Last week when I started drafting this post in my head it was going to be called “Pop Goes The Knees-al”, as I have been experiencing pain and stiffness in my right knee for a few weeks and I thought perhaps I would investigate some causes and talk about the necessity of protecting one’s knees. And then the pain starting getting worse. Typically, after a minute or so of walking, the pain would subside and while there was a bit of discomfort I could walk and move and do all the usual things that goddesses do. By last week however, walking was becoming more and more painful and I found myself using my arms to pull myself along as my knee felt like it might buckle at any moment.
I’ve always been fairly careful with my knees and I strongly believe that someone my size typically only has one chance to blow out their knees resulting in a life time of pain. I worried that it might be arthritis setting in as both my mother and my maternal grandmother had bad knees, and my mother now has a knee replacement, but I hoped that my pain was a remnant from tripping up a curb in Florida or from having twisted my knee in the pool while running on the spot, a moment I remember vividly because I thought to myself at the time “Ah, that’s going to hurt.”
I had a massage last Wednesday and I mentioned to the RMT that I was dealing with increasing knee pain and we talked about possible causes including arthritis, injury or fluid retention, and then she mentioned referred pain. She suggested that she spend some time on my thigh to see if she could loosen it up a bit and possibly even work on some trigger points that might manifest like knee pain. I agreed and while the massage on my thigh was painful, after the session I felt much better. The pain wasn’t completely gone, but it was much reduced and I happily saw my trainer later that day and then had dinner with a friend and I felt great.
And then it snowed. I didn’t trip or fall, but I was held prisoner in my car for two and a half hours of stop and start traffic in the morning and nearly three hours in the evening, and by the time I got out of my car on Thursday night I was in so much pain that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get out of my car, never mind walk up my front steps. Friday was a lighter day due to a work luncheon, except that I wasn’t able to snag parking close to the office and the lunch was a one kilometre walk from my building. Not impossible most days, but on Friday it was excructiating. On the way there I walked with patient co-workers, but the pain was brutal. On the way back I travelled solo and twice rested on obliging benches. I managed to get through the day, but by the end I couldn’t lift my knee up to get into the car and I had to sort of swing it up and over in order to get in.
Friday night saw no relief in the pain or swelling despite rest and likely more Ibuprofen than is recommended and Saturday I put my legs up the wall and even broke out the special stockings for my circulation issues because I was started to worry that the pain could be related to my bad veins. As the day progressed and I rested more the pain in the knee started to subside, but I noticed that my shin was really sore, and the knee pain didn’t feel like it was in the joint, but rather just below the knee. A bit of googling and I realized that likely the pain was shin splints.
I wear orthotics, I do low impact running in the pool, I make sure I have proper form on the elliptical, but with all of me bearing down on me it’s quite possible that I’ve developed an injury despite my best efforts. I am going to the doctor this week in hope of a definitive answer, but I think I’m right. I think that my knee is fine and that with rest my shin should be on the mend. Another option might be a stress fracture, but I’m going to think happy thoughts and tuck my inner hypochondriac back into her hidey hole.
My trainer has told me that I am an athlete, that I have the build and body awareness of an athlete. Up until now the only thing I thought I shared with athlete’s was their fungus, but now it appears I may also have their injuries.
– the Goddess