Knee issues

Discussion in 'Hydration, Hygiene & Health' started by Taz38, Apr 17, 2019 at 9:27 AM.

  1. Taz38

    Taz38 Thru Hiker

    I'll try to keep it short :unsure:

    I've had various hip, back and leg issues (lower back injury/strain, plantar fasciitis, hip bursitis, shinsplints, runners knee) over the years. A variety of stretches and exercises, both recommended by physios or from books/websites, have helped treat those issues.

    The 'runners knee' remains a problem. Its in the right knee, could be caused by a weak left hip, and feels very much weaker than the left knee atm.

    I've started some specific knee exercises, finding what I call 'old ladies exercises' (basically beginners exercises for arthritic or injured knees) seem work the best.

    Sofar so good, I can walk up and down stairs, do housework, do my job etc.
    Except walking. Anything over 2 miles. Walking a decent pace (3m p/h) really aggravates it (hence I often walk the dog alone as the OH finds it hard to walk slow) so I take it easy. But after one mile there's a slight niggle, after two its pain. The knee also becomes very stiff. As soon as I'm back in the car it eases.

    The other big issue is sleep...or lack of. It aches at night, with pillows or without, pillows between knees or under knees, on my side, on my back...
    I take ibuprofen at bed time which gives me 5 hours or so of sleep, then I wake up to knee ache and toss n turn till I've had enough and get up. I guess should take another dose of ibuprofen instead of fighting it.

    So no walking, little sleep...not happy :(

    OH suggested contacting a private sports therapist, which I'll probably do, and I will try and see a gp again ( which can be hit and miss).
    Other than that, maybe just rest and heal? I don't know anymore.

    Another thing that probably impacts on this are hormonal changes (menopause). I've using some estrogen patches which help a little with some of the symptoms.
    I'm also 10kgs overweight so really got to make the effort and lose it (3 days and no junkfood sofar).

    Just needed a moan, but any help suggestions/ideas/ insights very much appreciated.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 9:44 AM
    cathyjc and Mole like this.
  2. Robin

    Robin Thru Hiker

    Can’t really advise on knees as mine are pretty good. However, I had a back previous a few years ago. I went twice to an osteopath which cured it temporarily. After a third occurrence I went to a physiotherapist (who happens to be a friend) and she cured it and, other than the odd twinge, I’ve had no problems since. So it might be worth tracking down a good physiotherapist. You might look at diet too. Getting plenty of fish oil should help.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 9:48 AM
  3. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    Stiffness doesn't sound like runners knee I know(ITB issues) which mainly manifest going downhill. But if it is, this might help - links to articles n vids

    https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/it-band-issue-fixed/

    I used a narrow knee band with a pad, for my ITB which really helped and had sessions of dry needles ( western acupuncture) - mostly in my gluteus medius as well as doing lots of standing yoga.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 10:08 AM
  4. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    "Runners knee" is a generic term for a bunch of issues. Definitely go see a physio, much better than GP ime. You can put yourself on the waiting list for NHS physio but the waiting list is usually pretty long (at least in my area). Alternatively go to the GP and when she/he doesn't really have a real idea, ask to be referred to a specialist.

    I've found that was the only way to get each of my knees properly diagnosed. Both were separate incidents over multiple years but the same injury (complete ACL tears and broken cartilage) and I was fobbed off until I told them I wanted a specialist who told me within a minute and sent me for an MRI. Physios were brilliant and always had the same opinion/diagnosis as the specialist.
    Mole likes this.
  5. HillBelly

    HillBelly Trail Blazer

    I feel your pain. I tore ligaments in my knee and hamstring back in Nov. Doc said 8 weeks to heal and he was right. Then past couple of months I have struggled and in so much pain. Now I have to wait ages for an appt. I have got the number for a physio as I think he may be of more use - I have been limping so long my gait is all wrong and probably causing the aggro as much as anything. Indeed I now have a bakers cyst on the back of my other knee like a golfball. Doc says I have too much lateral movement in my knees, so I think going forward (no pun intended) assistance analysing how I walk is going to be important, to correct any underlying issues.
  6. Lamont-Cranston

    Lamont-Cranston Summit Camper

    This (from an Oz perspective) is the sort of thing that Physiotherapists are trained for. We have an English lass working here who is a wonder on this sort of thing. Absolutely second the Physiotherapist advice. What is a Sports Therapist do they have a proper scientific qual.?
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 10:27 AM
  7. Michael_x

    Michael_x Trekker

    Just adding my voice to the, go see a physio, lobby.

    Plus, wishing you luck with the weight adjustment. Apart from the extra mechanical loading xs adipose tissue promotes a pro inflammatory state, which is really unkind to joints and cartiledge.
  8. cathyjc

    cathyjc Thru Hiker

    I lost something over 10kgs weight about 2 years ago (~20% my body mass).
    The feeling of "lightness' and freedom of movement is great. I used to feel a bit like a great big blob hauling myself around. Now I (mostly) feel like I can "get up and go". Work at the weight loss - "you're worth it" :dude:.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 4:25 PM
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  9. craige

    craige Thru Hiker

    Sports therapist is a physio who does more relating to sport related injuries and getting people back to full fitness vs things like getting a 70 year old with a broken hip back on their feet and functional. Same qualification I believe, a mate is an NHS physio who also does part time sports therapy for an SPL football team.
  10. Ally

    Ally Trail Blazer

    If its a hip / Glute imbalance that causing you t favour one leg over the other.....if I understand correctly ?

