I Had to Limp to My Car

Published: May 30, 2012
Dear I Had to Limp to My Car,
I recently joined the cross country team. We have been conditioning for a few weeks now and my knee has bothered me off and on but not too bad. Then today we had cross country camp, which was from 9-3. I ran 10 miles altogether (not straight through, we broke it up) and by the second half of the day my left knee was throbbing with pain. I iced it for a few hours and then we had to go out and run again... I didn't tell my coach it was excruciating pain... he just thought it was sore... because I am not the fastest person on the team and I didn't want them to think I was just trying to get out of running more. sooo I ran in pain and it was soo hard, at one point I almost broke down in tears. It would feel fine after I got going but if I stopped to walk or if I was just starting up running pain would shoot all around in my knee and down my shin. It was sooo painful but I kept pushing myself. I had to like limp out to my car because I was in so much pain and it hurts sooo bad to walk. I have camp the next two days and then practice every day after that. I am also doing a 40 mile bike ride Saturday. I just want my knee to feel better, it sucks to know that I have worked so hard to get to this point and I don't want a hurt knee to slow me down. What are your suggestions on how to ease my pain? I am determined to make it better by camp time tomorrow, soo it's on ice for the rest of the night...

Dear I Had to Limp to My Car,

We are sorry to hear that you are experiencing so much pain in your knee.  It can be very frustrating to pull yourself out of a sport when you want so badly to participate and be part of the team.  However, it is also very important to know when you may be pushing yourself too far.  It sounds like you may have a knee injury, but to be certain, it is highly recommended you seek additional help from your primary care doctor.  Without a good physical exam and possible follow up tests (x-ray, MRI etc) it is difficult to know the specifics of what your injury might be.  By your question, you seem like a very motivated person who enjoys being active.  This is why it is even more important for you to make sure to take good care of yourself.  Pain is the body’s way of telling us that something is wrong so it is in your best interest to seek medical attention as soon as possible and give your knee a good amount of rest in the meantime.

To learn more about sports injuries that are unique to adolescents check out “Overuse Injuries in Adolescent Sports.