2

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WWYD: chronic knee pain- doctor's orders or Paleo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 09, 2013 at 12:54 PM

I've got pain around both knee caps that is related to how active I am. They rarely bothered me when I wasn't doing anything at all; running makes them ache, and I've had a few acute injuries related to allowing my knee track too far over my toe when squatting.

I saw an orthopedic doctor who took x-rays and showed me that skeletally, I'm fine. His suggestion was to quit squatting. I saw a sports medicine/orthopedic doctor yesterday who said it's probably not cartiledge or meniscus, and that he doesn't think I need an MRI. He said that I've got the ubiquitous jumper's knee (patellofemoral pain,) even though I explained that the pain also occurs along the quadricpes tendons and on the sides of the knee caps. He prescribed 500mg of naprosyn twice a day for a month, plus physical therapy.

My background: I'm 27/f, 150lbs, BMI low to mid-20s. Knees started bothering during high school track even though I wasn't running particularly fast or particularly far. Trained for a half-marathon last year and could only run 1-2 days a week to manage the discomfort. Started lifting/HIIT and the pain continued. Walking hills and stairs result in pain. I've got mild scoliosis discovered in high school- a small curve in my lower back and my hips sit uneven. One side of my pants hem wears out before the other, and tailors always notice.

What I've done: a lot of mobility WOD/Kelly Starrett watching and reading and doing all the things I should do- knees out, vertical shins, keep the knee behind the toe, stretch the quads and shins. Own a rumble roller and lacrosse balls and am pretty religious with improving ROM and stretching my legs, hips, ankles daily. The mobility work has helped, but I have kept exercise frequency to ~3 days a week (squatting 1 day/week) to keep pain at bay. I take FCLO/BO and a generic fish oil, glucosamine chondroitin (the big dose from Kirkland), Vit D + Mag + Calc, and a multi. I had pain on and off during a Whole 30, and I've noticed that wheat and sugar make my sinuses more inflamed, but haven't noticed any pattern with the knees and the food I eat.

My question is: what would you do? Would you try the aggressive NSAID use for a month? From the reading I've done, I'm incredibly reluctant- long-term use is only going to obstruct repair and regeneration of the tendons and ligaments. From personal experience, the NSAID use does keep the pain at bay during the 4-6 hours after I take it, but discomfort, soreness, and pain come back with more ferocity once it wears off or I stop use.

I'm also toying with seeing a chiropractor. I'm frustrated as the doctors don't tend to listen and they haven't paid any attention to my back/hips/lower legs. Any suggestions? Thoughts? I'm at my wits end- I'll take anything. Sorry this is so long. Thanks so much.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on April 10, 2013
at 12:34 PM

Thanks! 8 more to go...

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on April 09, 2013
at 04:59 PM

That's not much D, depending on your sun exposure--where you live. Best to get tested. I need 6,000 IUs to maintain, for example. 130 lbs female.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on April 09, 2013
at 04:01 PM

haha, my husband may not appreciate me doing pilots ;) Thanks for the suggestions

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on April 09, 2013
at 04:00 PM

Thanks, Dragonfly. I haven't had my D3 levels checked, but I take 2000 IU's of D3 probably 4 or 5x/week. Also get D3 in my multi and in the D+Mag+Calc supplement- I take each 3-4x/week. I am definitely considering the chiro and/or a gait specialist- your mentioning it makes me think more strongly about it. My health insurance doesn't cover out-of-network providers and there is nobody who offers gait analysis in my area that is in-network, so I decided to exhaust the in-network options. I feel like I'm wasting my time though. May start with a chiro.

197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

(1836)

on April 09, 2013
at 03:24 PM

Pilates!! I hate iPad's nazi autocorrect feature.

197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

(1836)

on April 09, 2013
at 03:22 PM

Darn that autocorrect, it should say "yoga and pilots".

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4 Answers

1
32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on April 09, 2013
at 07:49 PM

You may also want to see if you have an ART (active release technique) practitioner near you.

http://www.activerelease.com/

Kind of chiropractic meets sports medicine. It's like mobility with KStar, but with a person instead of a lacrosse ball.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on April 10, 2013
at 12:34 PM

Thanks! 8 more to go...

1
197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

on April 09, 2013
at 03:21 PM

I had sciatica issues and tendinitis in my elbow for a few months, in addition to some knee problems a few years ago. Adopting a gluten free/low grain diet ( white rice only) for the last 6 months seemed to get rid of the knee issues. Doing sciatica stretches daily helped get rid of pelvic joint/ leg pain at night. The elbow tendinitis has been most stubborn but I think it's also improved due to taking MSM twice per day with meals.

I would recommend the Paleo diet for at least several months. 30 days isn't enough for muscle or skeletal issues. Also make sure your vitamin intake is optimized. If it hurts to run, then just walk or do yoga and pilots for now for a few months so your body can recover. Im also wary of taking any type of pain meds for a long time. Three years ago i had a lot of health issues, primarily allergy related, and was put on several types of meds. They worked fine at first but after a couple years of daily use, i developed terrible health issues. Wish that i had known about Paleo earlier in my life. My teen kids are incredibly healthy and strong since going Paleo with me. Hope that helps.

197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

(1836)

on April 09, 2013
at 03:24 PM

Pilates!! I hate iPad's nazi autocorrect feature.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on April 09, 2013
at 04:01 PM

haha, my husband may not appreciate me doing pilots ;) Thanks for the suggestions

197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

(1836)

on April 09, 2013
at 03:22 PM

Darn that autocorrect, it should say "yoga and pilots".

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on April 09, 2013
at 02:08 PM

I have no idea if this would help, but I have found that krill oil got rid of my joint pain (knees) really quickly. Do your research, but mine indicated that it was a better choice than fish oil.

Also, have you had your Vitamin D3 level checked? You want to sun/supplement to a blood level of 60-80 ng/ml with any inflammatory condition. D3 sufficiency really helps decrease overall inflammation, in my experience.

I've got mild scoliosis discovered in high school- a small curve in my lower back and my hips sit uneven. One side of my pants hem wears out before the other, and tailors always notice.

A chiro may definitely be helpful, and have you considered consulting a posture/gait specialist?

Orthopedic inserts?

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on April 09, 2013
at 04:00 PM

Thanks, Dragonfly. I haven't had my D3 levels checked, but I take 2000 IU's of D3 probably 4 or 5x/week. Also get D3 in my multi and in the D+Mag+Calc supplement- I take each 3-4x/week. I am definitely considering the chiro and/or a gait specialist- your mentioning it makes me think more strongly about it. My health insurance doesn't cover out-of-network providers and there is nobody who offers gait analysis in my area that is in-network, so I decided to exhaust the in-network options. I feel like I'm wasting my time though. May start with a chiro.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on April 09, 2013
at 04:59 PM

That's not much D, depending on your sun exposure--where you live. Best to get tested. I need 6,000 IUs to maintain, for example. 130 lbs female.

0
Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on April 09, 2013
at 07:09 PM

My knees have improved an incredible amount after PRP therapy. Kobe Bryant had it as well as A-Rod. (sports figures) You should look into it.

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