    Look to address the cause as well as the knee so hip, glute, core exercises as well at dynamic and static stretching for flexibility and mobility all areas twice daily.

    As said a good sports physio ( just go private and save time over the NHS IMO ) will help a lot as will an ultrasound to determine any soft tissue damage. Physio, patience and constancy are key.

    Fix the first and sleep should be resolved ?





    I have iffy knees at the best of time due to years of rugby and weight lifting, cartiladge damage right knee, torn meniscus right knee, torn ligament left knee and 7 years ago detached both quad tendons at the same time sprinting. I lost about 15 degrees flexion in in my right knee after the surgery wihch favours my left leg causing an imbalance / weakness in my right hip and glute which I have to keep on top off. I'm the only person i know who tales longer to come down hills than go up.

    It could be worth looking into your diet for deficits of minerals and vitamins also.
  11. JKM

    JKM Thru Hiker

    I have no regrets at all from the times I have paid out for professional sports physio appointments, it's been money well spent.
    So much more hands on than NHS services and with a real commitment to getting you to a close as possible to 100%


    My local NHS also runs a self referral scheme to the physio service, it can be a wait but apointments come through eventually. Once I waited 10 days, once 60.
    Michael_x likes this.
  12. Lamont-Cranston

    Lamont-Cranston Summit Camper

    Ah that would just be a Pbysio here. When I see "therapist" it can conjure up all sorts of pseudo science, that was my only concern .
  13. Michael_x

    Michael_x Trekker

    Having worked all my adult life in the NHS, including working closely with physios, I may be biased.

    That said I'd just like to share that, in my experience, NHS physios are generally extremely good, and almost invariably provide the best service they can, with a high standard of clinical knowledge and skill.

    Limitations in the services they are able to provide generally boil down to decisions made elsewhere and outside their control and not to any lack of commitment.
    cathyjc and Henry like this.
  14. Padstowe

    Padstowe Section Hiker

    I get stiffness/heaviness/tiredness going on to pain at times in me knee's, to be honest I should stretch the quad, ham-string & calf more is the first thing. But that quickly aside, since crimbo when I was given one of those magnetic bracelets & sit now with it round me left ankle I feel a huge improvement, little if any of that uncomfortable to painful twinge at night or during the day while trying to rest them, wouldn't say its gone but it's a hell of a lot better.
    Am not saying it's a cure or anything, am just surprized meself how much relief just wearing it has given me. Could be all just psychosomatic though, but it helps.
  15. Taz38

    Taz38 Thru Hiker

    Cheers for all those replies, always good to share these things.

    Tomorrow I'll see a private physio who'll have a listen, look and prod no doubt.
    I have seen NHS physios before and some are very good, but it can take awhile to get an appointment.

    I might still get a gp appointment also, if there is anything more serious going on I might need an xray.

    Just need it sorted if I want to keep walking.
    cathyjc likes this.
  16. Baldy

    Baldy Section Hiker

    @Taz38

    Before spending on private physio try Pilates. A good Pilates teacher should be able to offer advice.
    Clare likes this.
  17. Enzo

    Enzo Thru Hiker

    That sounds really horrible @Taz38 hope you get it sorted.
  18. Chiseller

    Chiseller Thru Hiker

    Hi Taz, I have empathy for you, my wife has been suffering with reoccurring issues on and off for the past few months.
    Her knee sometimes gives her intense pain,, to the point she can barely shuffle.
    It used to be just on descent but. Developed to on the level after any sort of hiking.
    She also has. Plantar f.
    Finally finding the right shoe helped with that, but the knee was reoccurring .
    She saw a private physio recently and is feeling better and more confident.
    The runners type knee was stemming from knotted muscle in her thigh.
    She wouldn't have known that it was her thigh causing it , without seeing the private physio, who got 'hands on' unlike NHS that seem to talk and just give excercise, stretch instruction.
    .
    This. Bit you may not like... .
    Re aches pains and weight .. ..
    If you like meat, fish, cheese and are prepared to try , even though everyone will tell you it's not safe....
    Try the Carnivore diet (it's not atkins or low carb, it's zero carb.
    It helps people who otherwise have failed to find a solution from medicine pain killers and conventional means.
    It's really simple. No plant foods, no grains, fruit or fibre.
    Eat when your hungry , eat till your full and don't eat again until you need to. Your energy won't bounce back straight away, but the suffering can lessen pretty quick. *added bit*
    It can be as temporary as you like. You can do it as an 'Elimination' diet and start to add foods you enjoy back in to your diet one at a time after 30 days. Your body will let you know if a certain food is unwanted and even though you enjoy it, your body may not like it. *end of edit*
    I can give you a. Link and message you with some outlines If. Interested.
    Either way, I hope you find some comfort and get back to normality soon.
    P's. The wife also doesn't know wether she's coming or going with the bloody menopause . .. and all that brings.
    Skol
  19. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    Sounds daft but with Plantar Fasciitis try loosening your shoe laces
    This together with wide shoes solved the problem for me

