or Connect
Cycling Forums › Forums › Bikes › Cycling Training › Cycling with arthritis
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Cycling with arthritis

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone I’ve been hanging around this forum for a few weeks now. I started cycling again after a 15 year break after discovering I had osteo arthritis in my knee and been advised by my doctor to loose weight and exercise. Cycling was one of the recommended exercises.

So far I’ve lost 10 Kilos and I’m up to about 150 miles a week. The only problem now I’m getting fitter is that I’m worried about pushing it to hard.

Does anyone out there have any experience of arthritis and know what level it’s possible to ride at ?

post #2 of 23

Re: Cycling with arthritis

Hello there!
I've had Microfracture surgury on my right knee in January & rode to work for the fist day today. My cartilage was torn away from my knee due to a motorcycle accident. Microfracturing in when they drill into the bone & let it bleed out to form an artificial cartillage. So that was a long way for me saying "I have the knee of a 90 year old at the age of 36".

If I'm not having pain I'll push it. If it "aches" of is sore I'll do an easy ride. If it flat out hurts...I stop. I let my knee be the judge of what I can & can't do on any particular day. That's bad for sticking to a schedual but IMO it also helps me to throw in a "sprint" day or "climing" day unexpectantly which again, IMO is good for mental toughness. I also enjoy taking a casual ride to enjoy the scenery if I'm not feeling top-notch. I don't know what I'll do 'til I get out there & try.

Let your knee be the boss & just enjoy the ride!

Shawn
post #3 of 23

Re: Cycling with arthritis

Quote:
Originally Posted by e999sam
Hello everyone I’ve been hanging around this forum for a few weeks now. I started cycling again after a 15 year break after discovering I had osteo arthritis in my knee and been advised by my doctor to loose weight and exercise. Cycling was one of the recommended exercises.

So far I’ve lost 10 Kilos and I’m up to about 150 miles a week. The only problem now I’m getting fitter is that I’m worried about pushing it to hard.

Does anyone out there have any experience of arthritis and know what level it’s possible to ride at ?

I have/had Still's Disease and a whole bunch of associated illnesses/conditions. while i'm reasonably confident that it's affected my health (!) and my cycling performance, i have (almost) made it to 1st cat level.

Ric
post #4 of 23

Re: Cycling with arthritis

I suffered from the "I'm getting too old for climbing 15% grades". That is until RD and others got hold of me in this forum. I've pushed the limits at times since then for a 64 year old. But as a sillyoldtwit, I am probably more aware of what my body is telling me than a perhaps a younger guy would be.
What am I saying? Listen to your body dictates, it knows instinctively when you are pushing it too far and tells you so. You ignore its message at your peril.
Lionfish summed it up pretty well I think. I found out in my years of competitive running that you cannot train through an injury; you will make greater progress by easing of when it hurts and make the best of the time when it doesn't hurt.
TYSON
post #5 of 23

Re: Cycling with arthritis

I have severe arthritis in my hip and cycling makes it feel great. For years I rode a stationary bike and this really changed my life as far as arthritis pain goes. The key is to stay active. Weight loss will help as well. Cycling and swimming are the two best options because they're non impact and not really weight bearing activities.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 

Re: Cycling with arthritis

Thanks for the advice. It’s amazing how the thought of not being able to use my knee and not being able to do my job can concentrate the mind, but now I’m getting into riding again it’s made me think about getting into racing again which I never thought I would do.

Lion fish your story sound similar to mine I had an arthroscopy in 2005 to remove some damaged cartilage and throughout 2006 my knee has got gradually worse up to the point where I started cycling again. I’ve now got much less pain than I had and I can now bend my left knee almost as much as my right. My plan is to loose as much weight as possible this year with a view to start racing again next season.

post #7 of 23

Re: Cycling with arthritis

My left knee is arthritic and I have just had my right hip replaced due to arthritis. I find that my knee takes about 1-2 mile before I can easily spin the pedals and after that it does not bother me at all, I can ride all day and never favor it. I have found taking Glucosamine Sulfate every day helps enormously; you can buy it in any supermarket now but please note you have to take it for 4-6 weeks before you will feel any benefit. I have also fitted 165mm cranks as well which also helps me as now my knee is describing a much smaller circle, leverage is compromised I know but I don’t feel any change and as I say I can really spin them pedals now, I don't limp on the bike!

