Nicole's Patella Femoral Syndrome

by Nicole

I'm 35 I have an 8 year old and a 3 year old.

I've always loved running as a form of regular exercise. I have never been good at making sure I stretch regularly.

Since I was in high school I would run up to 4 miles 1-3 times a week. Never more than that and always on the road, mainly flats. Never any problems with my knees or anything else.

Last year I started hiking up to the ridge where I live. It's a very steep climb on a fire road. I would run along the ridge when I got to the top and usually all the way down. Then I started running up little by little until I could run the whole thing. Then I started adding distance.

I would be running for about an hour and half and I was going out at least 4 if not 6 days a week. It was very addicting for me. I did a little stretching and a few yoga classes, nothing regular.

Then my knees started hurting. I thought I just needed a few days off. That was 6 months ago. I’ve been seeing a pt for the last 5 months. He diagnosed me with patella femoral syndrome in the left knee ( the pain in the right knee went away immediately after resting a week). He has given me stretches and strengthening exercises + ice time to do, and he has me tape my knee- pulling my patella over to hold it in the right place.

I have flat feet - went to the podiatrist who gave me inserts. It took me a long time before I could walk without pain. I was hobbling around my house and to the car. So sad not to be getting any exercise.

Then it felt a little better and I started going to the gym for some cardio stuff.
That was 2 months ago. I’ve been on a handful of hikes (no running) and have continued with the pt stuff + gym time and I feel like I’ve plateau at this place where I have dull pain most of the time and certain movements make it worse. It has been very discouraging.

I was so happy to find your website today. I feel like I know a lot more about my condition and how to try to make it get better. Thank you for your time and energy.

All I can think about is going running. I wonder if I will ever be able to again.

Return to Sports Injury Stories.