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New Year Resolution for 2008: Swim faster, Run longer, maybe return to cycling.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

No more trying to remember what the heck ITB means!

I just got back from visiting Dr Low Wye Mun - a specialist in Sports Medicine - in hopes of determining what the problem is with my left knee.

For the longest time, I’ve been suspecting it was ITB. Perhaps it’s due to my limited knowledge in sports physiology and my meager education in Biology (only Sec 2 standard), I knew nothing else about the 1001 things I ought to know about the knee. The visit to Dr Low’s clinic proved otherwise – that it was not ITB. And this revelation was a relief for several reasons: I didn’t have to worry too much that it was the ITB irritating me to bits, and that I didn’t have to remember the pronunciation of ITB. I mean, try playing this silly tongue-twister game – Iliotibial Band Syndrome, Iliotibial Band Syndrome.

Note: The following account is what I understand from my little conversation with Dr Low. I may be wrong in interpreting the medical terms and all the knee jargon, but at least I got the picture (I hope) and I’m just recounting from an extremely layman point of view.

In brief, the pain on the outside of my left knee is due to the underside of the knee cap rubbing itself on a worn part of my knee joint. I experienced this when I ran the Kuala Lumpur Half Marathon and when I do my regular runs at Macritchie. The pains become more pronounced when I’m on the boardwalk sections. Of course my initial thoughts were ITB, but now Dr Low says it’s likely caused by my running gait, which shifts itself when I run on different surfaces. For now, I need to embark on a preventive measure so that the wear and tear does not get worse. Glucosamine is the answer and a daily dose of 1000mg should do some maintenance to the joints. Dr Low also mentioned that anything less than 1000mg is waste because there should be a minimum amount of Glucosamine that we should consume on a daily basis for effective absorption into our bodies. Otherwise, it’ll just pass out as ‘expensive pee’.

The pain on the inside of my left knee was caused by a sprain and the subsequent inflammation of my joints. Hence I’ve been feeling a discomfort on the inside of my knees whenever I cross my legs. Dr Low gave me some anti-inflammatory pills to reduce the swellings. He also gave me a knee guard to help keep the inflammation in place and so my joints do not slip and cause unnatural gait.
In the course of 'discovering the wonders' of my very own knee with professional help from Dr Low, I managed to quench my curiosity in how come I never could do that knee twitch thingy whenever someone tested my knee reflexes. He tested my reflexes and confirmed that I had very subdued reflexes, which is probably why I cannot perform well in my standing broad jumps even though - according to Dr Low - my thighs were well-developed.

Actually I’m not sure if surgery would be needed on my knee but I remember Dr Low saying that I’m still able to manage the injury at this stage. I can still work towards the Bintan Triathlon on my birthday.

Meanwhile I have to stop running for a week, but I can still swim and bike/spin. I’d have to come back for a review visit next Tuesday 25 April 2006.

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