Good Luck,

Bill.


Quote:
Originally Posted by e999sam
Hello everyone I’ve been hanging around this forum for a few weeks now. I started cycling again after a 15 year break after discovering I had osteo arthritis in my knee and been advised by my doctor to loose weight and exercise. Cycling was one of the recommended exercises.

So far I’ve lost 10 Kilos and I’m up to about 150 miles a week. The only problem now I’m getting fitter is that I’m worried about pushing it to hard.

Does anyone out there have any experience of arthritis and know what level it’s possible to ride at ?

post #8 of 23

Re: Cycling with arthritis

Quote:
Originally Posted by e999sam
Hello everyone I’ve been hanging around this forum for a few weeks now. I started cycling again after a 15 year break after discovering I had osteo arthritis in my knee and been advised by my doctor to loose weight and exercise. Cycling was one of the recommended exercises.

So far I’ve lost 10 Kilos and I’m up to about 150 miles a week. The only problem now I’m getting fitter is that I’m worried about pushing it to hard.

Does anyone out there have any experience of arthritis and know what level it’s possible to ride at ?

I treat persons with osteoarthritis of the knee every day and am an avid cyclist. First of all, where is the OA, in the patellofemoral joint (under the kneecap) or in the menisci? If you do not know, ask your doctor again. Second, how severe is the arthritis, and is your doctor basing that degree of severity on an x-ray, MRI, physical examination, or your level of pain? What orthopedic tests did your doctor do? These answers can be found in your medical record, which you have easy access to (say "HIPAA" to your doctor's secretary and she'll hop to). You haven't given us enough information to adequately answer your good question.

Not knowing more, I will tell you that just because you see osteoarthritis on an x-ray doesn't mean it has ANYTHING to do with your pain. Also, it is possible to ride at any level with OA of the knee if there is no pain. That has more to do with your ability as a cyclist than anything.

I'd like to see you perform a squat. I'd like to know more about the biomechanics of your knees, and your lower extremities in general. Do you pronate, do your knees cave in (genu valgus or knock-knees), do your feet turn out, does your back overextend (overarch)--when you squat? Are you a knee squatter? Do you engage the hips when you squat? Do you have strong glutes? Flexible hamstrings, calves? Do you have weak hip abductors? A strong set of VMO's? If I had answers to these questions I could design a cross-training program for you as a cyclist to help prevent pain from the arthritits, if there is any, and prevent further wear-and-tear.

If you want to lose fat, then you have to go anaerobic. If you're ready for interval training, do some and build up gradually. Be careful if you haven't interval trained on a bike before. Go slowly. Weightlift at least once a week. No pain! Also, grow an ass. You have to have an ass to be an athlete. If you can't grow one, they can add one surgically now (it's called an addanasstomy).

Right, kidding on that last one, except for the growing an ass part.

Let pain be your guide. Periodize your training (training = stress + rest). Get a proper bike fit if you haven't already (can't stress that enough). Gradually increase either intensity, frequency or duration of your training, one at a time, no more than 5-10% per week. Read Joe Friel's book The Cyclist's Training Bible. And stop focusing on what you fear the future might hold, but instead on how you feel and that exercise on the bike is the best thing you can do for an osteoarthritic knee. Positive outlook, please.

Now... shut up and ride.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

Re: Cycling with arthritis

Thanks for the reply. I have to make an appointment with my doctor in the next week and I will ask him the questions you have suggested.
post #10 of 23

Re: Cycling with arthritis

Quote:
Originally Posted by e999sam
Thanks for the reply. I have to make an appointment with my doctor in the next week and I will ask him the questions you have suggested.
I was kidding about the shut up part, but serious about everything else. Good luck!
post #11 of 23

Re: Cycling with arthritis

What is really interesting is how similar many of us "older" dudes are.

For me, I experienced many years of pain in my lerft knee, as far back as I can remember, but primarily in high school, I am 53 years old. Over the years I went to a number of highly recognized orthopedic physicians, and was told that I had all sorts of issues and conditions. Almost everyone said NOT to have any type of knee surgery because I would be crippled with OA by the time I became 40.

