Feb 25, 2009 at 8:23 am #1234330
In my youth, 30 some odd years ago, I would just march up and down the mountains with a 60 lb pack. Now I have less than 20 lbs, but am more fragile.
When I do a major descent (dropping into the Grand Canyon, Descending 2000' above tree line from a peak, etc.) I wrap my knees to keep them from hurting at the end of the day. I carry 2 Ace bandages just for this.
I have seen bands that go just above the knee, "Knee tubes" with knee cap holes, black neoprene like Velcro attached jobbies in use.
What do you use?Feb 25, 2009 at 9:30 am #1480608
Years ago knee problems took me off the Long Trail half-way through… months of relative rest helped, but I will often use neoprene braces as a preventive. I honestly do not know if they help or if other factors are to be credited for my lack of recent knee problems (trekking pole use, walking backwards down slight hills) but the neoprence can get hot and chafe the back of my knee over time. Careful, deliberate hiking also seems to help…Feb 25, 2009 at 9:54 am #1480619
¿¿¿"walking backwards down slight hills"???
Is that a technique or an exercise?Feb 25, 2009 at 9:57 am #1480620
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Even at my advancing age, I don't have the need for this, so I guess I am lucky :)
The real answer would be, what is cause the hurt, and then find the proper solution.
A couple months ago, I fell on a slope and really twisted by knee. Probably should have turned around and went home, but I completed the trip. It hurt so bad at night, I could hardly sleep. Each day, once I started hiking, it loosened up and I could travel, but any sharp impact of weight was painful.
I had planned another trip two weeks after this, but was considering backing out. I could hardly walk without pain (probably should have gone to see a doctor). I bought one of those neoprene wraps that slide over the knee with a hole in it for the knee. When I put it on, it immediately reduced the pain, and improved my mobility. So I wore it everyday for a week, and took it off at night. I went ahead a took my trip, but did not need the wrap, although I brought it with me. I did a lot of steep hilly travel on this trip, and still had a lingering pain once in a while. Since then I have bought a similar wrap with velcro for my ankle. On long solo trips off trail, I will bring one of each incase I get hurt. Don't feel the need to bring them on "flatter" trips or good trails.
The neoprene will be hot, but if it eases the pain, who cares about sweating?Feb 25, 2009 at 10:11 am #1480621
@mad777Locale: South Florida
I have a knee problem that crops up occasionally and I have a Futuro neopreme knee wrap that has the hole for the kneecap and 3 velcro straps to tailor the fit to your knee.
I agree with the above comments that it is somewhat effective and I notice that it is hot and ichy when I remove it but really don't notice it while hiking or skiing.
I don't always take it with me; only if my knee has been acting up lately or it is a long, arduous trip (where it will ride in my pack unless needed).Feb 25, 2009 at 1:18 pm #1480676
Trekking poles help my knees go downhill. I do have an elastic brace I wear on occasion. I read somewhere (on the internet, so it must be true) that wearing tight knee braces all the time can do more damage by causing the internals of your knee to self-abrade against each other, and by restricting blood flow. Who knows.Feb 25, 2009 at 1:42 pm #1480687
About walking backwards- 6 years ago I was finishing a lengthy dayhike when my knees began hurting (kind of a warm, "wet" pain). This was a few months after the initial injury on the Long Trail and I assumed I was fine- anyway, to finish the hike I found that walking backwards down the hills releaved the pain. I have no idea why this worked, and it requires a good trail at a moderate grade, but it did work. I still do it if I feel the beginning of the knee pain…Feb 25, 2009 at 2:47 pm #1480707
I haven't yet tried walking backwards, but I find that kind of walking sideways a little helps, too. Hmmm, weird.Feb 25, 2009 at 11:14 pm #1480868
@tarasbulbaLocale: Rocky Mountains
About ten years ago I had to start using a knee brace, one of the simple types of sewen-together ace bandage type material, and this went on for two or three years. I seldom use it at all these days after I arrived at the painful realization that I'm not a twenty something anymore and can't just aggressively charge up the trail from the get go. Nowadays I take the time to stretch and do warm-ups at the trailhead and then match a comfortable stride to the terrain. Heck, I'm not in a foot race with anyone, so what's the rush. Much of the reward is in the actual journey rather than the destination. And besides, I like it that my knees don't blow out anymore!Feb 25, 2009 at 11:57 pm #1480869
If you have problem knees, downhills are the killer. There are a few things you can do:
* trekking poles (very important, help to spread the load and avoid sudden impact on the knees)
* take many small steps down a slope (ensures that your knee is only loaded for a short duration, and does not require a large knee bend)
* stop frequently to rest your knees (ie. every 2 minutes or so, stop and rest for 10-15 secs whilst standing)
The sherpas/porters in Nepal carry massive loads of up to 200 pounds down brutally steep paths and they use all of these techniques. They actually have a T-shaped stick which is also used to prop up their load when they rest. It looks kinda funny… they shuffle down the path about 50 yards or so (lots of little steps) and then stop briefly, leaning their load on their stick. The little breaks ensure that their muscles do not get overly fatigued (which is when damage occurs). After a very short rest (still standing) off they go again.
I had some serious knee problems while I was there, and copied their technique. It works, and it makes sense!Feb 26, 2009 at 7:22 am #1480899
I take the Glucosamine/Chondroitin pills and swap out my road running shoes every three months or so. Shoe cushioning does break down especially in lightweight trail runners when carrying a pack.Feb 27, 2009 at 8:11 am #1481190
for the feedback. I use poles and heavily so both up and down. I will try these suggestions.
Happy trails one and all!
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