“It’s so irritating! I love running, but every time I try to run my dodgy knee starts to play up again. I guess I’ll just have to accept that I’ll never run pain free again.”
Tim was at his wit’s end. His long suffering wife, Jane, was also in despair. This had been going on for over a year now and still no real progress – in fact it seemed to be getting worse. She knew that running was the only thing that kept Tim sane and without it he was like a bear with a sore head.
“Have you been doing the exercises the physio gave you?”, she asked doubtfully.
“Yes”, snapped Tim irritably. ”Every day for nearly two months now – I must have the strongest glutes in Britain by now, but my knees still hurt!”
“What about your stretches?” persisted Jane.
“No, they weren’t doing anything at all, so I stopped after the first week or so.”
“What about your mate, Steve – he’s been running much longer than you, what did he say?”
“He told me to try running it off, and, if that didn’t work, to try icing it after every run, stretch it out and strengthen the glutes!” Tim was exasperated now. He hated taking it out on Jane, as he knew he was doing, but couldn’t seem to help himself.
“He also told me that, if you run long distances, you have to run through the pain – ‘no pain no gain’ were the exact words he used, and that pain was normal and to be expected. In fact he himself regularly took pain killers before, during or after running to help him through his lower back ‘niggles'”.
“Maybe you need to see the doctor again and find out if there’s some damage there? said Jane. She knew she was clutching at straws now.
” But he told me to stop running, swim or cycle instead and ice the damn thing! What good is that to me? I need to run, otherwise I’ll go insane! Even when I finally got them to do the MRI scan, it showed nothing wrong. He even seemed to be suggesting that it was all in my head when he started going on about the ‘pain science’. The bloody cheek of it!”
“Listen it’s a long shot, but I had a friend, Jackie, do you remember her? She used to run 5k’s regularly but had to stop due to her knee pain.”
“I remember yes, but I’m sure I heard she had recently returned to running and not only had done several marathons, but was even running ultra marathons. That’s crazy with a dodgy knee – the wear and tear will cripple that knee for good surely?’
“Well, she seems to be ok for now, anyway. The funny thing is, I was talking to her the other day about your knee and she sympathised, having been through all the same rigmarole herself. Then somebody had mentioned to her in passing that they knew another runner had suffered a similar fate, but had, after much research, worked out how to recover proper knee function and had never looked back.”
” So what’s the magic answer?” asked Tim impatiently.
” Well I didn’t mention it before because I just thought you’d find it ridiculous, especially after all those specialists you’ve seen and all that money you wasted on different therapists, who examined you on the couch and diagnosed your problem, then gave you the ‘fix’ and the expensive motion control shoes you bought because of that over-pronating foot that clever man in the sports shop picked up.”
“Yes, yes, so what did they actually do to fix it? Which therapy do I need, is there a medication or an injection, or a special pair of shoes I can buy to reduce the shock? Just tell me Jane, I don’t care how much it costs.” Tim was losing patience again.
” Promise you won’t laugh?”
“Just tell me Jane.”
“OK. Well Jackie said that they had discovered after years of pain and discomfort, that what they really needed was less protection from a shoe, that they raised that they needed to feel the ground better, that they needed less stability and strength and more mobility instead. To cut a long story short, they drew away all the gadgets, stopped all the ineffective therapies, threw away the medications to dull the pain.
“They mobilised the foot so it could be free to work properly again, freed up the hips at the same time, and got their arms free by mobilising the spine too. There was a bit more to it than that, but not much it seems. Apparently this runner finally realised that it wasn’t really a knee problem at all, even if that’s where the pain was. It was a whole body problem, starting at the feet.”
“Actually”, said Tim, “that might make sense.” Realisation finally dawned.
“Everybody who looked at me was just looking at their own specialist little part or type of therapy, and they all looked at me standing or lying on a couch. Nobody ever looked at me walking, let alone running, in their small consulting rooms, because they didn’t have the space and didn’t know what to look for in the moving body!”
This was the turning point for Tim. Not to say that his knee pain vanished immediately. Jane found the number of her friend Jackie, who had herself benefitted from this approach of course. She spilled the details, even though she didn’t like to tell everyone, because she knew they would always believe the ‘specialists’ and the handed down anecdotal wisdom from older, wiser runners, over novel ideas. Tim went to see somebody who showed him how important his feet were and got everything moving in sync again, from head to toe.
Now Tim no longer suffers knee pain at all, but it did take a while for his brain to register that that part was no longer an issue. What’s more, his whole body feels lighter, more mobile, more efficient. He seems to be running faster, with less effort.
His training is different now. He no longer pushes through pain (well maybe just now and again when he’s racing hard – but not every training session like before). Yet his times have improved and his life has improved. He is calmer and no longer pays attention to what he now sees as marketing, not serious advice. If people ask him, he will tell them what he thinks, but doesn’t expect them to really listen much, because he knows what it is like to think like them, because that was once him! Still he feels that it is his duty to inform them anyway.
Clearly everybody’s case is different and we cannot lump all knee pain into a single category, but if Tim’s story arouses your curiosity, you can get a pretty clear idea of what Tim did to improve his knee function by signing up to my online course by following the link below.
It costs less than a tenner and may well save you hundreds or thousands in treatments. Simple movements that anyone can do at home, mostly with their own body weight.
What’s more, if you’re not completely satisfied with the results, you can just ask for a full refund within 30 days!
So there is NOTHING to lose.
Here is the link: