how are your ankles and knees?

Discussion in 'rec.sport.unicycling' started by unigeee, May 10, 2004.

  1. unigeee

    unigeee Guest

    i'm curiouse to hear from some of you older trials and Muni riders.

    how are your knees and ankles. since i've been riding consistently, 1
    year now, i find that my joints ache afterwards.

    does anyone else find this?

    what do you do for prevention?

    what do you do after?

    with roughly 37% of this forum 36 and over i figure we could all benifit
    from such a discussion.

    john


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  2. daino149

    daino149 Guest

    On occasion I will have some pain after a ride. Long rides, or rides
    with lots of hills cause more pain then short or flat rides.

    There are several things I have found that helps:

    Stretching... It's very important to stretch. Normally, I ride a couple
    slow miles to warm up, and then I stretch before going any distance or
    attempt hills.

    Practice... The longer I ride, the better my technique gets and the less
    sore I get.

    Aspirin... After a long or demanding ride, take a couple aspirin. Ice
    should help too, but I don't normally have it available.

    It's also a good idea to take breaks during your rides. While taking a
    brake, continue to stretch.

    That's about all I have. I think more people can offer some better
    advice.

    How long have you been riding? When you start out, most of your energy
    goes into your feet fighting each other. This causes you to stress your
    legs much more. As you get better, it gets less and less noticeable.

    Daniel


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  3. I come from a mountainbike/ motorcycle racing background and have been
    riding MUni for close to a year. I'm 51 and fortunately don't experience
    any ankle or knee problems. My biggest problem is just muscle aches


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  4. U-Turn

    U-Turn Guest

    I put longer cranks on at first to help ease the knees. That made a big
    difference because I was learning idling. For a while I had a hard time
    sleeping because my legs would throb; Vioxx helped with that. But now
    after riding a couple of years that has mostly gone away.

    Injuring ankles and knees, though, is a different story...


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  5. johnfoss

    johnfoss Guest

    If your ankles hurt, check to see if you're on a KH, Summit, or Onza
    Trials uni. If your knees hurt, check to see if you're wearing some kind
    of knee protection! :D

    Okay. You didn't give your age but it shouldn't be so relevant. My
    findings are that my knees get sore if I do a lot more miles than I'm
    used to. I used to get sore knees when riding the 36 mile long 5 Boro
    Bike Tour in New York City. It was the only real long ride of the year
    for me on my big wheel, with 6.5" cranks. I think my knees would run out
    of "lube." Glucosamine, or whatever you call it.

    The same thing happened to me the first time I tired riding my Coker to
    work and back, a 16 mile round trip. I was fine on the way there, but my
    knee started bothering me soon after I started on my way home. This made
    me chicken to try it again for a while. But now I can do it several days
    in a row with no problems.

    So in general use, my knees and ankles don't get sore. If you're doing
    some real intense riding for a good part of the day and haven't been
    doing similar amounts before that, this is probably to be expected. If
    you're doing the same amount of riding as usual and it's making you
    sore, you need to pay close attention to your joints and follow the
    advice others are giving.


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  6. underdog

    underdog Guest

    I'm 49 and new to uni. Been at it about 7 weeks now but often after
    practice, I have a little aching in the knees. I use ice and ibuprofen
    and hope that as my technique improves this will be less of a problem.


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  7. harper

    harper Guest

    I have one bad knee and one worse knee. The worse knee hurts all the
    time so, who cares. The bad knee hurts some of the time so, who cares?
    It does not prevent me from doing trials, MUni and long Coker rides. I
    Coker 10 miles round trip everyday that it is not raining in the summer.
    Then I do a weekend ride of some kind with the Seattle group.


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  8. darchibald

    darchibald Guest

    Thats so weird. I always assumed, (probably cuz of your signature
    picture thingies and your names) that daino149, and Krashing Kenny were
    young ones. Assumptions are weird.

    Not to jack your thread, I have horrible knees and they kill when I run,
    which is weird cuz I've been active all my life, but they don't hurt at
    all uni'ing. Unless of course its one of those falls where you take the
    crown hard on the inside of your knee. Ooooh thats painful,

    David

    Ps. I'm 15


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  9. darchibald wrote:
    > *Thats so weird. I always assumed, (probably cuz of your signature
    > picture thingies and your names) that daino149, and Krashing Kenny
    > were young ones. Assumptions are weird.
    > *



    Thanks David!!!!!!!

    I been told by many that I don't act my age, now if only I could find a
    way to not look so old :D :D


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  10. john_childs

    john_childs Guest

    Stretching. For me stretching is the key to avoiding knee pain.

