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Old 11-11-2012, 01:14 PM   #1
episodic
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Default Hey SociallyChallenged (or anyone) - a question. . .

I don't know if you remember my running with chondromalacia grade III question - but I have another.

A person convinced me to get a chopat dual action knee strap like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Cho-Pat-Action.../dp/B000QRG970

I got one - and I've only ran in it once, today. Today was my schedule 'long run' - 7 miles. Normally at the end my knee is sore, crunchy, and a hot bath and ibuprofen then ice is what makes it feel better.

Today, I wore this strap - and I normally don't talk about miracles - but I didn't need any of the above and the knee is just fine right now. In fact, I'm considering and afternoon walk (normally, I was out for the day after a long run).

Me liking to know how/why things work - I thought of you. If this thing works this dramatically for me - what does that mean? By what mechanism does it improve things? Does this actually 'lessen' the damage, etc? Finally, does this 'clue' you or someone else in more as to what is actually wrong with my knee. Knowing that this thing works so dramatically, could this guide me as to things I could concentrate on to make running without it possible?

Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this one.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:16 PM   #2
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I don't know much about that brace, but any brace will add strength (more or less a false sense though) to a joint.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:58 PM   #3
episodic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alkemyst View Post
I don't know much about that brace, but any brace will add strength (more or less a false sense though) to a joint.
I'm thinking a neoprene brace can't add that much strength. I was curious as to what socially would say in regard to tracking, quadriceps, etc. . .
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by episodic View Post
I don't know if you remember my running with chondromalacia grade III question - but I have another.

A person convinced me to get a chopat dual action knee strap like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Cho-Pat-Action.../dp/B000QRG970

I got one - and I've only ran in it once, today. Today was my schedule 'long run' - 7 miles. Normally at the end my knee is sore, crunchy, and a hot bath and ibuprofen then ice is what makes it feel better.

Today, I wore this strap - and I normally don't talk about miracles - but I didn't need any of the above and the knee is just fine right now. In fact, I'm considering and afternoon walk (normally, I was out for the day after a long run).

Me liking to know how/why things work - I thought of you. If this thing works this dramatically for me - what does that mean? By what mechanism does it improve things? Does this actually 'lessen' the damage, etc? Finally, does this 'clue' you or someone else in more as to what is actually wrong with my knee. Knowing that this thing works so dramatically, could this guide me as to things I could concentrate on to make running without it possible?

Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this one.
Hm, I was gonna ask - is it solely neoprene? Does it block the patella at all from going outward? Does it feel like it prevents any movement (extension or flexion)?

Rarely does a neoprene sleeve do much structurally. It may create a kinesthetic cue that forces you to keep your knee in better alignment. That means you feel the tightness and it makes you think more about your knee position so you yourself actually fix it.

Especially since it seems so benign, I can't really see anything wrong with you using it as you get back into your running regimen. However, you might have to limit yourself based on sheer mileage rather than on how the knee feels as you progress. It may even just reduce swelling in the area by applying a slight pressure gradient, making things more comfortable.

I'd actually have to see you move with the brace and without the brace to try to tell you why it works. Like I said, it could just be helping you activate your hip and knee musculature better to avoid awkward positions. It may reduce edema/swelling. If it were harder, I might suggest it could be blocking the patella a bit, which would be a reason for structurally reducing your pain.

Other than that, sometimes a little bit of warmth can help warm the joint, ligaments, and musculature up and rev down receptors that tell you your body is hurting. It may be that the warmth helps you recruit everything more appropriate. However, it could be doing the same damage, just with less pain. I'd say you should definitely use it as an aid in getting back into running. Ideally though, it'd be great if you could start weaning off of it at some point without an increase in pain.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SociallyChallenged View Post
Hm, I was gonna ask - is it solely neoprene? Does it block the patella at all from going outward? Does it feel like it prevents any movement (extension or flexion)?

Rarely does a neoprene sleeve do much structurally. It may create a kinesthetic cue that forces you to keep your knee in better alignment. That means you feel the tightness and it makes you think more about your knee position so you yourself actually fix it.

Especially since it seems so benign, I can't really see anything wrong with you using it as you get back into your running regimen. However, you might have to limit yourself based on sheer mileage rather than on how the knee feels as you progress. It may even just reduce swelling in the area by applying a slight pressure gradient, making things more comfortable.

I'd actually have to see you move with the brace and without the brace to try to tell you why it works. Like I said, it could just be helping you activate your hip and knee musculature better to avoid awkward positions. It may reduce edema/swelling. If it were harder, I might suggest it could be blocking the patella a bit, which would be a reason for structurally reducing your pain.

Other than that, sometimes a little bit of warmth can help warm the joint, ligaments, and musculature up and rev down receptors that tell you your body is hurting. It may be that the warmth helps you recruit everything more appropriate. However, it could be doing the same damage, just with less pain. I'd say you should definitely use it as an aid in getting back into running. Ideally though, it'd be great if you could start weaning off of it at some point without an increase in pain.
It has a firm cylinder shaped rubber bar for lack of better words that presses into certain places. The rubber bar presses just above the knee and under the patella. It is firm at the tightening level the box recommends. It does not restrict me at all (if it does, it isn't outright noticable). I was going to keep my 3 mile and below runs strap free - but I was thinking my longer runs could benefit. I never stopped running, I was just dealing with the side effects post run. 7 miles wasn't a huge increase for me (previous long run was 6.5 miles) - but it was a scheduled increase for a half marathon in Feb I want to do. I still feel amazing today after the run. Hopefully, it isn't doing the same damage.

Last edited by episodic; 11-11-2012 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by episodic View Post
It has a firm cylinder shaped rubber bar for lack of better words that presses into certain places. The rubber bar presses just above the knee and under the patella. It is firm at the tightening level the box recommends. It does not restrict me at all (if it does, it isn't outright noticable). I was going to keep my 3 mile and below runs strap free - but I was thinking my longer runs could benefit. I never stopped running, I was just dealing with the side effects post run. 7 miles wasn't a huge increase for me (previous long run was 6.5 miles) - but it was a scheduled increase for a half marathon in Feb I want to do. I still feel amazing today after the run. Hopefully, it isn't doing the same damage.
Sounds like it could possibly be something like patellar tendinopathy then. Those little bars are meant to put pressure on it to modify the stresses it undergoes. If it's actually patellar tendinopathy, then that can readily be treated with some soft tissue work of the quad, resistance work, and maybe some particular massage work on the tendon itself. Can't hurt to foam roll the quad more, do a little bit of side-to-side massage on the tendon itself with some lotion (to only slight discomfort), and see where that goes.
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Now offering physical therapy consultation services via Skype, e-mail, and phone. Please PM me for details.
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