Last Monday afternoon, I finally took it upon myself to visit a sports doctor recommended by an officemate. After two weeks of no running, my left knee still hurts when going up/down the stairs. Dr. Randy Molo was very accommodating as I relayed to him the circumstances that resulted to my left knee injury. The only words that I hoped he would not say were those words dreaded by any other runner:
"You have to stop running for X months."
Well I was hard-headed, still running since the pain started last October, couldn't shake off the exhilaration of a morning run or race. As I entered his office that day, I was expecting the worst.
After a few questions and his explanation of where I could possibly be injured, he made me lie down and lifted my left leg to inspect where does it hurt. "When I do this, does it hurt?" was the usual question as he made various movements of my left leg and knee. "No" was my reply to all (honest!).
We sat down again to confirm what he knew all along: patellar tendinitis. It's caused by imbalance of the patella going on one side of the lower leg instead of the middle, thus causing the inflammation on the muscle tissues holding it. He said that I need to do VMO strengthening exercises (he referred me to a blogsite which I found here), and that I should put a Piroxicam patch (much like salonpas but with time-release and a much longer use period) over the part of my knee that felt painful.
Then I had to ask the most important question: "Doc, can I still run?"
He smiled, as if saying...
"Ang kulit nito ah!"
Well I didn't really recall if he said YES, but he said that I should tone down on the pace and distance until the pain subsides completely. He even mentioned that I would want to try aquajogging which was probably how Michael Jordan rehabilitated himself when he got injured as well. I was really unsure when I went back home so that night I asked him again thru sms. This was his reply:
"yes....patellar tendon issues more or less gets aggravated with front of the knee stress...you may try to run--no strict distance and pace....start with "comfortable" then progress both"
Haaayyyyy salamat! You could've seen myself sleep that night, for I might've been smiling.
I still decided to give it a few more days until last Thursday morning, I woke up to put my running gear on. I think I took the advice of Doc Randy pretty well since I ran only 2kms in 20mins or roughly 10mpk pace. Now THAT'S comfortable!! :) Though the run was short and slow, I was still glad that I was able to run again.
This morning I ran 5km in 42mins or roughly 8+ mpk pace. Still slow by my usual runs, but in accordance to the doctor's orders. Btw, I've downloaded this patellofemoral exercises PDF file which included VMO strengthening exercises. All of the exercises therein needs to be done twice a day. Once the injury subsides, it still needs to be done but only once a day. It takes a lot of patience but I'm willing to do it so that I can heal the pain on my left knee.
Well kids, looks like I'm ok to run......easy pace and distance, that is! :-)