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Thread: knees

  1. #1
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    knees

    Hi all Im 45 years old and i have been mountain biking for about 7 years now and I ride alot of technical switch backs on a trek ex9. My knees do get tired and authrists does come into play to. I just started not drinking sodas and I just started taking osteo bio flex and omega 3-6-9. Is their any other supplements I should take for joint repair. Im trying to cut out sugar in my diet and eat fish daily as this is supposed to help with arthritis.

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    Calcium rich vegetables. Exercise to strengthen the connective tissues surrounding the knees.

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    I take Glucosamine daily. Standing when climbing is less stressful on the knees as well. Thats why you see old farts like AZ on Singlespeeds.

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    my knees are almost 15 years older than your knees, and I find what makes the biggest difference is to make sure your saddle height is perfect. Once you determine the correct height for you, make sure it stays there! I ride a 1x9, and climb almost always seated- I can feel when my seatpost has begun its oh so slow downward creep. Your knees will know as well.

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    Saddle height's been covered.

    I'm not as old as you, but have flaky knees because I'm just lucky that way. Having fancy insoles and shims has helped me a lot. Talk to a fitter about it. If you don't know who to go to, talk to your roadie friends.

    If you're just noticing it on steep climbs, try it in a lower gear.
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    here are my suggestions (coming from a guy 15 years younger but blessed with genetics that yield "bad knees")

    - fitment is key (saddle heights, cleat placement etc.) if my saddle is not perfect knee pain comes about within only a few miles, the same holds true for wonky cleat placement

    - keep your knees covered when it's not very warm... knee warmers are your friend, cold (meaning under 60*) plus knees/tendons etc mix like oil and water. If I ride in the cooler weather without protection I hurt a day or two later

    - stretching/yoga etc. helps keep you flexible. self explanatory

    - do not... ever... sit on your knees e.g., kneeling for long periods of time, sitting on the couch or office chair with knees bent funny. I am always doing this and I always end up having to wear a brace because of it.

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    I have some major joint problems from injuries, two things that have made a huge difference for me are..... Yoga, hands down one of the best things you can do. It can be brutal, you have to stay consistent and it will work but make sure you don't over do it in class, the point is to come back the next day. Look for a "Bikram" yoga class, 90+ degrees 1 1/2 hours, it changes your body on a cellular level and exercises not only muscles but glands get kick started into giving your body hormones, testosterone, lubricates joints, ect.

    Another thing that has worked great for me is an old wrestler/athlete injury rehab practice. Fresh Atlantic Cod Fish Oil every day. You can get it at Whole Foods and organic stores in the refrigerated area. It comes in a big dark bottle like a pint of liquor and you have to keep it cold. Its not cheap but def worth it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaBass_ View Post
    I take Glucosamine daily. Standing when climbing is less stressful on the knees as well. Thats why you see old farts like AZ on Singlespeeds.



    Ha! Yes standing helps on old joints. A lot of good info in these responses, keep em coming.

  9. #9
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    I've tried a lot of things to make my knee pains go away and I've got it down to simply riding at a more leisurely pace. I like big climbs and having some HAB thrown in somehow seems to be a big help too.

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    My knees are about 7 years older than the op's, had an ACL reconstruction and broke the tibia plateau on my right knee, separate occasions. Luckily they don't bother me much as I also have arthritis in my family. I will second the keeping your knees warm. The only time I have knee pain afterwards is in cold weather.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wxc300 View Post
    Hi all Im 45 years old and i have been mountain biking for about 7 years now and I ride alot of technical switch backs on a trek ex9. My knees do get tired and authrists does come into play to. I just started not drinking sodas and I just started taking osteo bio flex and omega 3-6-9. Is their any other supplements I should take for joint repair. Im trying to cut out sugar in my diet and eat fish daily as this is supposed to help with arthritis.
    I am the same age. Other than ACL replacement on my R knee ~8 years ago from wasting it on a soccer field, I haven't had knee issues. Started riding single speed ~4 months ago and had heard from many people about knee pain being an issue when you first start riding for like the first 6 or so rides. I didn't have any problem. Only pain I've felt is in my wrists a couple days after more challenging rides (from pulling on the handlebars to hump it up some of the long climbs).

