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ahoy scouts! greetings from the ranger camp!

ok, i'll just get right to the meat of the problem here. i've recently discovered that i favor my right leg when i walk [and run], which means my left leg gets more beat up. as a result, my left knee has started to feel a bit painful since i started running about 4-5 weeks ago. it's not constant, it's not even incredibly painful pain. it's just sort of...stiff at times? i suppose? mostly seems to happen a few hours after a run, and when i fully extend my leg and flex [like when i'm stretching.] anyway, so that's problem #1.

problem #2 is the main knuckle of my big toe [where the toe connects to my foot] has the same kind of stiff, off-and-on, not-very-painful pain. also on my left side. this happened [i think?] as a result of wearing shoes that were too worn down. [to be fair, i had no idea they were so used up, and they just sort of spontaneously failed one day. the run i took when they messed my toe up was the last run i took in them.] i thought it went away when i got new shoes, but it's been coming and going since then. whenever i curl the toe up or push the toe down towards the bottom of my foot i can feel it.

so my question to you, dear scouts and running experts, is this: what can i do to even out my stride, and what can i do to fix my joints/not hurt them any worse?

if you need any more information at all, please ask! thanks for your help!

level 4 elf ranger
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Some specific cool down and strengthening exercises might help - I tend to go to Runner's World's site if I'm experiencing pain - and I have a specific cool down and strengthening routine to deal with my chronic issues. 

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Do you favor one side when squatting? It could be as simple as a hip mobility or balance issue. The pain could be the problem with it as well, a subconscious fear of hurting yourself worse, I am guilty of this with my right shoulder since it's hurt for the majority of my life, my overhead squats are way uneven. Could be several things without seeing its hard to say. Is there a good running store near you that you could have your stride analyzed? They might be able to pick up easily watching you run.

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hey virtualmonkey, thanks for your post!
i might favor one side in my squats, but it's really hard for me to tell. the only reason i found out that my running stride is so weird is because the guy at my local running store pointed it out haha. [so yes, you're right, they did pick it up easily!]
i took a walk today and tried to be super mindful of how i was walking. it seemed like i was sort of letting my left knee extend further than i should. i also know for sure that i don't swing my right arm as much as my left arm when walking [this is a result of habitual purse-holding]. maybe not swinging my arms equally would add to the problem as well?
i'll try to have someone take a look at my stride and see what they have to say. i'm really starting to enjoy my runs - it'd be a shame to have to give them up!

 

The pain could be the problem with it as well, a subconscious fear of hurting yourself worse,

you mean that maybe my goofy stride could be caused by the pain, rather than the stride causing the pain? interesting point!
it's amazing to consider how many little things could go wrong in your body, and how many ways all of those little things could crop up. really makes you realize how our bodies are only just good enough to get stuff done. they are not machines with easily replaceable parts, but i kind of wish they were!

level 4 elf ranger
STR | 6    DEX | 5    STA | 6    CON | 4    WIS | 4    CHA | 8

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I have a pain in my right knee. Stepped wrong when I was running about and kind of twisted it or something some weeks ago. Still hurts a bit, hasn't fully healed. I'm taking it easy by only doing one hour of power walking a day instead of the two hours I had been doing for a while.

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