Question - Patella Problem (Running)

by Rob
(Ohio / North Carolina)

Run down of the scenario. I was increasing mileage by no more than 10% weekly, and was averaging around 35miles a week. The day before a long flight I tried a different calf exercise that really made my calves burn the next day. I think I did a short 3 miler on that same day.

Got on the airplane and ever since it's hurt around my kneecap and so forth to walk and run. I stopped running for the last week and a half, taking anti-inflammatory meds, ice and moist heat mix, with stretching 3x a day. The problem is not really getting better but I thought that it only took a few days for the discomfort to stop. Not sure what to do. Thanks for taking the time to answer.

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Apr 26, 2008
What type of calf exercise?
by: Bart - SII

This sounds like there could be any number of causes for your patella pain. What type of calf exercise did you do that caused the burning? Was it a "muscles are working hard" type of burning, or more of a "oh my gosh that hurts" type of burning. Calf injury can cause problems at the patella, but it could be something else.

Sitting on a long flight can sometimes cause pain and achiness that lasts for a few hours/days, but usually not for an extended period of time.

Do you have any history of knee problems? Changed shoes recently or changed terrain?

Sorry to answer with more questions, but a little more info will allow me to provide a better answer.

As with any type of injury, if it lasts for more than a week, I highly recommend seeing a physician for an evaluation. Comment back with a little more info and I might be able to give a better answer as to what could possibly be going on / treatment options.

Apr 27, 2008
calve info
by: rob

The exersice was a heavy wieght calve extension, and it was just post exersice muscle soreness, not an injury. That and the plane ride were the only things that really changed from my routine.

My shoes were fairly new, with no more than 100 miles on them, but they were the same model shoe that I have used for the last 6 months.

I have had shin splints that have led to a stress fracture, and a few years ago I had my meniscus shaved down with a scope.

I have seen two sports med doctors, but they told me the old rice adage. I was hoping to not only diagnose, but maybe figure out what the underlying problem is. I'm around 200lbs in athletic shape. I know I pronate because I roll onto my heel and off my big toe. My next step is to buy stability or motion control shoes, thinking maybe I over pronate. Any info is greatly appreciated.


Apr 29, 2008
Shoes and inserts
by: Bart - SII

It doesn't sound like the calf exercise is the cause of your problem. I think you are on the right track with the foot mechanics. If you do overpronate, you probably need a more stable shoe. Something that will control your heel and forefoot and keep you out of the pronated posiiton. I also high recommend a good foot orthotic. The best one on the market, in my opinion is made by Wrymark - 1st Steps. You can find them online. They provide a good support base of poron, and unless you are a severe overpronator with a lot of other biomechanical issues, they don't need to be customized.
Here is a link to an online source. Do a google search to find the best price.

The other thing to consider is some type of hip strengthening activities. In the rehab secion of this site, there are several different types of exercises that may be of benefit to you. Check under the patella femoral rehab section.

Hope this helps - comment back with other questions.

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