Knee problems, advice anyone

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Gus, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. Gus

    Gus Guest

    Not looking for a medical diagnosis but would like to hear from someone who has suffered similar
    knee problems. Have been to a specialist who diagnosed arithis. But i feel that there is probably
    alot one can still do to avoid resulting pain (though he said its just wear and tear and there is
    nothing I can do about it). To be honest i'm not sure I believe the arithis is the complete cause of
    my problem nor do i have alot of faith in the specialist (a national health system specialist, free
    in the UK) I saw.

    Last year I started having problems going up/down stairs where I would experience knee pain right
    behind and immediately around the kneecap when i put pressure/weight on my left leg. Cycling and
    jogging which i continue to do did not seem to aggravate the condition at the time. This has now
    improved probably due to the fact I have been doing some knee exercises.

    Unfortunately I have started having similar problems again with my left knee but this time am
    experiencing alot of pain at the left and right sides of my knee cap. Slightly different than before
    when it seemed more immediate to the kneecap. I notice that its very painful on the start of a cycle
    run or restarting having rested for a bit. If i put pressure on the muscles at either side it feels
    quite tender. The weird thing is that the next day its fine when i'm walking around. Running does
    not yet seem to have had the same effect. I should add I ride a mixture of BikeE, HPV Spirit and
    Streetmachine recumbents and have been doing so on and off for about 3 years now.

    Any help would be appreciated Gus
     
    Tags:


  2. Pat

    Pat Guest

    > Last year I started having problems going up/down stairs where I would experience knee pain right
    > behind and immediately around the kneecap when
    i
    > put pressure/weight on my left leg. Any help would be appreciated Gus

    Gus, my Orthopedist said that kneecap-area pain was due to the kneecap moving around when it
    shouldn't. He gave me a ChoPat strap to wear and that pretty much cut the pain down. He said the
    kneecap is not tracking correctly in the groove. Sometimes I even wear the strap while cycling, but
    I can really tell the effects going down stairs. You might try this--I think these straps can be had
    for about $15 USD.

    Pat in TX
     
  3. Cletus Lee

    Cletus Lee Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > Not looking for a medical diagnosis but would like to hear from someone who has suffered similar
    > knee problems. Have been to a specialist who diagnosed arithis. But i feel that there is probably
    > alot one can still do to avoid resulting pain (though he said its just wear and tear and there is
    > nothing I can do about it). To be honest i'm not sure I believe the arithis is the complete cause
    > of my problem nor do i have alot of faith in the specialist (a national health system specialist,
    > free in the UK) I saw.

    My diagnosis is 'Knee Mice'. If you place a stethoscope on the knee and move the knee joint, you can
    hear them going 'Squeek, Squeek. Squeek, Squeek.'

    I disagree that there is is nothing that can be done about it though. Glucosamine HCL & Chondroitin
    Sulfate tablets are effective in many that have problems similar to your description.

    Several research studies have shown these to be beneficial in Arthritis patients runners and
    'bent cyclists.

    J Fam Pract. 2003 Dec;52(12):919-20.

    Structural and symptomatic efficacy of glucosamine and chondroitin in knee osteoarthritis: a
    comprehensive meta-analysis.

    >
    > Last year I started having problems going up/down stairs where I would experience knee pain right
    > behind and immediately around the kneecap when i put pressure/weight on my left leg. Cycling and
    > jogging which i continue to do did not seem to aggravate the condition at the time. This has now
    > improved probably due to the fact I have been doing some knee exercises.
    >
    > Unfortunately I have started having similar problems again with my left knee but this time am
    > experiencing alot of pain at the left and right sides of my knee cap. Slightly different than
    > before when it seemed more immediate to the kneecap. I notice that its very painful on the start
    > of a cycle run or restarting having rested for a bit. If i put pressure on the muscles at either
    > side it feels quite tender. The weird thing is that the next day its fine when i'm walking around.
    > Running does not yet seem to have had the same effect. I should add I ride a mixture of BikeE, HPV
    > Spirit and Streetmachine recumbents and have been doing so on and off for about 3 years now.
    >
    > Any help would be appreciated Gus
    >
    >
    >

    --

    Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  4. Pain under the knee cap on a recumbent can indicate the seat adjustment is too short. How is your
    ergonomics when pedaling? Are you pushing straight down? Is your knee no wider then your hips during
    the pedal circle? Any pre or post stretching? My 2 cents Speedy

