Does my knee need Viagra?

Knee medial.jpgThe medial collateral ligament in my left knee is a bit squishy of late. At some point in every hard run, it protrudes and the knee joint gets wishy-washy for a bit. This has been taking place on an off for a year or so. I went to the ortho that I know, and then a physical therapist to get advice on how to deal with it.

Fit Dots

Spot-on during a bike fit

Like I suspected, it’s the little stuff that counts. I need to hit the balance ball and do the “small ball” stuff that we runners and swimmers and cyclists and triathletes all tend to ignore. Small repetitive motions are needed to build up tensile strength around the knee. I knew this to be the case going into the consultation. I’ve long learned not to self-diagnose. It is too easy to deceive ourselves about the nature of the problem, or head off in some treatment direction that actually makes the problem worse.

Have you been there? Done that? Almost all of us have at some time in our careers. Either we don’t do enough, or we do too much. Thus far, I’ve been doing ‘leg work’ on the weight machine. But as my hard-nosed Russian PT gal pointed out, “It doesn’t do much good to add load if your knee is not stable already.”

There’s a Catch-22 to every imbalance injury. Do nothing and it gets worse. Do too much and the imbalance just magnifies the existing weakness. So I will be playing “small ball” with small, short exercise centered around knee balance the next four weeks.

KNee brace too

The knee needs support sometimes

I may also buy a support brace for the short-term. I’ve considered the fact that I’m sixty years old with more than 50,000 miles of running on my legs. The simple truth is that a few contraptions may be necessary to help me keep rolling.

But of course a brace is like Viagra for the knees. It might be okay to use it now and then when needed. But ultimately you want your knee to be able to sustain the hard-on ability to do the work.

Now that you’ve got that image in your brain, have fun looking at the next male runner going by. But if you see a guy sporting more than a four-hour knee brace, tell him to call the doctor.

 

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About Christopher Cudworth

Christopher Cudworth is a content producer, writer and blogger with more than 25 years’ experience in B2B and B2C marketing, journalism, public relations and social media. Connect with Christopher on Twitter: @gofast and blogs at werunandride.com, therightkindofpride.com and at 3CCreativemarketing.com. Online portfolio: http://www.behance.net/christophercudworth
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