Back in early August, I blogged about my problem with pain in my right knee during running. An MRI (courtesy of Paul) showed that the problem was an inflamed ilio-tibial band. From the research I did at the time, it sounded like the problem could be fixed with a different pair of orthotics.
Shortly thereafter, Paul and I bought a rowing machine, so I wasn’t running as often or as much. In the weeks of recovery from my fall flu and winter cold, I was even rowing exclusively, since running made me too woozy. Even though I wasn’t running so much or so often, the knee pain still bothered me regularly, such that I couldn’t generally run more than three miles in a stretch. But I put off making the appointment, as I was busy with other matters.
Lately though, I’ve been particularly eager to get back to running, as it’s a harder cardio workout than rowing. So yesterday, I finally called Dr. Ng, the podiatrist recommended by Dr. Heble, my excellent family practice doctor. To my amazement and delight, he had an open appointment that afternoon.
Dr. Ng determined within just a few moments that my regular three-quarter length orthotics (which enable me to walk about town without intense foot pain) were causing my knee pain during running. They were rotating my knees too far outward, thus putting pressure on my ilio-tibial band. They also lacked the necessary cushioning, as they are completely rigid. He took a plaster mold of my feet for a new pair of full-length sports orthotics. They should be arriving in about two weeks.
In the meantime, I’ve started running without any orthotics at all. Last night, I ran four miles without a hint of pain. And I just ran three miles, again without a hint of pain. It was delightful! Notably, merely running without orthotics isn’t a good long-term solution. After all, the reason that I started wearing my orthotics while running in the first place was an almost constant ilio-tibial band tightness in my left hip. In hindsight, it’s pretty clear that wearing the orthotics while running solved that problem, but then created my much more severe (albeit limited) ilio-tibial band pain in my right knee. But in two weeks, I’ll have my some spanky new sports orthotics to wear during running.