    Gus wrote:

    > Not looking for a medical diagnosis but would like to hear from someone who has suffered similar
    > knee problems. Have been to a specialist who diagnosed arithis. But i feel that there is probably
    > alot one can still do to avoid resulting pain (though he said its just wear and tear and there is
    > nothing I can do about it). To be honest i'm not sure I believe the arithis is the complete cause
    > of my problem nor do i have alot of faith in the specialist (a national health system specialist,
    > free in the UK) I saw.
    >
    > Last year I started having problems going up/down stairs where I would experience knee pain right
    > behind and immediately around the kneecap when i put pressure/weight on my left leg. Cycling and
    > jogging which i continue to do did not seem to aggravate the condition at the time. This has now
    > improved probably due to the fact I have been doing some knee exercises.
    >
    > Unfortunately I have started having similar problems again with my left knee but this time am
    > experiencing alot of pain at the left and right sides of my knee cap. Slightly different than
    > before when it seemed more immediate to the kneecap. I notice that its very painful on the start
    > of a cycle run or restarting having rested for a bit. If i put pressure on the muscles at either
    > side it feels quite tender. The weird thing is that the next day its fine when i'm walking around.
    > Running does not yet seem to have had the same effect. I should add I ride a mixture of BikeE, HPV
    > Spirit and Streetmachine recumbents and have been doing so on and off for about 3 years now.
    >
    > Any help would be appreciated Gus

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  5. Geob

    Geob Guest

    > Not looking for a medical diagnosis but would like to hear from someone who has suffered similar
    > knee problems.

    Have you tried anti-inflamatories around the clock for a while to see if it is some inflamation or
    tendonitis that can be cleared up that way?

    > I notice that its very painful on the start of a cycle run or restarting having rested for a bit.

    I wonder if you need to spend some time re-evaluating your riding position, shoe position, pedal
    distance, even crank length. If mine are off just a bit I start to feel it, and hafta stop riding
    for a while and use NSAIDs. I am 53 yo, but my knee has given me trouble since I was 14. It was
    injured in a car accident.

    I ride only about 2000 miles/year. How much do you ride?

    I don't really wanna open up a big discussion on crank length again, but I am 5' 8.5", and after I
    changed from 170mm to 155mm cranks, I immediately had a significantly faster commute with more
    comfort. I can't believe this wouldn't also be true of some other vertically-challenged riders, or
    even folks with some knee problems. I was just wondering... suppose it turns out you *do* have
    arthritis.. wonder if a change in crank length might put the stress somewhat in a different and less
    sensitive spot in the knee? And apart from that, if you do have arthritis, it seems intuitive that a
    shorter crank will require the knee to be in a less acute angle when you apply pressure to it, which
    may make a difference. I am thinking a knee at an acute angle (as mine were) requires more pressure
    on the knee tissues to generate the same amount of torque on the pedals, compared to a right-angle
    at the knee, in the top-most position. I have heard numerous times of people going to shorter cranks
    because of knee problems (but this doesn't mean it turned out to be the right thing to do).

    Caveat: It seems that this problem can be illustrated by two intersecting arcs when you consider the
    shorter crank's effect on torque, and I haven't done the math.
     
  6. Ian Smith

    Ian Smith Guest

    On Tue, 3 Feb 2004 14:03:43 +0000
    (UTC), Gus <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Not looking for a medical diagnosis but would like to hear from someone who has suffered similar
    > knee problems. Have been to a specialist who diagnosed arithis. But i feel that there is probably
    > alot one can still do to avoid resulting pain (though he said its just wear and tear and there is
    > nothing I can do about it). To be honest i'm not sure I believe the arithis is the complete cause
    > of my problem nor do i have alot of faith in the specialist (a national health system specialist,
    > free in the UK) I saw.

    What was the specialist?

    I've had knee problems off-and-on since the growth spurt you get in early teens. The first round of
    problems was the worst - my knees got to the point of sometimes just collapsing beneath me, even (on
    occasion) when I was standing still (mighty embarrasing when you're standing in a shop and just drop
    to a heap on teh floor, especially when you're at the teenage "please don't anyone look at me under
    any circumstances" stage).

    The root cause for me is twisted bones in teh lower leg so teh joint doesn't work quite as it does
    for everyone else. If I'm lucky and do everything perfectly (perfect seat setup, crank length, the
    right gear every time, no funny twisting and so on) I can go years with no problems, then something
    sets it off and it snowballs and I need some assistance to get it back to pain-free.

