Yesterday, I had my first physical therapy appointment with Kristen. She’s a very straightforward woman and did not hold back when describing all that was wrong with my recent knee issue. Seems my entire lower right leg is out of whack.
My patella does not glide nice and orderly over my knee-joint, instead it swerves a li’l to the left. This is why I have pain. As Kristen moved my leg around, had me flex my leg muscles and walk away and toward her, she noticed a couple other contributing factors to my patella tracking problem.
First, the vastus medialis (she referred to it as the VMO) muscle is very weak. This particular muscle helps the patella track properly. She gave me a couple exercises to help strengthen it – it should look like a football when flexed, mine is a deflated football now.
Second, the plantar fascia is tight, compensating for all the other issues going on above. Kristen gave me exercises for this too.
In summary, the VMO is weak which has left the patella unattended. Running has forced my quadriceps and gastrocnemius (calf muscle) to try to compensate which has put more pressure on my foot, thus the tight fascia.
Thankfully, all of this is remedied with a series of about 10 focused exercises which I have to be diligent about doing 2x/day for the next couple weeks. Great, one more thing on my already way-too-long to-do list. I’m feeling a little defeated, but very grateful there is nothing seriously wrong that will prevent me from training and running.
Kristen was very optimistic too which helped ease some of my frustration and fear. I have PT 2x/week this week and next and then another evaluation. Stay tuned…
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