Four years ago (age 49) the pain became unbearable. I was leaving a clients office on the 2nd floor of a highrise building and decided to take the monmental stair in the atrium lobby. I fell as my left knee buckled and gave out. Scared the crap out of me so that afternoon I made an appointment with a well known and highly respected OS.

He put me on a program to strengthen the knee through PT. After a couple of months he agreed to Arthroscopic surgery. He told me that the MRI's and X-Rays were all inconclusive be he had a gut feeling that my problem was due to a plaica membrane. He also told me that there was a chance the he might go in and find nothing.

The surgery found exactly what he thought, a plaica membrane, some torn cartilage and some arthritis. He removed the plaica and cleaned up the knee. He told me to lose weight ( lost 30 pounds), and continue with non-impact exercising.

The only problem I have now when I ride is a bit of soreness in the left knee (front below the knee cap and inthe back middle of the joint) after 5 miles. Almost as if the knee becomes a bit numb. I have clipless pedals that offer almost no float and I am changing them tomorrow. I also raised my seal 3/8" which has helped, although the bike store fit guru says it should be 3/8" lower.

Walking and doing other activities except hiking uphill I am 100% pain free. On very steep hikes I get the same type of pain and when riding. All in all I am 110% better than before the procedure.

Don't know why I am going through all this, but I guess I just like to share and see what others are experiencing. I hope I don't ever have to give up riding.
post #12 of 23

Re: Cycling with arthritis

If you have pain stay below L6 intensity so you don't worsen the condition but you still can make progress and prevent detraining ussually. I also try to stay optimum in sulfur, vitamin C, calcium citrate and HA for my knee problems if I get it just right I'm a cycling cyborg.

Quote:
Originally Posted by e999sam
Hello everyone I’ve been hanging around this forum for a few weeks now. I started cycling again after a 15 year break after discovering I had osteo arthritis in my knee and been advised by my doctor to loose weight and exercise. Cycling was one of the recommended exercises.

So far I’ve lost 10 Kilos and I’m up to about 150 miles a week. The only problem now I’m getting fitter is that I’m worried about pushing it to hard.

Does anyone out there have any experience of arthritis and know what level it’s possible to ride at ?

post #13 of 23

Re: Cycling with arthritis

Quote:
Originally Posted by wiredued
If you have pain stay below L6 intensity so you don't worsen the condition but you still can make progress and prevent detraining ussually. I also try to stay optimum in sulfur, vitamin C, calcium citrate and HA for my knee problems if I get it just right I'm a cycling cyborg.
Yesterday I felt pretty good so I did an 18 mile ride after leaving the office at noon. I felt pretty good...longest I have been able to ride since starting again 6 weeks ago, no knee pain and no swelling. This week I rode 60 miles at an average speed of 15.5mph, it has been pretty windy and it seems that my endurance increases each week. I decided to take today off and give my knee a rest. Funny how I feel restless and really would like to on the saddle this afternoon.
post #14 of 23

It's not just the "dudes" that are affected by arthritis - it's us "gals" too. 

I hadn't cycled at all in about 2 1/2 years and was shocked when I got on my bike again a few months ago. My right knee buckled when I tried to push off and I had to sit on the saddle before I was able to start riding the bike.

I've had problems with my knees since I was in my 20s, but I've developed arthritis over the last few years. Knees, hips, you name it...Climbing stairs is particulary difficult and I have to hold on to the banister. I was an avid gym goer and even qualified as a fitness instructor only 3 years ago - but now I'm unable to do teach as I can't do certain exercises due to arthritis.

A physiotherapist recommended cycling for the arthritis in my knees. I also spoke to some of my friends who cycle and who confirmed that cycling helped them overcome arthritic pain and ligament problems.

I bought myself a hybrid road bike and have so far not had any issues when cycling (but I limp when I get off the bike). I intend to strengthen my thigh muscles through regular road cycling and hope that this will in time easy the arthritis in my knees (or the tightness in my kneecap?). Fingers crossed!

 

 

Oh, I just realised that this is a really old thread :(

post #15 of 23
it is true that pain can go away or diminish while cycling, only to come back after you are done, when your system is working and you get warmed up then you can ride but i would be worried to find out if you are not making more damage than benefits to those rebel injuries,
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cycling Training
Cycling Forums › Forums › Bikes › Cycling Training › Cycling with arthritis