    In my opinion, avoid (or get past as quick as possible) doctors - they do things like send you for
    x-rays, then you get a message that teh x-rays were fine, and then they seem to think that's it -
    x-ray is fine, so problem is solved. The fact that I'm still in pain and it's getting worse doesn't
    seem to occur to them. That or they put you on anti-inflammatories, and I can't face taking pills 3
    times a day for the rest of my life.

    Get to a physiotherapist (preferably, get your GP to refer you and then it should be NHS and thus
    free) and find out what will help (even if it won't cure). Every time I've had problems, a physio
    has come up with an exercise routine that's overcome the pain and got me back to shape. It might not
    be so good with arthritis, but I'd let them have a crack at it, if you haven't tried already.

    If you can get a referral to a sports physio, so much teh better (even if it's not a sports injury)
    - they're more likely to have the needs of active people in mind. A general physio probably spends
    70% of their time with frail old ladies, and while they've always done a good job on me, a sports
    physio may well be better if you can arrange it.

    One thing I've noticed is that my knees basically are just marginal as to whether they work right,
    and there seem to be all sorts of imbalances that can occur. One time I get an exercise to build up
    a particular muscle, another time I say "I've been doing blaah exercise, which is what I was given
    last time (2 years ago)", and they twist or lean on or manipulate something and say "does that
    hurt", I say "no", they say "well blaah exercise builds up thingy muscle, to overcome such-and-such,
    but if you had that then when I do this it would hurt a lot, and since it doesn't, it's not that
    this time" and give me something totally different to do. The one time a GP gave me an exercise to
    do, I got to teh physio a few weeks later, they gave me a load of things, none of which was what the
    GP had given me, so I questioned them, and teh physio assured me teh GPs exercise would make things
    worse (it certainly hadn't helped). The point of all this waffle is to say - get an actual physio to
    look at it, and don't rely on people saying "I had a pain like that, I did this exercise" - I've had
    pains that seemed teh same to me, but which responded to different exercises.

    Sometimes an exercise works wonders - I've had pain that's been nagging continually for 6 or more
    months before I get round to following my own advice clear up inside two weeks of doing what the
    physio told me (that was a 'hyper mobile' kneecap, apparently). Sometimes it's a long slog through
    10 repetitions 3 times a day for months before a big improvement occurs.

    Good luck.

    regards, Ian SMith
    --
    |\ /| no .sig
    |o o|
    |/ \|
     
  7. Gary Mc

    Gary Mc Guest

    "Gus" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Not looking for a medical diagnosis but would like to hear from someone who has suffered similar
    > knee problems. Have been to a specialist who diagnosed arithis. But i feel that there is probably
    > alot one can still do to avoid resulting pain (though he said its just wear and tear and there is
    > nothing I can do about it). To be honest i'm not sure I believe the arithis is the complete cause
    > of my problem nor do i have alot of faith in the specialist (a national health system specialist,
    > free in the UK) I saw.
    >
    >
    I too have arthritis. My doctor told me to keep riding, use Tylenol Arthritis and take Glucosamine
    Sulfate (See Cletus above). A pamphlet that I got from the Arthritis Foundation echoed these
    recommendations. The Glucosamine sometimes upsets my stomach, so I reduced the dose to 500 mg. 1500
    mg is recommended. It still seems to help. It is a lubricant for the joint and I figured that even a
    reduced amount would help.

    http://www.arthritis.org/

    I have shorter cranks as someone mentioned, I also have the shorter legs to go with them. I am not
    sure that it is necessary for everyone. Good Luck

    I did 2500 miles of riding last year and am trying to do a bit more this year. I just baby my knees
    when they demand it and work them when I can.

    Gary McCarty, Greenspeed GTO, Salt Lake City
     
  8. Moosebear

    Moosebear New Member

    Joined:
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    I have shattered cartilidge in the knees, and pain was slowing me down, a real worry a couple years ago at only 42... all pain seems to be gone after a couple years of glucosamine sulfate. My understanding is that it actually helps worn cartiledge to re-grow.

    I wish I could point you to "The Natural Phamacist" tnp.com, which used to be free. It's a science-based online database of testing done on herbs, vitamins and "nutri-ceuticals" such as glucosamine. That website went commercial, although apparently thier info is available free on other sites...

