My first on the board.
This is a question for the more medically inclined on this board. I woke up this past Monday morning with incredible stiffness in my left knee. I thought the stiffness was due to the two beach volleyball matches I played on Sunday, so I just assumed the stiffness was a result of overexertion.
Then I noticed if I sat down and then stood straight up (as if I was performing a squat)I would feel a knot on the outside (lateral side) of my left knee. It almost felt like the knee was “grabbing” as I bent my leg and then as I straightened the leg I would hear a pop or cracking feeling. This has been going on for a week now.
The stiffness and swelling in the joint has somewhat subsided, but the annoying (and somewhat painful) popping/cracking persists (occasionally - particularly after sitting for too long). I have spoken to friends of mine regarding this problem (both are formal collegiate Division 1 athletes) and a respected physical therapist/triathelete.
My two friends think I have overstretched the ligaments in the knee (thus explaining the stiffness)and that I may have “loosened” the cartilage (causing the popping/cracking sensation)in the knee.
The physical therapist thinks I have ITBS (Illiotibial Band Syndrome a.k.a. Runners Knee)and that a stiff ITB is causing the pain (I showed him the spot where I was felt the pain and stiffness. He stretched the ITB for me and it did feel better, but the popping/cracking still occasionally persists. I found the ITB diagnosis odd, because I am not a big runner. In fact I have not run distances of any kind since I was in my early 20s, but I LOVE to squat.
BTW, this injury is similar to an injury I suffered in my early 20s: I was squatting one day in the gym, with about 225 on the bar (not a heavy weight for me at that time) and I was coming down to parallel my right knee bowed out to the right and I felt this sharp pain that started in my knee and then shot up towards my him.
I should have stopped the set right there, but in a moment of stupidity, I kept squatting and completed the set. I felt numbness and stiffness in the knee, which persisted for the next few days. I went to an osteopathic physician and explained to him what happened. He told me to first, stop squatting it’s bad for your knees (SURPRISE, SUPRISE), and second, stay off of it. He then perscribed physical therapy, which I did for about 2 weeks.
Personally, I knew what caused the injury - bad form and poor flexibility. The doc. also told me my knee joint was very weak. I thought this was odd, because at the time I could knock out 20 reps with 330 lbs (down to parallel) in the squat. He told me the muscles around the knee were so weak that he could easily “knock” my knee cap out of alignment. He told me start doing leg extensions (with a reduced range of motion - I laughed out loud). He then stood up and pulled up his pants leg to show me how solid his quads were. I have to admit the guys legs looked solid.
Anyhow, I took a little of his advice, but I have continued to squat. The right knee occasionally pops, just like the left one does now. I think this popping in the right knee was definitely caused by this injury.
To give you all some background on me: I’m 30 years old (soon to be 31) and have been consistenly lifting for 13 years (i.e. lifting 4 days a week). At a height of 6’1" and 215 lbs (10 - 11% BF), I have a short torso and long legs (i.e. long upper thighs), so I don’t exactly have the ideal bodytype for squatting.
- Has anyone dealt with knee pain such as this?
- How did you rehab from it? Exercises, supplements etc.
I haven’t worked my lower body in a week (just working upper body), because everyone has been telling me to rest my knee until my body tells me to give it a go. I was hoping someone could give me some advice on how to ease back into training the “wheels” again. THANKS