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Chronic knee pain secondary to running.

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Hi,

I am a 20 year old girl from Austria, have been to many doctors but no one listens. I got two huge problems which prevent me from doing my beloved sport!
I run since age 16 and never had problems, I always wore proper shoes. Last year I joined gymnastics too and I got very bad posterior shin splints on the right leg. After a few weeks I stopped training and iced it to get rid of inflammation. I am not in training since 3 months now, all I did was walking the dog a lot. I went to several doctor, and one told me I have a huge overpronation and I got insoles.
Now the pain is all gone, but I still got kind of a "pressure" on the shin bone when I jump. I want to become a sports teacher since ever and training starts next week. I got 1 time track and field and 4 times gymnastics training each week. What can I do to prevent gettig shin splints again?
I won't go running and in track and field training I will wear good shoes with insoles. In free time I will try to walk on the "outter part" of the foot. But in gymnastics I cannot wear any shoes!

What can I do and what is my prognosis of getting it back?

Second problem are my arms. I got a pulling pain in the whole arm especially in the upper arm. It gets worse with weight training (bicep curls) but also from stretching and supporting myself while tumbling. When its worst my inner part of the elbow hurts like hell and its a pulling pain in the whole arm. There is no redness, swelling or bruising and it doens't get worse when I touch it. Nerves have been checked but everythink ok.
I guess its due to stretching my shoulders a lot so I got elbow strains! I switched to rhyhmic gymnastics so I won't have to work on my arm strength as much as in artistic gymnastics, I won't do pull-ups or bars, just walkovers, handsprings and stuff like that, but they all require a big flexibility in the shoulders. Now it is better because I didn't train for weeks but as soon as I stretch or do walkovers I cann feel the light pulling in my arm connecting to the elbow and a light "pressure" an the inner elbow. What can I do prevent it and how is the diagnosis of never getting this again with proper measures?

Does one of these problems mean I won't be able to continue training to reach my dream-job as a sports teacher?

I would really appreciate any kind of help!

Thanks,

Kate


Category: Family Physician-GP

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Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian is online now

Expert:  Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian replied 4 Days.

Hello,

Thanks for trusting your query with Doctor Spring. I can understand your frustration in what you are experiencing. It seems to me like you need intense physiotherapy. You are young and strong, but the extreme athleticism is taking its toll on your body and joints. Running can be especially taxing on your joints as our bodies are not built with enough shock absorbent capacity for the stresses of pounding our feet on the ground repeatedly.

Having said that, this does not mean that you should stop running or being athletic, or even have to give up your dream job. Here is what I suggest:

1. Find a good physiotherapist. Work with your physiotherapist on a weekly basis initially, and once you learn exercises you can do at home, you can wean down your visits to twice monthly and then once a month. Be patient as you will need to rehabilitate the parts that need healing such as your feet and your shoulder.

2. Deep stretching is an important way to counterbalance the stress and tension you put into your muscles and tendons. Work this into your routine, about 2 or 3 times a week. Find time in between, or before and after gymnastic sessions to allow your body to restore itself.

3. Yoga can help with alignment of your joints, strength, flexibility, and can help circulate fluids and reduce inflammation. I would recommend that if you would like to keep up with your activities, doing yoga daily will help to preserve your body's health as well as help you focus in your other activities.

4. If you plan on having a few weeks of intense physical training, try to schedule massages at least every other week. Massages can be extremely therapeutic for times when muscles are stressed and inflamed due to overuse, and can help to relieve pain and increase mobility. Talk to your physiotherapist about massage as he/she may be able to assist you.

5. Eat foods that are rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamins C, D as they will promote bone and muscle wellness.

If you experience severe pain and inflammation, or have significant limited movement in joints, then please visit a local physician to get evaluated for injury. In the meantime, start slow with activity and allow your body time to heal. If you are diligent with the above suggestions and continue with it, you should be able to rehabilitate yourself and reach optimum levels of performance and achieve your goals. Please ask any follow up questions if necessary. Take care.


Dr. Deepu Sebin Sebastian
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Experience: 
MD, Internal Medicine - Stanley Medical School
Medical School - MBBS - Govt. Medical College, Kottyaam

Diagnostic Prediction - Stanford School of Medicine
Received Specialty training in Critical Care, Cardiology, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Nephrology from Stanley Medical College and in Endocrinology, Rheumatology.

Hematology and Geriatrics from Madras Medical College.
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