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casanoah
01-22-2006, 15:31
My joints aren't the sturdiest, it runs in my family but Iím still very active and fit. I've had knee problems before when cycling and running. How does one deal with knee problems? Brace? Meds? Do you just walk through the pain? Or leave the trail? I'm preparing for my first thru-hike starting in March and Iím nervous about damaging my knees, what advice can ya'll offer?

Alligator
01-22-2006, 17:04
I would suggest first consulting with a physical therapists or a doctor to get a professional opinion regarding exactly what problem you have with your knee. They could offer tips about how to strengthen the knee.

I have two knee braces which I wear all the time while hiking. They and my hiking poles seem to work especially well for me. Also, a light load helps. I noticed recently that my winter load aggravated my knees sooner than my three season load. I have been having few problems with my knees since I seriously lightened up my pack.

I had to leave the trail once because of blister and knee problems combined.

One other note. My hiking buddy stressed his knee a lot on our last trip. He had on boots, so I would suggest something lightweight for footwear like trail runners.

Zzzzdyd
01-22-2006, 17:58
2 x Day, 1000mg Glucosamine Sulfate. Wally world has it at a decent price.

I take one with breakfast and one with dinner. My knees took me off my
last thru-hike attempt.

Also Alligator makes some very good points. I am going to try avoiding
the braces, but will have them in my Leap-Frog box if needed.

Good luck and have a great hike...

MorrisseyFan
01-22-2006, 18:19
I have to admit that I'm not a very experienced hiker, but I am a very experienced distance runner. I'm big on the Glucosamine as well, but there's a stretch I do before, after, and sometime in the middle of a race.

While standing, cross your legs so that your knees are crossed and your right shoe is on the left side of your left shoe. Your ankles should be parallel. Lean forward as if to touch your toes for about 20 seconds, then repeat with your legs crossed the other way. It works for me, at least.

hopefulhiker
01-22-2006, 18:35
I had chronic knee pain due to being overweight when I first started the trail...
1)Start taking glucosomine two months early. Take it regularly but it has been proven to prevent damage. It makes you fart a lot though.
2) Always use Hiking Poles!
3)Carry a knee brace. I used one and ended up on different knees. I gave it away in the 100 mile wilderness though.
4) Take mega doses of ibuprophren.. I took 800-1600mg a day.. I knew some who took up to 3200 mg a day... Anyway, Lay off occasionally so you can acess how much pain you are really in.. I am not sure I would have made it with out Vitamin I. I had this on the advice of several doctors in clinic stops on the trail... Hiawasse, Franklin, Hot Springs,and towns in NJ and NY..
5) Exercise before the trip and try to lose weight and also lighten your pack..

Zzzzdyd
01-22-2006, 18:39
I have to admit that I'm not a very experienced hiker, but I am a very experienced distance runner. I'm big on the Glucosamine as well, but there's a stretch I do before, after, and sometime in the middle of a race.

While standing, cross your legs so that your knees are crossed and your right shoe is on the left side of your left shoe. Your ankles should be parallel. Lean forward as if to touch your toes for about 20 seconds, then repeat with your legs crossed the other way. It works for me, at least.

I guess it's good to switch left over right too ? I tried both ways
and one sure does feel it in the knees.

Thanks for the tip...:D

Footslogger
01-22-2006, 21:05
Alligator is correct. Your best bet is to have a thorough knee exam by an orthopedist and I would further that by saying it should be an orthopedist with a Sports Medicine background. The knee is a rather complex joint. We see a wide range of knee problems ranging from congenital or developmental issues to severe knee injuries. In virtually all cases, strengthening the muscles around the knee is a vital part of active participation in sports.

Some aches/pains can be dealt with by medication but it's always wise to determine the cause of the pain before masking it with drugs.

'Slogger

bbanker
01-22-2006, 22:56
This is a biased opinion, but I would reccomend you get a referral from your physician for physical therapy. Be careful with the vitamin I. There has been some recent research linking high doses of it to heart disease. Who knows what they'll find out in a few years; look at the whole Vioxx thing. Glucosamine is not a bad idea, but it depends on the source of your pain, but there could be interventions to decrease or alleviate your pain. Hiking poles decrease the forces through your knee, highly reccomended. Depending on the source of the pain, some braces may be more appropriate than others, but you may not need one.

Gray Blazer
01-23-2006, 11:17
I'm not a doctor, I don't even play one on TV, but,, I thought I'd put my 2 cents in since I'm older (A Baby Boomer anyway) and have had problems with my heels mostly, but, now that I just went through Knee Sugery, this thread concerns me, also. The problem with the legs, toe to hip, is the constant shock of walking on rocks up and down with 30 to 40 pounds on your back 8 to 20 miles a day. I reduce the shock by wearing good basketball shoes with air cushion in the heel and some ankle support (Fellow hikers, I know that's dangerous because I won't have traction on slippery rocks and smooth paths, but there is the tradeoff that my shoes can dry faster after a day of rain. Can any of you reccommend some hiking boots that are lightweight with air cushions?) and I wear 2 pairs of athletic socks. If you are not used to wearing 2 pair of socks, you might get blisters at first. Good Luck!

PartnerShip
01-25-2006, 23:01
I saw some great info on this while reading Jan "Liteshoe's "2003 Trail Journal after meeting her at the SORUCK and the pic and info are under the gear section. She said she couldnt have done it without them.