    My GF has taken osteo bio flex for years and got me doing the same a while back. If your knees get tired you may want to tweak your setup a bit to see if it improves things. If you are in clipless pedals, might be worth changing the angle of the cleats (bring your heel closer into the chainstay possibly?) or if you run flat pedals, maybe a slightly different saddle position or angle might be worth considering. Depends a lot on your riding style too - on my FS bike, I sit and spin more of the time (particularly on long grueling climbs) whereas on a hard tail or SS standing is more frequent in general. The fit on all 3 of my rides is very close...

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    I run clipless and im basically wantint to take as good of care of my knees as I can. Im starting the supplements for cartridge and joint repair and was wondering what everybody else is using and doing.

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    I was using glucosamine for a while when I first messed up my knees. It didn't seem to do anything. I haven't looked for peer-reviewed studies, but I find a lot of these supplements to be highly suspect. For someone with a non-restricted/non-weird diet, I think it just makes expensive pee.

    But if someone less lazy than me finds some articles, I'll probably at least read them.

    Basically, you want your bike not to force your body to do anything weird. The insoles help me because as I get tired, my form gets bad. Overtraining injuries are often all about bad form. Or to phrase the same thing a different way, good form in almost all sports is the biomechanically correct way to do something, that won't (or shouldn't, anyway) cause injury.

    Because the motion in cycling is constrained, you need to cross-train. There's yet another thing that will mess with your joints done with bad form, so it's a good discussion to have with a personal trainer or coach, or your doctor or physical therapist. Anyway, there are some resistance exercises for stability, and there's a strong argument for running to maintain better balance between the quads and hamstrings, since cycling is a quad-heavy sport. There's also a weird little part of the quadriceps, the one to the inside and just above the knee, that sometimes is underdeveloped on cyclists, and is important to keeping a well-tracking knee cap.
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    I have about 8 yrs on the OP and have found that doing a lot of spinning on the road bike helps knee performance and endurance on MTB singletrack tremendously. Spinning lower gears at higher RPMs while riding singletrack, particularly while climbing tends to be easier on the knees.

    Joint pain, AKA Arthritis, is simply a case of wear and tear on joints as you get older and effects everyone to some degree. The best thing that you can do to lessen the effects is to keep moving/exersizing to strenghten the surrounding tissues that support the joints.

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    Hi guys I just rode toay with egg beater clipless pedals, I was using shimano, I like the egg beaters better they release alot easier

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by *B* View Post
    Yoga, hands down one of the best things you can do. It can be brutal, you have to stay consistent and it will work but make sure you don't over do it in class, the point is to come back the next day. Look for a "Bikram" yoga class, 90+ degrees 1 1/2 hours, it changes your body on a cellular level and exercises not only muscles but glands get kick started into giving your body hormones, testosterone, lubricates joints, ect.
    +1 for good hatha yoga. Bikram's is an awesome beginner friendly class with room for improvement to an intermediate level. No headstands or crazy ****, just core work and stretching in a hot room.
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    BTW, the "don't drink sodas" is unproven. I'd suspect genetics before I'd look at your soda intake.

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    Ultimately... knees suck - period.

    Shoulders come in a close second....

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    My girlfriend and I have had 7 knee surgeries between the 2 of us (each with 2 ACL repairs) and we don't do much other than ice after each ride. We avoid ibuprofen because it's been known to not be the friendliest drug towards cartilage. I tried supplements for a couple of months (glucosamine) and didn't notice any positive result so I just stick with trying to keep an overall healthy diet and working on keeping a strong and healthy core. The physical work and care seems to be far more effective than chemically trying improve your joints IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaBass_ View Post
    I take Glucosamine daily. Standing when climbing is less stressful on the knees as well.
    Same here...

    Glucosamine works for me too. I have taken it for a long time then stopped for some reason and knees start to hurt again. I start taking Glu. again, the pain goes away. For me it takes some weeks for it to kick in. Be patient.