    In any case, I think the glucosamine helped me, it certainly can't hurt.

    The other thing that helped pull me back from a time of general health weakness was fasting with fresh vegetable juice for 3-4 days. Apparently, there is some scientific evidence that fasting has a positive affect on arthritis.

    Finally, using fresh flax oil (yummy in dressings) and getting a good balance of quality oils is something else I do that can't hurt. Anecdotally, I noticed that my fingernails got way stronger when I started eating flax... if that is the cause, then the stuff must be good for something.

    Best of luck, don't stop riding!

    Moosebear.
     
  9. Barryg

    Barryg Guest

    I've had knee problems for the last twenty years. The only thing that I've consistently found
    helpful is

    - stretching
    - strengthening the medial quadriceps - this should help patella tracking - it often is
    relatively weaker

    Cheers, Barry

    "Gus" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Not looking for a medical diagnosis but would like to hear from someone
    who
    > has suffered similar knee problems. Have been to a specialist who
    diagnosed
    > arithis. But i feel that there is probably alot one can still do to avoid resulting pain (though
    > he said its just wear and tear and there is nothing
    I
    > can do about it). To be honest i'm not sure I believe the arithis is the complete cause of my
    > problem nor do i have alot of faith in the specialist (a national health system specialist, free
    > in the UK) I saw.
    >
    > Last year I started having problems going up/down stairs where I would experience knee pain right
    > behind and immediately around the kneecap when
    i
    > put pressure/weight on my left leg. Cycling and jogging which i continue
    to
    > do did not seem to aggravate the condition at the time. This has now improved probably due to the
    > fact I have been doing some knee exercises.
    >
    > Unfortunately I have started having similar problems again with my left
    knee
    > but this time am experiencing alot of pain at the left and right sides of
    my
    > knee cap. Slightly different than before when it seemed more immediate to the kneecap. I notice
    > that its very painful on the start of a cycle run or restarting having rested for a bit. If i put
    > pressure on the muscles at either side it feels quite tender. The weird thing is that the next day
    its
    > fine when i'm walking around. Running does not yet seem to have had the
    same
    > effect. I should add I ride a mixture of BikeE, HPV Spirit and
    Streetmachine
    > recumbents and have been doing so on and off for about 3 years now.
    >
    > Any help would be appreciated Gus
     
  10. It's common for pedalers to bend their knees inward on the power stroke, especially when going fast
    or climbing hills. This puts more pressure on the outside of the knee cartilage and can eventually
    wear it down. The cartilage on the underside of the kneecap suffers most. Watch your knee action
    when cranking hard and try to keep your knees moving in a straight line with the pedals.

    Cartilage has no blood vessels and gets its oxygen and nutrients from the fluid in the joints.
    Everytime you put pressure on a joint, the fluid is forced into the pores of the cartilage,
    then comes back out, between strokes. The more you exercise your joints, without damaging them,
    the healthier they'll be. This is why sore joints feel better after a warm up, because the
    fluid has entered the cartilage and made it thicker and more pliable. If you lie around,
    inactive, because of soreness, your cartilage becomes progressively starved for nutrients and
    degrades further.

    A longterm benefit can be gained by taking glucosamine and MSM supplements. These naturally-
    occurring substances are vital to cartilage maintenance, but as people become older, not enough
    glucosamine is produced in the body. MSM is an organic compound of sulfur, that is not in
    enough abundance in farm-raised crops. It is found in rainwater and in fruits and vegetables
    that are watered by it, but most irrigated crops are deficient in it. Our ancient ancestors ate
    nothing but foods watered directly by the rain. These supplements have helped my knees a great
    deal and also those of several previously decrepid friends. Glucosamine is extracted
    commercially from shrimp shells, so people with shellfish allergies may need to avoid it. I
    don't know if any other source of it is available, for those with such allergies.