    I've tried runs where my laces are as tight as they used to be and it flares up again
    Tried this with several shoes and it's the same with all of them

    No idea why this is but i've advised a couple of mates on this and they've had the same experiences, weird
    Chiseller likes this.
  20. Robin

    Robin Thru Hiker

    That’s interesting. I don’t suffer from PF but have noticed that having laces too tight makes my feet ache. I’m now careful not to have my laces tight. The only exception is I tighten them to go down steep unstable slopes when it helps stability and stop toe bruising. I loosen them again when I’m at the bottom.
    gixer likes this.
  21. ZenTrekker

    ZenTrekker Ultralighter

    Some years ago I experienced intense knee pain when descending hills. Trekking poles helped a bit but the pain was still there. After doing some research, I fitted orthotics to my walking boots. A couple of years later (it does take a while) I noticed that I didn't have knee pain when making descents. For me (and it may not work for you) it was all about alignment, the orthotics put my ankles/knees/hips where they should be. I took the view at the time that fitting orthotics wern't going to do me any harm.

    However everybody is different and a diagnosis would be a sensible way to go.

    If you do see a physiotherapist, they do not always diagnose such issues (a podiatrist may). Alternatively try a chiroprator.
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  22. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    That sounds horrible @Taz38 - very debilitating, and has taken away one of your major pleasures.
    Which in turn makes you more stressed, which in turn exacerbates the inflammation which can be set off by the hormonal changes of menopause.

    Worth supplementing with calcium and magnesium for joint health - there's loads of calcium in young nettles right now.

    Plus there are other supplements and herbal remedies that many of my friends have found supportive..

    And i'm loathe to bang on about it as i know i've mentioned it to you before - and perhaps it doesn't appeal - but Iyengar Yoga is well known for building stronger, and better aligned musculature around the knee joint. In addition to helping with hip flexibility and integrity - problems in the hip often do load the knee in an unbalanced way.

    This method of yoga works very precisely and biomechanically to get the whole body structure to where it needs to be - there's no wafting about - its quite hard work - but effective.

    I've had students accuse me of working miracles on their cranky knees - but i can't take any credit - its just a well thought out method.
    Padstowe likes this.
  23. Ems

    Ems Trekker

    I see a sports physio instead of any appointments offered by the GP. I also partake daily in Yin Yoga, a slow, (minutes per hold), deep stretching style of yoga. I tore a rotor cuff throwing the ball for my dog a few years ago, and after scans I decided my best option was to deter surgery unless absolutely necessary, just use my physio. It twinges every year for a while, but it's recovered, better than I'd dreamt it would. I see him also for my back and neck which get stretched out properly by him once a month, I couldn't do without him! I like having the option of just phoning up and grabbing an appointment to suit me, he'll order X-rays when needed, and I can make the session longer if I know theres something that needs to be done. I pay £35 a session.
    Fair Weather Camper likes this.
  24. Taz38

    Taz38 Thru Hiker

    I went to see the physio today (just around the corner from work funny enough). A big strong lady had a good look at my posture, prodded me, manipulated several areas (knees and hips mostly), and asked a hundred questions.

    The (simplified) verdict: old injuries resulting in a weakness in the hips and lower back which have a big impact on the knees (mostly the right knee).
    She reckons the knee itself is healthy.

    She recommended more physio to loosen up the glutes and IT band and that I start Yin Yoga. I don't need to do my usual sport stretching (my version is quite gentle and slow) but focus on the yoga.
    I'll probably still do some of the exercises as they do help me loosen up in general and I like doing them, especially in the morning when I have limited time.

    So all in all I'm glad I went and paid my money.

    Years ago (probably at least 15 years ago) I pulled a back muscle, saw a nhs physio (once) who more or less said the same then...but when you're young and the pain goes...you don't bother).

    Two years ago when I had hip bursitis (left hip) I started doing a fair bit of regular stretching. Because I'm quite 'stiff' and a bit older, I tend to be quite gentle. It took me a long time to be able to sit cross-legged. Obviously this has not been enough.

    I also wear othoheels in my boots, and mostly wear fairly sensible shoes.
    Diet is quite good overal but I eat too much, too many carbs and occasionally binge eat crap. I need to loose those 10kgs and really make the effort.

    So no big hikes atm, but hopefully I get this sorted.

    How much impact the menopause has on all of this I don't know. According to many in the health profession the decline in eostrogen can have a big inpact on joint health, eostrogen helps with stopping joint inflammation. My big aches n pains episodes seem to coincide with big hormonal changes. But not enough is know about how this precisely works apparently.

    Again thank you every one for responding.
    A good thread to keep going maybe as knee and joint issues affect most of us.
  25. Clare

    Clare Thru Hiker

    Hi Taz, commiserations. Huge vote for yoga here.
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