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  1. #1
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Knee flaring up again...

    Sigh.

    My left knee, the one that kept me off the bike for six weeks last February, is giving me problems again. The ride yesterday wasn't a problem (27 miles) but afterwards, the knee began throbbing again. Well, not throbbing exactly, but sending pain messages to the brain.

    Took an ibuprofen but didn't notice any difference, and finally was able to fall asleep wearing the drug store knee brace.

    What's the name of that joint supplement so many folks have been taking? Maybe I should give that a try. It starts with a "g" I think.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Glucosamine. Many take a combination of the glucosamine with chondroitin.
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  3. #3
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    glucosomine/chondroiton. The initial dose is greater than the maintainence dose, and it will take several weeks to fully kick in. Interestingly, there's evidence that if it begins to lose effectiveness for you, switching to another brand may help.

    There's also early indications that it may not be good for people with diabetes.

  4. #4
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Glucosamine Chondrotin + msm is what your looking for Gary. There are different ones out there, but I find the Osteo Bi- Flex is pretty easy on the stomach. That's the one my doctor told me to get, and it goes for $26. You can get Walgreens on sale 2 for one, I think $ 19. I'm sure someone will come up with it. It took me about 2 months to feel any different and after 3 months I feel Like 65 again. Sounds like you need an ice pack now though. I got 2 from WalMart, the blue ones. I put 1 in the freezer and I heat the other one in the micro wave. I use the cold one first and then the warm on next.
    Since I put the different saddle on the bike I haven't had any knee pain at all. The Brooks wasn't letting me get far enough back. I ordered a setback seapost to try the Brooks again, and if that doesn't work I'll stay with the Serfas. Good luck, I hope something works for you.
    George

  5. #5
    Life in the Slow Lane Baroque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Sigh.

    My left knee, the one that kept me off the bike for six weeks last February, is giving me problems again. The ride yesterday wasn't a problem (27 miles) but afterwards, the knee began throbbing again. Well, not throbbing exactly, but sending pain messages to the brain.
    Took an ibuprofen but didn't notice any difference, and finally was able to fall asleep wearing the drug store knee brace.
    What's the name of that joint supplement so many folks have been taking? Maybe I should give that a try. It starts with a "g" I think.
    Sorry to hear about your knee pain.
    Did a bit of research on glucosamine/chondroitin when trying it out on the canine family members.
    Suggestion is to use reputable brand-name only, give it at least 6 weeks' trial, and be prepared for the possibility it won't work. Didn't work on either dog, but I didn't try it on myself. Yet.

    Have you tried taking Tylenol, aspirin, or another pain reliever? Sometimes I find that ibuprofen either doesn't work, or stops working for certain types of pain, and switching off to another type can help.

    Good luck and best wishes,
    Ally
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  6. #6
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Sam's club sells a pain pill, something like Naproxen. for $23, I think.Glucosamine and Chondroitin are only good for osteoarthritis, not RA. If it keeps bothering you, you should get a blood test, and that will put your mind at ease, good luck.
    George

  7. #7
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Might be worth a trip to your local physical therapist. I routinely ignore all the exercises mine prescribes for me.

  8. #8
    Hypoxic Member head_wind's Avatar
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    Have you considered seeing an orthopedic surgeon?? That with PT,
    (physical therapy, aka physical torture) may provide an answer. PT
    has kept me from shoulder surgery for ~10 years.

    ~2 years ago I had patella-femoral pain syndrome. I had only gotten
    worried when the pain became intermittent. The Doc prescribed PT
    and literally the day after the first session I was nearly pain free. Yes,
    it had been intermittent but it worked. It turns out that at 60 I learned
    that I had a leg length discrepancy and accommodating it a million years
    later somehow led to my upper-left glute not firing. Weird.

    BTW, if one has a leg length discrepancy in their femur which hasn't
    been detected then their bike fit could be off on one side and not the
    other.