    Steve McDonald
     
  11. Stacey

    Stacey Guest

    Hi Gus, I'm Stacey Mitchell from Baltimore Maryland,USA. I had (have) Knee problems I used to run
    and I used to ride an upright bike. I had both knees done in surgery for torn miniscus. My physical
    thearpest has given me knee saving advice. Stop running , stop riding an upright bike, ride a
    recumbent. I've been doing that for 3 years now and as long as I ride my knees are OK! Stop riding ,
    they hurt again. That's my two cents, Stacey

    "Gus" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Not looking for a medical diagnosis but would like to hear from someone
    who
    > has suffered similar knee problems. Have been to a specialist who
    diagnosed
    > arithis. But i feel that there is probably alot one can still do to avoid resulting pain (though
    > he said its just wear and tear and there is nothing
    I
    > can do about it). To be honest i'm not sure I believe the arithis is the complete cause of my
    > problem nor do i have alot of faith in the specialist (a national health system specialist, free
    > in the UK) I saw.
    >
    > Last year I started having problems going up/down stairs where I would experience knee pain right
    > behind and immediately around the kneecap when
    i
    > put pressure/weight on my left leg. Cycling and jogging which i continue
    to
    > do did not seem to aggravate the condition at the time. This has now improved probably due to the
    > fact I have been doing some knee exercises.
    >
    > Unfortunately I have started having similar problems again with my left
    knee
    > but this time am experiencing alot of pain at the left and right sides of
    my
    > knee cap. Slightly different than before when it seemed more immediate to the kneecap. I notice
    > that its very painful on the start of a cycle run or restarting having rested for a bit. If i put
    > pressure on the muscles at either side it feels quite tender. The weird thing is that the next day
    its
    > fine when i'm walking around. Running does not yet seem to have had the
    same
    > effect. I should add I ride a mixture of BikeE, HPV Spirit and
    Streetmachine
    > recumbents and have been doing so on and off for about 3 years now.
    >
    > Any help would be appreciated Gus
     
  12. Kelly

    Kelly Guest

    "Gus" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Not looking for a medical diagnosis but would like to hear from someone who has suffered similar
    > knee problems. Have been to a specialist who diagnosed arithis. But i feel that there is probably
    > alot one can still do to avoid resulting pain (though he said its just wear and tear and there is
    > nothing I can do about it). To be honest i'm not sure I believe the arithis is the complete cause
    > of my problem nor do i have alot of faith in the specialist (a national health system specialist,
    > free in the UK) I saw.
    >
    > Last year I started having problems going up/down stairs where I would experience knee pain right
    > behind and immediately around the kneecap when i put pressure/weight on my left leg. Cycling and
    > jogging which i continue to do did not seem to aggravate the condition at the time. This has now
    > improved probably due to the fact I have been doing some knee exercises.
    >
    > Unfortunately I have started having similar problems again with my left knee but this time am
    > experiencing alot of pain at the left and right sides of my knee cap. Slightly different than
    > before when it seemed more immediate to the kneecap. I notice that its very painful on the start
    > of a cycle run or restarting having rested for a bit. If i put pressure on the muscles at either
    > side it feels quite tender. The weird thing is that the next day its fine when i'm walking around.
    > Running does not yet seem to have had the same effect. I should add I ride a mixture of BikeE, HPV
    > Spirit and Streetmachine recumbents and have been doing so on and off for about 3 years now.
    >
    > Any help would be appreciated Gus

    Gus use shorter cranks. Maximize leg extension in your pedal stroke and take all that stuff everyone
    else is talking about. Kelly
     
  13. John Riley

    John Riley Guest

    Looks like all pretty good advice, but if the problem persists, I agree with Ian. A proper Sports
    Physio can often recommend stretches and exercises that will help.

    john riley
     
  14. Jim Plaia

    Jim Plaia Guest

    My wife and I have had similar problems with "You're just wearing out" diagnoses recently. I had
    been unable to cycle for more than 5 minutes without pain that persisted for several days and had
    been that way for over ten years without getting a doctor to take me seriously. Try the physical
    therapy route; if it works it's a great deal better than surgery. If it fails or if the cartilage
    damage is too pronounced (your doctor should be able to estimate what grade it is from the MRIs;
    Grade 1 is reversible, maybe. Grade 2 is some tearing, Grade 3 is cartilage that looks like crab
    meat, and grade 4 is exposed bone) there are options available for cartilage repairs. Abrasion
    arthoplasty or microfracture are used in Europe and occasionally in the US to regrow cartilage.
    Carticel or other techniques use transplanted cartilage or grown and implanted cartilage. Sites like
    kneeguru or knee1 discuss them, or you're welcome to email me and I'll pass along the list of sites
    we used when we were trying to decide what to do.

    One note that US doctors often fail to mention: Non-steroidal anti-inflamatories, NSAIDs like Advil,
    are being linked to cartilage damage. Prolonged use seems to make arthritis worse. Glucosamine has
    actually been found to do better over long use.
     
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