    I do a lot of stand up pedaling too, it helps.
    Last edited by dead_dog_canyon; 05-19-2012 at 12:33 PM.

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    Long-term ibuprofen use can also hammer on your liver.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Great thread. I hate my knees too.

    I've been taking Glucosamine as well (I need a new bottle) and it has helped a lot.

    I think the main thing for me is making sure i'm not in too high of a gear because i like to sit on climbs. Also spinning is important too, like on platforms making sure you are picking your feet up on the backside of the spin.

    The other thing I've noticed for me, some frames naturally have me in a not so good pedal position (fore/aft) without a lot of correction. I'm getting rid of one bike because it would take too much change to it to get it right (the BB was too far forward).

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    Andrwswitch touched on this earlier, but there is no definite proof that glucosamine helps. I've been taking it for a while though, but can't really say it's done anything for sure.

    I spoke to my doctor about it recently and she reiterated the same: probably no harm, but no proven benefits. Instead, she told me to look at curcumin which did have some positive study results, especially in terms of managing inflammation.

    I haven't tried it yet, but I intend to.

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    I've had noticeable improvement with Krill oil.

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    Agreed, maybe no proven scientific evidence, but seeing it work for 2 of my dogs, and for my shoulder is proof enough for me.
    Think the key is to take it with meals, think dinner is best, and take it along with some fish oil. The fish oil has many benefits, not only for joints, but it helps your body absorb the gluc. Also, double up the dose, meaning take twice a day, for the first 4-6 weeks. Udo's flax seed or one of their other plant based blends is good stuff too.
    Maybe try some BIG platform pedals like Atomlabs Pimplite to get more freedom/adjustment of movement.
    Also, don't know your stats or bike set-up, but maybe a shorter crankset will serve you well.
    Last edited by theMeat; 02-16-2013 at 08:31 AM.
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    I am 46 and although I don't have the problems some of you have mentioned, I have had issues from long backpacking hikes. I found on my last fully loaded hike into and out of the Grand Canyon a few years ago that my knees were not what they used to be. I tried the Glucosamine/Chondroitin products out there with no discernible difference.

    What I have found, like others have stated is, regular exercise, stretching work wonders. I am also a firm believer that if you want to get better or stronger in a certain activity, the best way to do that, is to do that activity. I would also add that along with proper seat height, proper cleat position, if you are running clip less, will relieve stress on your knees as well.

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    One thing not touched upon is lateral cleat placement on the shoe. I went from Shimano to Giro shoes and the cleat is more laterally centered; sure, you can use wedges all you want but unless the pedal has lateral support it will be a waste of time.

    Road pedals are different and wide flats are wide and flat. The SPD cleat system is lateral support disaster so having it in the right place to wobble on matters. The downside of the Giro shoes is that you lose some ankle clearance.

    I wouldn't have thought that what happens at your foot would have so much effect on knee tracking. I won't say no knee problems but they immediately went from getting worse to getting better and I can ride as long as I want. I think Specialized shoes are similar to Giro but haven't checked. With a road cleat you can do lateral adjustments but SPD is just fore and aft so you've bought the lateral with the shoe.

    Having a pedal with support for the shoe pontoons and pontoons hard enough to utilize it are considerations. I've finally been able to ditch my road pedals and use SPDs on the road with a combo of ATACs and Giro shoes. Mo bettah in the coffee shop and they're always right side up.

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    I haven't seen for and aft position of the saddle mentioned. Too far back can lead to knee pain.

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    Overextension!

    Others have mentioned saddle position and height. One problem I used to see with road racers was a tendency to put the saddle so high that the leg completely straightened out at full extension. Actually, perhaps a bit past that point. I do not see this much with mountain bikers, but it is worth noticing. Snapping the knee back on every stroke hurts after a while.

    I used to put my saddle really high because it felt so efficient. Didn't work so well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavyRay View Post
    Overextension!

