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Treadmill running = knee problem?

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Author Topic:   Treadmill running = knee problem?
Rushfan
Cool Runner
posted Jun-14-2007 03:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rushfan   Click Here to Email Rushfan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First a little background. I've been running for almost 9 years. Bunches of 5Ks, some 10Ks and even 2 marathons. Back in January I experienced some lower back pain that would not subside so I went to a PT. She had me do a number of back stretching/strengthening exercises. Among these were a couple of variety of lunges. As my back improved I decided to finish PT.

This is where it gets ponderous. I began to have trouble with my left knee. I think because of the back exercises. Pain behind the knee cap kind of thing. So, being the kind of person that I am I went to an Orthopaedic Doc. He convinced me (initially) that I should consider giving up running and that I had a case of chrondolmacia (arthritic condition).

Well - I've had difficulty with not running so for the last couple of months I've just been running easy on the treadmill for about 4 miles per session. I was still having some discomfort especially going up and down stairs however so I resorted to ice and ibuprofen.

Here's the punchline. This past Sunday I decided to try running outside at the local bike path. I did four tough miles (lot different running on asphalt than a treadmill). What I discovered that my knee felt fine afterwards. So today, I went for another run outside - about 3.7 mi. Once again my knee is not giving me much trouble. I wouldn't necessarily say I'm out of the woods but it is promising. I had thought of going to a different PT for the knee but I'm not absolutley sure that it's necessary.

So the original question is: has anyone experienced trouble with their knee(s) from running on a treadmill? I tend to use it more in the winter (here in Buffalo). Thanks for indulging me in this long post.

Peace
Karl

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"Yeah you - takes a little more persistence to get up and go the distance" -
Neil Peart - "The Enemy Within"

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packfan
Cool Runner
posted Jun-14-2007 04:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for packfan   Click Here to Email packfan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't have the same problem as you do, but I have been told that a lot of people tend to cut their stride short when running on a tread mill, because they run too close to the front of the belt, which in turn allegedly can cause some knee problems. Again, this is unsupported information, and I cannot vouch for its reliability.

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Larry,
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15)

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hexemom
Member
posted Jun-17-2007 09:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for hexemom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Karl,
Are you using any kind of an incline on your treadmill? I was told to never run on the treadmill unless it was set for a 1% incline. . . this can somewhat mock the lack of perfectly flat terrain we find when running outside. How wonderful that you can still run without pain when you run outside. I'm jealous as I am sidelined with ITBS for the time being.
Good luck and may your pain free runs continue!
Tamara

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Rushfan
Cool Runner
posted Jun-17-2007 08:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rushfan   Click Here to Email Rushfan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes Tamara, I keep the t/m at 1%. Thanks for the suggestion, though.

Peace
Karl

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My User Profile
"Yeah you - takes a little more persistence to get up and go the distance" -
Neil Peart - "The Enemy Within"

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chaseme
Cool Runner
posted Jun-18-2007 09:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for chaseme   Click Here to Email chaseme     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rushfan--yes, running on the TM does give me problems. I think I run to fast and balance is the bigger problem. I have noticed that when I run on asphalt I don't have as many problems, but in the long run can't be good. I have tried running on trails, same thing with the knees. So, for me its the balance. I just have to pick my battle.

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cstice79
Member
posted Jun-18-2007 12:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cstice79     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After only 8 months of running, I had to stop running and was told I had to have arthroscopic surgery on both my knees. My pain didn't start until the winter came and I had to move my running to the treadmill.

One of the first things the Dr. asked was if I was running outside or on the mill, and then he said that the treadmill pulls your feet and that it causes a different impact all together because of that.

Taking a mild anti-inflamatory before you start your stretches really does help keep the pain to a minimum after your run.

The surgery wasn't nearly as bad as the not being able to run/weight gain that came with it.

Back to running now. The Dr. gave me the all clear just 2 months after surgery. I don't need any braces or PT.

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ultra mom
Member
posted Jun-18-2007 04:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ultra mom   Click Here to Email ultra mom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hmm-m. Very interesting. I started managing a gym part time during the winter. When business is slow, I sometimes hop on the treadmill, usually at a 2% incline, varying speeds. If it's REALLY slow, I have been known to run for 2 hours, even though it is boring as hell. Generally I run trail, some road in summer to get away from the bugs in the woods. But since running on the treadmill, I have been experiencing some pain and also stiffness in BOTH knees. Not severe, just enough to raise concern. During my last 50K, both knees became very stiff after about 2 hours, then actually painful off and on for the duration of the race. I have been running consistently for the past 30 years, and have had knee issues only one other time that I can remember. I think I am definitely staying off the treadmill for the next month! Also trying glucosamine/chondroitin again, which seemed to eliminate knee pain in the past. I think this post just confirmed my suspicions! Thanks!
Ultra Mom

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Trailgirl
Member
posted Jun-20-2007 05:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Trailgirl   Click Here to Email Trailgirl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I had been having some tracking issues with my left knee and was in some pain so I took 2 weeks off no running and on the third week with the support of a patella strap started running slowly on the third week.I was fine on the street/trails I run but as soon as I stepped foot on that damn TM and ran 3 miles ,I was wobbling and limping all over again.

I do not use it at all for running anymore ,I do use it for walking hills and even then I can feel a twinge.

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tttjump
Member
posted Jun-25-2007 02:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tttjump   Click Here to Email tttjump     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
if you actively run on a treadmill, you will find that most of typical treadmill training issue go away.
If you run on a treadmill as you run outdoors you will have joint issue due to the extra bounce and breaking effect.

Running at the front of a treadmill is not a bad thing if done correctly.

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