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Question
Posted by: Janine | 2008/07/14

Knees

Hi, I did a 10km road race on sunday and half way through the side of my left knee started to hurt, somewhere between near the joint. By the end of the race I couldnt walk properly. I am still struggling with the pain but only if I put presure on it like walking for too long. What could be the problem? I it because I didnt stretch and I have hurt a ligament or what is it because I hate not being able to exercise. Thanks

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Our expert says:
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HI Janine

Difficult to say, knee injuries can be very complex and difficult to work out. Of course, the best thing is always to see a doctor. You need a diagnosis in order to treat anything properly and so the best I could do is guess. And as much as I hate passing the buck, I would have to suggest that if the problem persists, you consider seeing a doctor or physio.

But my suspicion in this case is that it is most likely related to an increase in your training volume that is perhaps more than you are able to handle. I'm not sure what you were doing before the race, whether 10km represented a harder effort for you than usual? If so, then it's that overload that has caused the problem, and should be treatable by rest for a short while. The body is able to adapt to 'stress' (which is what exercise is) but only up to a point. Eventually, the stress is too great and your body responds with this early indication of pain. It's not serious, but it's a sign that your training may be a little great. All you would need to do is back off the training very slightly - maybe by about half for a week or two and see if you are able to adapt.

It may also be something as apparently arbitrary as stepping off the sidewalk and landing badly, straining ligaments or something like that, so difficult to say.

My advice is to give it until the end of the weekend, and then consider seeing someone to get a proper diagnosis, if you still feel pain.

Good luck

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