    Others have mentioned saddle position and height. One problem I used to see with road racers was a tendency to put the saddle so high that the leg completely straightened out at full extension. Actually, perhaps a bit past that point. I do not see this much with mountain bikers, but it is worth noticing. Snapping the knee back on every stroke hurts after a while.

    I used to put my saddle really high because it felt so efficient. Didn't work so well.
    Yeah too high is no good. I hate trying to find the right saddle position, seems like a never ending process at times!

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    Hydration is your best friend, it takes time for your body to absorb water so hydrate two hours before physical activity, second walnuts are natural anti inflammatory and supposed to help rebuild cartlidge, all I know for sure is once I started eating walnuts daily my shoulder which has plagued me with issues since i was 19 quit hurting.
    third subject yourself to honey bee stings, these have helped people with arthritas it is called Apitherapy I again used this on my hands as I have suffered arthritas for most of my life and in the cold when snowmobiling I could not even grip the handles, this not only allowed me full function again, but took away the pain.

    Alcohol is also an inflammatory so something to think about in that regard if you like your brew

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurr View Post
    Hydration is your best friend, it takes time for your body to absorb water so hydrate two hours before physical activity, second walnuts are natural anti inflammatory and supposed to help rebuild cartlidge, all I know for sure is once I started eating walnuts daily my shoulder which has plagued me with issues since i was 19 quit hurting.
    third subject yourself to honey bee stings, these have helped people with arthritas it is called Apitherapy I again used this on my hands as I have suffered arthritas for most of my life and in the cold when snowmobiling I could not even grip the handles, this not only allowed me full function again, but took away the pain.

    good luck and remember though there is no magic bullet.
    Very interesting advice! I'm gonna get some walnuts today!! Not sure about the bee stings though, but if I get stung, I'll think about it in a different light. Thanks!!

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    I've Ti plate and 26 Ti screws holding my right knee and thigh together, but i have major problems with my left, mainly fluid, any ideas ? plate's been in 26 years

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackthejedi View Post
    I've Ti plate and 26 Ti screws holding my right knee and thigh together, but i have major problems with my left, mainly fluid, any ideas ? plate's been in 26 years
    For your right knee I think a good synthetic grease. For the left some stretching, exercises, along with some glucosamine/fish oil couldn't hurt.
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  35. #35
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    Fluid? I guzzled Ibuprofen for almost two years straight about 10 years ago, and ice, and it definitely helped. My ACL transplant was very sucessful 21 years ago but it didn't leave me with much of an inside meniscus. I don't run anymore and biking really helps my knee health. I don't know why I don't get pain, I should.

    I haven't taken Glucosamine for years now and I beleive it makes no difference. JSYN I used to swear by it.

    For knee pain, saddle height is critical as is avoiding mashing big gears. The only pain I ever get is caused by these factors if my patellae are bothering me (very rarely).

    I lift weights moderately mostly as a preventative since I'm turning 50 this year. I like squats but worry far more about hurting my back than my knee.

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    Re: knees

    Quote Originally Posted by HitmenOnlyInc View Post
    Very interesting advice! I'm gonna get some walnuts today!! Not sure about the bee stings though, but if I get stung, I'll think about it in a different light. Thanks!!
    I've found nuts and berries to be a very good trail snack to pack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackthejedi View Post
    I've Ti plate and 26 Ti screws holding my right knee and thigh together, but i have major problems with my left, mainly fluid, any ideas ? plate's been in 26 years
    I'd get a good electric screw driver! Lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackthejedi View Post
    I've Ti plate and 26 Ti screws holding my right knee and thigh together, but i have major problems with my left, mainly fluid, any ideas ? plate's been in 26 years
    Sounds like they did a pretty awesome job on the right knee!!

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    Uhg this weekend my knees were feeling somewhat inflamed in a very very mild but my mind still picks up on it kinda way. Mild arthritis I think might be the best way to describe it.

    Knee awareness all started after my first epic trip to Brown County in which i had my first climb of 800ft the one day i rode. Shortly after I foolishly went after a pr on a 10 mile pavement run. After that my knees ached pretty bad in the joint to where I had to stay off of them. I think the main problem on the ride at BCSP was not gearing down enough and possibly not having ideal saddle position (fore/aft).

