Exercise is my Prozac. No exercise and I’m an unhappy homesteader. For years I’ve battled runner’s knee, known to the medical profession as patella femoral pain syndrome. Runner’s knee is caused by muscle imbalances in the upper leg that lead to the bones in the knee not tracking correctly. This results in a painful irritation to the kneecap. Running barefoot decreased the problem, but I was still afraid to push the mileage beyond short distances.
A foolish return to fencing, after a four year absence, is what tipped me back into severe knee pain. Fencing requires agility, strength and flexibility all of which I lack. And I really want to go back to fencing–martial arts are a great workout for mind, body and soul and I think participation in one is a valuable part of the homesteader’s fitness toolkit.
As least during this encounter with knee pain I have better doctors than I did the last time–a few years ago the diagnosis was arthritis (incorrect as it turns out) and the treatment consisted of a bottle of ibuprofen. Right now the orthopedist has asked me to:
- take it easy for six weeks (gonna be hard but I’ll do it)
- perform quad strengthening exercises with ankle weights
- take Cosamin DS, a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement
My question to you, dear readers: what have you done to deal with runner’s knee and how is it going?