

Laura
Reply

Oh bummer, that is so frustrating… especially after being so careful and doing everything right! By being conservative now, hopefully it will heal quickly!

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