Hello, hello! Today I had my 4th physical therapy visit. My knee pain has been better, but not healed. My pain level has gone from roughly 6 to like 3.5. The frequency of the sharp pains has also decreased. As a result, I have gotten back into the fitness routine the past couple days. Check it out here!
On my third visit last Wednesday, we finally pinpointed the problem. After my first appointment, I discussed with you the really tight IT bands (group of fibers that run down outside of thigh) and weak hip muscles. But there was something even more going on. That something is called popliteus. Pop- what?? I took anatomy and physiology in college, but I did not know this muscle.
What is the popliteus muscle?
- It is a small muscle located at the back of the knee.
- It is a deep muscle, so it is more rarely injured
- Function: internal rotation of your shin as well as for initiating knee flexing when you move from straight leg to bend leg.
How do you injure the popliteus muscle?
- Overuse and bad form
- Weak hamstrings and quads
- hyperextension of the knee
Chances are that is is a combination of causes 1 and 2 in my case.
- Pain in back of knee and outside of knee
- Rest, Ice, Elevation
- Ultrasound – heat therapy
- Transverse massage – rubbing the aggravated area perpendicular to the muscle
- Lots of hamstring stretching
- Focus on proper running form
- Regularly perform lower body strength training exercises
- Wrap knee when running of re-occuring injury
- Shoes with good stability to keep ankles in line
Prior to this injury, I have not had successful experiences with physical therapy. I think I never gave it a chance in the past. I can be quite stubborn, which tends to make for a bad patient. Now, I would recommend PT to anyone experiencing problems. I have learned quite a bit the last couple weeks. As usual, the things I’ve learned are things I knew I should be doing. I learned the hard way that proper training includes more than just your running plan. Successful training also includes:
- Rest days – to avoid burn out
- Lower body strength training – running alone is not enough
- Long stretching sessions and foam rolling DAILY
I definitely felt Fall in the air today. Who else is excited? I’m ready for boots, and layers, and flannel. Not to mention apple cider, concord grapes, and PUMPKIN! Although I am a bit sad to see that summer is leaving. I never made it to the beach! There still might be time.
Are there any summer activities you still want to squeeze in?
Finally, a big Happy Birthday shout out to Tina from Fitness, Faith and Fun! I had the pleasure of meeting her this weekend. I cannot say enough great things about her. She is one of the friendliest and most sincere people I have met. And she has an awesome giveaway from Love Grown Granola in honor of her special day.