    But it all depends on the type of knee pain that affects you. In my
    case it's my 'iliotibial band' (http://www.itbs.info/). For other
    people it may be the knee cap not tracking straight or some other muscle
    or tendon problem. For my Iliotibial Band problems, proper stretching
    keeps it from hurting. If I was to go on a long Coker ride without
    stretching properly beforehand I would possibly end up with some knee
    pain during and after the ride. I'm still very tentative about doing
    long Coker rides or multi-day Coker rides because of the possibility of
    the knee pain flaring up.

    Find a good book or pamphlet that covers stretching exercises for
    runners. There will be stretches in there specific for the iliotibial
    band, for the knee cap (patella) tracking, and other problem areas. If
    you have knee pain due to muscle or tendon tightness, find out what it
    is that is causing the pain and pay extra special attention to
    stretching the parts that will make it feel better.

    Course, if you've got actual joint problems (like arthritis) you're in a
    whole other ball of wax.


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  11. elmer

    elmer Guest

    I intend to live longer than the rest of you, and to be riding my
    unicycles until the bitter end.

    I prevent pain by keeping myself semi-starved and light.

    I eat lots of fish-oil capsules to lubricate my joints.(Molecularly
    distilled fish-oil so I don't get the heavy metals)

    I do not worry at all about muscle aches and pains until I physically
    cannot move.

    I listen carefully when my joints talk to me, such as that night I tried
    to learn one-foot riding for hours on end and kept landing with all my
    wieght (not much) on my left leg. My knee said it wanted me to not do
    that again for a couple of days, so I listened and keep my sessions a
    little shorter.

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!


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  12. elmer

    elmer Guest

  13. quark soup

    quark soup Guest

    I'm 31 and I've been riding a year now. That's not really old, but in
    athletic terms, I'm no spring chicken either.

    When I started riding, I went from many years of sloth-like inactivity
    right into practicing 1-2 hours a day and eventually ended up with
    tendonitis in my knees and achillies tendons. I had to take about a
    3-week break from riding to let the inflamation go down.

    The tendonitis lasted another 6 months, but didn't stop me from riding.
    I just took precaucions like stretching as much as possible, and mainly
    not pushing it. I had to build up my activity gradually. I no longer
    have problems or pain in my knees or ankles, which is great 'cause I
    thought I would be fighting it the rest of my life.

    I second all of daino149's advice. I've been doing the same and it
    seems to be paying off nicely.


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  14. cyberbellum

    cyberbellum Guest

    My knees are still in good shape despite lots of abuse so I must be
    doing something right.

    Four things have hurt my knees:

    1) Blunt trauma to the kneecap.

    This bruises the cartilage in behind the kneecap. It's imperative to
    apply RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) as soon as possible
    for this kind of injury. Go easy on the compression. The cartilage has
    a very poor blood supply and heals slowly. DON'T do anything to stress
    the kneecap (e.g., deep knee bends) until the cartilage heals (weeks,
    not days). I did and the Doc said I was lucky not to have killed it
    off. That would have been a real mess.

    Obviously, good armor would have prevented the injury in the first
    place, but at the time I was swimming in whitewater. I didn't know the
    rock was there. :(

    2) Overuse.

    A rule of thumb for racing cyclists is to never raise your milage faster
    than 10% per week. I don't know how that translates to unicycling
    except to say that in bicycling it seems ridiculously slow, especialy
    early in the season when the weekly milage is low. Anyone capable of
    riding 50 miles in a week can do 100 in a day, but DON'T! It takes a
    long time to grow the cartilage, tendons and ligaments to take the
    strain the muscles can dish out.

    For a couple of seasons I didn't follow this advice, pushed it early in
    the training season, and wound up in pain throughout the racing season.
    I had to ice my knees for a couple of hours after each ride just to keep
    walking. In subsequent years I followed this rule to the letter and
    never had to ice. I was faster, too.

    3) Sudden bend/twist the wrong way with force.

    I tore my anterior cruciate ligament playing soccer. The details are
    not important - once the ACL is badly torn it needs to be replaced.
    There isn't much you can do to prevent this kind of injury other than to
    learn how to unweight the leg and fall before it gets busted.

    The only good side effect of this adventure in pain was to see
    orthoscopic pictures of the inside of my knee. The Doc says my
    cartilage is perfect - the bash healed completely, and no lasting
    effects from the overuse. :) If you stop abusing them there is hope
    that they'll recover.

    4) Muscular imbalance.

    This one ended my racing career. My outer quads got so strong that they
    would pull my patella out of the groove when I walked. It was painful.
    The Doc says that the poor tracking of my patella caused it to load up
    on only a couple of points instead of the whole gliding surface. It was
    only a matter of time before I wore through the cartilage completely.
    His prescription was to stop riding and let my thighs attrophe to a
    normal size.

