T Nation

Advice on Knee Pain

Afternoon all,

Long time reader, (first time?) poster.

Stats are 26 years old, 6’2", currently nearing the end of a cut (peaked at 237lbs in March this year, now I’m down to 202lbs or so). I’ve been training seriously for about 3 years - my 1RM maxes at my max weight and fully healthy were 310lbs bench, 375lbs squat, 485lbs deadlift. Not huge but this is just to give you an idea of what ‘level’ I was/am at.

I’m wondering if anyone can give me some tips to address some knee pain I’ve had since August 2009. Probably stupid to post now given that it’s 90% better, but I suppose better late than never.

The pain was a sharp, but constant “pinching” feeling in both of my knees, just below the kneecap. The pain would worsen after sitting down or being on bended knee for extended periods (for example, when watching a movie in the cinema I would constantly have to extend my legs to take the pain away). I’m pretty sure it’s patellar tendonitis and I can pinpoint the exact moment it happened - I was doing some morning sprints in bad shoes on a concrete footpath down by the lake at a heavy weight. This proved to be a bad choice.

I couldn’t squat or deadlift for 2 months. I started slowly bringing them back in, and found that stretching my quads between sets made a significant difference (i.e. being able to squat for another 8 reps versus not being able to squat at all). The day after each workout my knees would feel awful but by the time the next leg workout came around the pain was tolerable. Running was completely out of the question, and every month or so I would try and play indoor football. This absolutely killed my knees and I wouldn’t be able to have a leg workout for at least a week or so afterwards.

About 6 weeks ago I started walking for about 50 minutes after my workouts which helps a lot, as has using compression bandages on my knees on leg day. I’ve re-introduced morning sprints, which I .can do without any pain, but my knees still feel a little ‘off’ (the sensation is hard to explain). Fish oil also makes a big difference, but as soon as I stop it for a couple of days the pain comes back. Direct pressure on my knees (for example, glute-ham raises on the floor) is unbearably painful but everything else is OK (I can squat 260lbs for 6 reps or so to just below parallel without any trouble as long as I’ve had a good warmup)

I’ve also noticed that since my knees have started getting better, my hips have become worse, so I often have a knifing pain when I back squat deep (front squat seems to be OK). I am sure the knee and the hip issue are related.

I’m looking for advice as to how best to speed up my recovery. My quadriceps are reasonably flexible, I try and ice my knees regularly (at the very least after a leg workout), and I’ve also bought new shoes. Ideally I would like to start bulking back up to 250lbs starting next February, and I would like to use that time to bring up my legs/squats given how much I have gone backwards due to this knee issue.

Thanks in advance for any help you could give.

TK Bands are great for the knees. Back Squats pretty much killed my knees, but Front Squats don’t make them hurt at all.

Not sure if this thread belongs here in the BB forum…

But anyways, it’s impossible to diagnose anything like this over the internet, because there’s a host of things it could possibly be but can’t be seen or touched by anonymous internet posters so we can’t know. Off the top of my head, with the “pinching” as a trigger word, could be a prepatellar bursitis, could be a tracking problem (transverse tilt), plica syndrome, impingement of the synovium of the knee, chondromalacia patella… And those are just what I can come up with before my morning coffee.

I’d recommend getting it checked out. Some of these are just inflammatory conditions, but others could cause degradation of the patella and the anterior knee, which would put a serious damper on further attempts and any type of leg work…

Go see a doctor. The internet is not going to take care of this.