What I especially liked was his little "at your age" comment. Hey, thanks, doc. I need to be reminded that I move into a new age group in June.
His recommendation was more preventative than therapeutic. At least for the knee. I actually asked him about the ITB pain behind my knee. Because as we all know, pain is something to pay attention to.
The strap helps but oddly enough, what seems to help even more (and this is just from experience, I have no other data) is keeping my carb levels up during long runs -- gu, honey & peanut butter, and I always carry a Clif bar in case I feel entirely zapped. But keeping my tummy full seems to have helped my ITB.
Am I on to something here or am I just holding a feather in my trunk. (Hey! Another elephant reference -- Dumbo!)
Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible and suddenly you will be doing the impossible -- St Francis of Assisi
While for some people the strap is recommended the difference is, you got the OK from your doctor after an evaluation. As I mentioned, most running experts do not recommend wearing one, unless you have been evaluated by your doc. If you had neck pain, you wouldn't automatically get a neck collar and start wearing it without going to your doc. Same is true for your knee, ankle, ITB...there maybe an underlying issue and when someone is in pain, they need to find the source of the pain.
And the great research is showing that since we as runners only running in one plane--the saggital plane, working on exercises in the frontal and transverse (rotation) plane can do wonders and all without the need for devices. A great book I have been telling everyone about is Jay Dicharry's Anatomy for Runners. It's a fantastic read for understanding injuries and more importantly, injury prevention.
I have one, I use it periodically. I find it does help me, my knees do not hurt so much after the runs.
I started using it after major knee pain after a HM I did back in Feb (I'm convinced I changed my gait to avoid slipping on the snow & ice which caused the pain); first time I put it on the pain mostly disappeared.
That said I had also spent the year prior working on ST my leg muscles to keep my knees healthier; I was diagnosed with "Jumper's Knee" last year, which condition actually predates all running (likely caused from karate).
I do not think there is anything inherently wrong with using the strap. I think it can help you if your knee pain is being caused by the knee cap not tracking properly. I would not depend on it as the only source of treatment for your knee issue.
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Mind the Gap! between what we know we should do and what we actually choose to do.
I actually got one; it didn't help, and was really annoying while I ran.
What did help was pilates. Strengthening the muscles that supported my knee -- and my core -- made a world of difference!
-- If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.
Thanks for the input. I have been to the orthopedic doc a couple times. Nothing is torn or damaged. He told me to rest it. I did... for the month of October I only ran about 3-4 miles maybe once or twice a week. I always stretch after my warm up and after my run. I ST 2-3 times a week.
Great words Coach as I've seen it myself when I run. Right now my back is very weak causing lots of tension in my legs so I'm working on stretching my back and working some lower back strengthening exercises.
With knees, I'd be cautious. It could be overdevelopment of your quads which is causing an overpulling with your muscles on the knee cap or it could be something else. I say that my father ran the cartilage out of both of his knees and has had to have surgery multiple times and finally a knee replacement. I'd see a doctor if it continues/gets worse.
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If you are having knee pain you need to find out why you are having the knee pain. Wearing a brace or strap may allow you to continue running, however, you may also weaken the surrounding muscles that support the knee leaving you at a greater risk for injury when you are NOT running. Also you may change your form when wearing the strap which may lead to other issues up and down your kinetic chain.
The deal with injuries is many times the source of the pain is not the cause. I was struggling with a calf issue and once I started seeing a sports chiro he has me working on my glutes, hips and hip flexors...once we strengthen those areas and loosen up the tightness, my calf issue resolved.
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