    I think a stretching program might have helped a tiny bit, but what I
    really needed was selective strengthening of the under-used muscles.
    The lesson I learned was to go for variety, not focused mass. For this
    reason I'm not a big fan of weight machines. Free weights are better,
    and calisthenics are best.

    Keep your legs strong, don't bash them a lot, and keep them from
    twisting under load and you won't have any problems with your knees.
    Wear armor and UPD wisely.


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  15. Uniwitold

    Uniwitold Guest

    By the time I started unicycling I was 65.I had dicomfort in both
    knees.Both of them were scooped by my friend (outcome of winsurfing) and
    I could see some wear and tear in them (It was done under spinal
    anaesthesia).One of my midfoot was hurting too(past history of small
    braek of cuboid bone).
    At the start I felt a bit more all of mentioned above but after a while
    all pains has gone.
    I would not say I am serious unicyclist but i do ride almost every day.
    As an ortopaedic surgeon of some experience I have done few thousends of
    arthroscopies of knees and I have witnessed kind of a healing of the
    cartillage.
    The most funny part of this uni adventure is....I wanted to learn it to
    eliminate gravitation as an wearing off factor in old age.
    I feel ,in a way I have succeded in doing so.:) (now I am 68)


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  16. Klaas Bil

    Klaas Bil Guest

    I don't know why but I'm lucky that my ankles never hurt and my knees
    very rarely do. I'm 50 y.o. I do road rides up to 20 km and MUni rides
    up to a few hours. The main physical problem from the road rides is
    crotch discomfort (numbness) and from MUni it is general tiredness,
    mostly in the quads.

    On Mon, 10 May 2004 22:43:19 -0500, "elmer" wrote:

    >I intend to live longer than the rest of you, and to be riding my
    >unicycles until the bitter end.


    You're not alone. John Foss once said that one of his life's
    objectives is to ride a unicycle on his 100th birthday.

    Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict
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  17. I'm only 15 so you probably don't even want me viewing your thread. but
    anyway:
    knees: I get a bit of an ache in my right knee when I do my (almost)
    daily 4mile round trip into town on my 20".
    Longer cranks: this may be because I'm a short-arse, but I find that
    longer cranks actually make it worse, the pain doesn't really seem to
    come from the actual pressure needed to push the peadal down so much as
    the movement, and a longer crank means the seat has to be down lower for
    me to reach it at the bottom of the stroke, and my knee has to be bent a
    lot tighter at the top. For me I think the problem is just that I
    haven't really done that much riding that often before, and hopefull it
    will go away again soon.


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  18. harper

    harper Guest

    theamazingmolio wrote:
    > *I'm only 15 so you probably don't even want me viewing your thread. *



    This is not an age exclusive thread. You are always welcome to
    participate in discussions. This one is primarily about joints and your
    contribution is significant. Just because most of the responses in this
    thread are from folks who have been fifteen two, three, or four times
    doesn't mean that someone who is fifteen doesn't have something
    important to add.


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  19. johnfoss

    johnfoss Guest

    theamazingmolio wrote:
    > *knees: I get a bit of an ache in my right knee when I do my (almost)
    > daily 4mile round trip into town on my 20".
    > Longer cranks: this may be because I'm a short-arse, but I find that
    > longer cranks actually make it worse,...*

    Ouch! You need a bigger wheel and smaller cranks! Yes, longer cranks
    force your legs through a larger range of motion, and with a small wheel
    you're going to pedal pretty fast. That's a lot of repetitive movement
    for the joints.

    If you can, get shorter cranks, a bigger wheel, or both.

    This is a great thread. Lots of good joint advice! Kudos to Elmer for
    taking better care of himself than I. We will challenge each other to a
    longevity contest! I just hope neither of our ends are bitter.


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  20. unigeee

    unigeee Guest

    this thread is great. i'm 37 by the way and have been quite physically
    active all my life in adventure sports. i've unicyled for 4 years,
    trials and muni for 1. and love it!!

    I'm not talkong about pain i'm talking about aches that i ride through
    and may inhibit how high i can jump. the technique is comming along. the
    one tech change that i have adapted is to not just land on my ankles
    during drops (feet on pedals), but to engage them (flex to prepare for
    the impact). any other helpful longevity provoking tips from you century
    club seekers?

    i agree with the advice on stretching and warming into the ride. it's
    easy to just go too hard core too fast. what stretches would anyone
    recomend?

    and i like the advice on reasonable incremental advancement in order to
    allow the body to build up.

    well, i'm done work, it's nice and sunny out, time for an urban trials
    ride. and yes john it's a kh24 without the anklebitters and i do
    religiausly wear leg armour:D

    john


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