Knee pain - a possible solution

I’m 44 and I have been unicycling for six years. Last year, I noticed that after about an hour of riding, I would get knee pain behind my right knee. I went to the doctor. He said that it sounded like a Baker’s cyst. He gave me a shot of a steroid behind my knee cap and ordered an x-ray and a ultrasound. Both came out normal. The shot behind the knee cap didn’t seem to do anything for me. So, I decided to just try some exercises. Don’t laugh, but I ordered a Yoga CD named Strong Knees by Gaiam. After just one week of following the Yoga exercises, I had no more pain. However, just to be sure, I kept on doing the exercises for about six weeks. After some research, I believe that some of my muscles were overpowering other muscles, causing rubbing and thus pain. Of course, this is a simplified explanation, but you get the idea.

I’m posting this for those that might have some unexplained knee pain.

i like reading about health aspects and the body as it is an amazing forgiving perfect functioning vessel in looked after and understood.

I can fully follow what your saying and hope the condition never returns for you. Thanks for sharing

One other major aspect rarely consciously considered is Cold. Specially in joints and knees.

Having interest in Wing Chun and Chinese medicine the body can be looked at from a long history of Chinese perspective and i find also Cold is a killer. Arthritis, Joint pain, Injury, stiffness. Lots of things can and are contributed by cold. Along with eating correctly, massage and keeping warm so much can be alleviated and prevented in young and old.

For me Hay fever, compressed disc cartilage, skin conditions, constipation, just off the top of my head over then past few years. I have treated them all and overcome completely. Im no doctor, seen plenty but and naturalpaths chiros, masseurs ect. will all little affect. They all have their benefits but not always enough. They dont go down deep enough to the problems or treat the source of any issues. They alleviate symptoms often.

You mention perhaps your muscles overpowered others and your body intern was trying to communicate that to you through your knee.
Like unicycling, its all about balance. For Chinese its all described in yin and Yang. Loosly speaking

If you develop the muscles unevenly it may affect the tracking of your knee joint by pulling the knee to one side.Some sports people practise running backwards as part of their training session.You could try that as a way of preventing injury to your knee.

I have significant back and hip problems, mostly congenital, but worsened by injuries and use. I had a full spinal work up including an MRI to rule any serious problem, and the end result was being told to do some strengthening and stretching.

I am guilty of failing to “cross over” in my training, so I have probably made myself hurt more by overconcentrating on certain muscle groups. I should do more of what the orthopedist suggested, but I find it hard to “have fun” doing stretching and exercise that is “static”.

One thing that I have been trying to do is stretch in between patients, so every fifteen minutes I do some simple stretches. This seems to be keeping the worse symptoms at bay, though I still hurt and so I probably need to much more.

Just to add an observation: I have noticed that when I am in a low humidity environment, my body aches less and I tend to feel better after rides, so I am more able to ride consecutive days. I think this is the reason that folks used to move from the East to the West for certain health issues, low humidity feels better.

Hi Ben - I’ve heard rumors that you’re moving out west young man. Is that one of the possible reasons? :slight_smile:

I may be visiting a buddy of mine in TN next spring/summer. If you’re still there I’d get together with you for a quick ride on my way there or back.

Hello Ben.There is one “static” exercise that I think you’ll enjoy.It requires good balance,good posture,agility,fast reflexes,concentration and explosive power. It develops and strengthens just about all of your muscles.It requires a lot of skill so it’s not boring.It’s a weight lifting exercise called the “snatch”.

I do it myself.using a light 16 kilo bar.Just ten reps after a unicycle session and my posture feels great.Starting off,use a very light weight,maybe a wooden pole until you perfect the technique.

Hope this helps.

I doubt that a 1 week exercise/yoga program could completely cure pain. I don’t think the body reacts that quickly to changes in exercise. It takes at least several weeks to feel improvement in strength from weight-training, for example, and it seems like the effects from yoga would take a similar amount of time, even if what you claim is true about yoga’s ability to strengthen (?) muscles.

P.S. For a great tutorial on how to learn the snatch you should google “The snatch vimeo” The guy explains it perfectly and the girl does a flawless demo.

P.S. again… The site is a bit confusing. There are three parts to this tutorial;
The snatch part one
The snatch part two
Fixing the snatch

i can see this may benefit some more than others but given my size fitness strength and muscle tone at any weight doing snatch reps will not be beneficial for me for instance and possibly many others. I have never seen a big buff muscly ripped guy riding a Unicycle. Even Bruce Lee wasnt a big muscle guy. Simply toned to perfection. And fast.