    After that i started taking Glucosimine which *seems* to have helped a lot (but not verified). I made another trip down to BCSP and rode twice as many miles and was completely fine, i made sure to gear down properly though too.

    Now it seems I am dealing with just mild and fine inflammation (I guess). I rode today anyways since I had a new bike, 17 miles total. I didn't have any pain while out there or after like what I had after my first BCSP trip. It just feels very mildly achy.

    I hate knees. Here's hoping for the Enterprise to come back in time on a mission then gently crash land in the states in front of everyone so we can have access to their medical technology and rebuild/enhance our knees in a super way hehe [/ENDDREAM]

    I picked up another bottle of Osteo Bi-Flex with 5-Laxin since I ran out and some Fish Oil to give a try for some more wishful thinking.


    "Glucosimine and fish oil definitely help too, but spinning rather than mashing is key."
    Meaning keeping cadence high by gearing down?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElwoodT View Post
    I haven't seen for and aft position of the saddle mentioned. Too far back can lead to knee pain.
    Good point, and too far forward can be bad as well. Dialing fore- aft position can make a big difference, and is often overlooked.

    Quote Originally Posted by zephxiii View Post
    Yeah too high is no good. I hate trying to find the right saddle position, seems like a never ending process at times!
    Find it, measure it, write it down.

  41. #41
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    I've read that Devil's claw may help to relieve joint pain due to osteoarthritis.
    Devilís claw is an herb.It can be taken alone or along with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) seems to help decrease osteoarthritis-related pain.

    I'm 40+++ female who dh's all summer and ride all winter. The only knee problem I've had is a Baker's cyst (last spring) which subsided after a couple of months. I take Glucosamine and Chondroitin daily as a prophylactic. I eat healthy, and practice daily yoga
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  42. #42
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    knees

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    I've read that Devil's claw may help to relieve joint pain due to osteoarthritis.
    Devilís claw is an herb.It can be taken alone or along with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) seems to help decrease osteoarthritis-related pain.

    I'm 40+++ female who dh's all summer and ride all winter. The only knee problem I've had is a Baker's cyst (last spring) which subsided after a couple of months
    I love devils claw as an anti inflammatory. Works better and faster as a tincture than dry in capsules.
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    Not much I can add ... Just want to say thanks for all the great advice, as I also suffer from knee pain, if I over do it.

    Devil's Claw ... Gotta check that out !

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackthejedi View Post
    I've Ti plate and 26 Ti screws holding my right knee and thigh together, but i have major problems with my left, mainly fluid, any ideas ? plate's been in 26 years
    Have a Ti plate and 26 Ti screws added to the left knee and you should be good to go!!

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    mmm electric screw driver and grease sounds ok.
    Try'd every anti inflam's from the doc's but no joy may have to kick off next visit for a scan but being in the UK even though its free by the time you get to see a decent doc it'll be like 2014.
    Plate came free after a confrontation with a Frence 40 foot artic while riding my racing 225 Vespa

  46. #46
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    I've always loved jogging on the street but had to give it up when the knee pain from the impact was excessive. That's when I put all my energies into mountain biking some 4 years ago. It cured the ground impact problem (not the mtb ground impact though) and I though mtb had saved my knees.

    Going to cleated shoes was an awesome improvement in performance but it also brought me to my new leading edge. That's the point where I discovered how far my knees would go on a bike.

    There's two things that have greatly helped keeping my knees healthy for mountain biking:

    1) eating fish several times a week helps a great deal in maintaining joint health.
    2) reduce intensity of rides to limit wear and tear on knees, this is key and it's what let's me ride everyday.

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    Get fluoride out of your diet. My knees hurt for years before I started filtering my water. You need a special filter for it. CuZn filter sells one that uses activated alumina to remove it. Also, take short showers as it is absorbed through the skin (If you're on the fence about this, dozens of studies also show it causes lowered IQ, some even at low doses. Look it up.)