I can swim all day and bike or run for miles and miles. Get me doing weights or anything that uses weight beyond using my own body mass it has done nothing great for me in the past and an exercise physiologist mentioned i do not need to lift weight to improve or maintain my athleticism.

Same when i was in the Army, Run about all day never get tired or out of breath. Carry a 25kg Pack, Radio, Mortar tube ect i am totally screwed and rendered useless. Yet advance 1 mile with a 4kg rifle and webbing leaving the rest at 1/4 mile

Just be careful if you pursue weights as cross training. If you want to be tough or buff do boxing. I can support that 100% just dont step into the ring and get knocked out for the thrill of it.

Do your Yoga if it is affective, hot as bearable shower after a ride for the muscles to relax and blood to flow for repairing and regular massages you may never feel your knee playing up ever again.

Doing any one exercise isn’t going to make u big like a body builder. You’d have to do lots of high weight, low rep sets. 15-20 reps would just get most toned. I think the point is some exercise that trains a lot of parts of the body at the same time.

I prefer to do a few different exercises that focus exactly on the areas I want. Usually I do them w/o rests.
Eg set 1: ex 1, ex2, ex 3
set 2 : ex 1, ex 2…

because of my kids i do rollerblading and recently more swimming and diving as well. Diversifying into some of these activities should help with better conditioning and both of the above activities are low impact on the knees, except for a bad blading wreck…

I only skimmed through, but seems like the simplest and most likely issue may have been overlooked. For instance, when the tv doesn’t turn on, first, check the power plug and circuit breaker or the batteries in the remote before taking it to the television doctor or therapist… have you stopped at a bike shop and checked leg extension regarding seat height using a goniometer? Also, if you are feeling this after long descents with short cranks, are you using brakes?

Overlooked perhaps yes?
Many of us ride a lot, and then some,for years and with no reported knee issues. Riding setup should be reviewed and tailored to ones own body if adjustments need to be made. Good call

Yes, moving West is in the works, already looking for jobs. Dry and cool does help my back, I can play harder and longer, so it is exciting to be “going home”. I should be here through May 2014.

Yes, take a look at your leg extension, your posture, seat position for possible pressure points. Consider lowering or raising your seat (even during a ride) to change the body geometry enough to relive pain.

There are times when my knees hurt on a ride, so I’ll change my seat height and this generally stops the pain.

Also look at how you are using your knees, possibly shorter or longer cranks, even a brake, could reduce knee strain. Don’t forget about proper training, ramping up intensity and duration. Also consider adding in some prophylactic NSAIDs.

I’m gonna skip on the “snatch” thing, that’s not what I would call “fun” :wink:

I suspect that this depends on the way you are built: for me, most of the time , “dry” Cold has the reverse effect: it looks like it is beneficial.
(may be my ancestors were mammoth-hunting guys :D)
I hate humidity and heat…

You can doubt it all you want, but it worked for me. I went for a solid year battling knee pain when I rode longer than an hour. After just one week, I literally had no more knee pain. I guess it’s hard to prove, since I’m the one that was having the pain. I can’t see why you would think that I would make up such a claim. It doesn’t benefit me one bit if you believe me or not.

I think you misunderstand me. I’m sure what you said is true and I never said that you made up any claims.

But, perhaps some other factor besides the muscle strengthening was responsible for making your pain go away. It could be a placebo effect that actually worked, or perhaps the stretching.

I’m not necessarily positing any particular cause/effect relationship, but it seems to me that most muscles take longer than a week to strengthen with most any kind of exercise program. Hence, my doubts.

But again, it wasn’t clear to me if you were claiming that yoga could strengthen muscles in a week. (Are you?)

Hmmm…placebo effect. I don’t think so. Actually, I was quite surprised that any Yoga exercise/stretching actually helped me. I’m not the Yoga type. :slight_smile: I was up to trying anything and actually had tried a few different things, such as changing my seat height/position, crank length, etc. However, even the video and other research that I had done stated that one might see improvement in as short as a week or two, while for others it may take several weeks. I think it depends on each individuals’ needs. As you stated, it may have been just the stretching and not the muscle strengthening that helped me. Although, I really feel that my problem had more to do with knee tracking. Which leads me to believe that it had to do with building my quadriceps, hip adductors, hip flexors and hamstrings in addition to stretching. I think that my improvement had to do with both strengthening and stretching.

I guess I didn’t specifically answer this question. Yes, I am saying that it is possible to strengthen a muscle enough to reduce or eliminate pain in a week. That being said, this is not the case for everyone, actually not for most people. I believe that in most cases, (for those that are experiencing knee tracking issues), that it most likely will take at least several weeks of knee exercises/stretching before they see their symptoms go away.