    Also goat butter and maybe butter from grass fed cows works, preferably unpasteurized if you can get it.

    Make sure that you're not eating processed foods as well.

    Some people get help from glucosamine, chondroiton and msm.

    Also, gelatin seems to help some people.

    Also, make sure that you don't have those pedals that are concave in such a way that causes your feet to angle inward. Those can be killers on the knees. The low point of the concavity will be perpendicular to the axle with these types of pedals. If the low point of the concavity is parallel with the axle, well, you've got a good set of pedals!


    And on that note, If you have flat feet, get orthotics.


    Also, don't rely on NSAID's as they tend to cause liver damage.

  48. #48
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    I'm a medicare man. I just get off the bike if the climbing is too hard. Yes, sometimes I blast up a short climb, but my knees are worth too much to be proud.

    Years ago, I trained for road bike racing and went very fast until I developed knee problems (chrondomalacia patella) that pretty much got me off the bike for a decade.

    Pushing hard uphill is really hard on knees and since I only have another decade of hot biking and skiing, I can't afford years off the bike (and skis, etc).

    That also goes for downhill. If you see a geezer walking the hard stuff, that's because I've already hurt about everything on this old body and can't imagine going without riding and skiing while I recover. Perhaps cowardliness has an element of experience and daring an element of naivety.

  49. #49
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    Exercise regularly, progress gradually

    Meniscus was removed from left knee in 1973. Skiing caused the left knee to ache all the time for the next 20 years until I started cycling in 1993. When I got started cycling it was a gradual progression. If you build up your miles and conquests slowly your body will adapt. Now my knee rarely bothers me. I ski hard and fast with no pain. Where we ride in BC there are no single speed riders climbing the hills (they are off the bike pushing). I don't stretch but I always take my time warming up. Spin up those hills as best you can, you paid for those gears so use them. Last year I had 180 days of riding and 20 days of skiing. Zero days of running which is the bane of knees! My biggest cycling day was from the beach at Paia to the top of Haleakala (10023' climb). If I'm sore after a ride some beer and IB or Tylenol easily take care of it.

    PS. If you can't get out riding try to get in a 30 minute spin at the gym just to keep everything supple. Try to get in 4 or 5 days of exercise a week. You may miss some good TV (or use PVR) but it's good for you. Doctor on the TV last week said "If exercise was a pill people would be lined up to take it." Get out and play!
    Last edited by Roy Miller; 02-19-2013 at 10:46 AM. Reason: add a PS

  50. #50
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    OK...I'm 52 with knee pain and arthritis symptoms also.. I have also studied and lived health and healing for 30 years.Well some good info here, I didn't read them all, but I think you get the picture...Align the body (yoga) and bike properly, and eat as simply/naturally/organic as possible. Omega 3/6/9s are good for sure (joints, heart brain etc...too)... I will tell you a large part of the problem for ALL people, INFLAMATION...This is where so many problems start. Arthritis pain is due to inflammation. The first thing to take is TURMERIC. It is an absolutely amazing anti-inflammatory. Not to expensive either, do some google research. Many people have good results especially on the knees, with glucosamine/chondroitin maybe with MSM also... Another supp all athletes (and everyone) should do is Astaxanthin, (brand "Bio- Astin by Nutrex is by far the best) it's similar to Krill oil but better. it is the most potent anti-oxident on the planet... So heres what I take daily, and have zero pain in my fingers (they were bad), and minimal in the knee, but it keeps getting better....Spirulina (I do a LOT), BioAstin (astaxanthin), omegas, Tumeric capsules (extract, and also just powdered root), Collagen (Reserveage brand is the only one to get) for building connective tissue. At 52 I started running 2.5 months ago. My knees feel great! Never an issue. I will take whatever I need, however expensive to keep my body pain free and feeling good as I age. Oh, I'm also a 30 yr vegan... Remember the raw foods, the more the better! also, cut the dairy out, limit the gluten. They both affect the joints very negatively....Ok, gotta shut up. Good luck!

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