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Weak Link
    Might be worth a trip to your local physical therapist. I routinely ignore all the exercises mine prescribes for me.
    Have to agree about the Therapist- We have "Sports Physiotherapists" over her and a couple of friends use them to great success. They are Road runners that are having joint problems- but the therapist is keeping them running- Although his suggestion is to give up running.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  10. #10
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Actually G/C is most effective if the source of your knee problem is in the cartilage. If so then you have a moderate chance of obtaining some relief with it. If not, then there is very little chance.

    If it is cartilage and it does help, then it is actually improving the condition of your knee. This isn't a painkilling trick. Many people have avoided surgery by using G/C.
    Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 06-25-07 at 12:40 PM.
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  11. #11
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    I went to my internal medicine doc, a specialist in arthritis, and a whatchamacallit surgeon back in February, when this first happened. The surgeon, of course, flat out admitted he would nearly always recommend surgery. The other two doctors said let's rest it first, see how that goes, and go from there. I rested it for six weeks and everything was fine. The followup with the family doctor was brief. He said I'd probably sprained it or strained it and that nearly always, with sore knees, the answer is just give it a rest. That's what i did, and I've been riding essentially pain free since then.

    Until last night.

    And at the moment, it feels fine again. I may try a Very Short and Very Slow recovery ride today, or I may just stay off the bike.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by George
    ..................................................................................................
    Since I put the different saddle on the bike I haven't had any knee pain at all. The Brooks wasn't letting me get far enough back. I ordered a setback seapost to try the Brooks again, and if that doesn't work I'll stay with the Serfas. Good luck, I hope something works for you.
    You guys know that I am an obsessive biker. I do almost 50 miles/day. Because of that, I am very concerned about comfort, saddles, knees and pain. Any such problems would ground me. I can't have that.
    I gave up on my (2) Brooks because of the specific position I had to sit, plus the Brooks sensitivity to moisture in form of rain or sweat. I had a Brooks Champion Flyer and a Pro. Both are destroyed.

    I had a simple Gel Serfas and used it Cross Country. I was comfortable as where as the Hot Shot bikers with their Ultra light saddles were in pain. I bought a Treck Madone with a Bontragger Race Light saddle. You must be kidding. This thing is impossible for a series of century's.

    I now use the Serfas Gel and two Terry Liberator Gellissimo Saddles. They are fabulous because you can slide forward, backward on them, could not care if they get wet, look decent and do not break the bank.

    One thing I do is to get off the saddle frequently to let the blood circulate. I do this very often and recommend it. Another piece of advise: Try to balance the load for hands, legs and saddle.

    As I said before, I would not recommend to ignore the warning of pain (and I will not mask it with pills either).

  13. #13
    Senior Member ?? Beverly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    I bought a Treck Madone with a Bontragger Race Light saddle. You must be kidding. This thing is impossible for a series of century's.
    I've replaced the Bontrager saddles on both Treks The mountain bike came with a Bontrager but I don't have enough miles on it yet to determine whether it will stay or go. I haven't heard too many people who have liked these saddles.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Oh man, Deeg... sorry to hear about the knee. That just sucks. Rest might be best. Is it a stress/load related problem or more of a repetitive motion thing? That might dictate whether your should "ride it out"

    Both my LeMond and my Fisher came with Bontrager Race Lights (or it is "Lux"?)
    While neither is as comfortable as a leather recliner or the seats in my car, they don't seem egregiously awful. I figure I'm just too stupid to notice the difference. Either that or "compared to what?" I haven't tried any other saddles.
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  15. #15
    Not So Senior Member jisaak's Avatar
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    Hey DG - maybe you looked at this last Feb - but possibly your saddle height maybe too high or low? I have a bum knee but if the seat is too low it creates havoc on the joint. Maybe the article below will give you an idea but an expert opinion from the doc or physio maybe a place to start.

    http://sheldonbrown.com/pain.html

  16. #16
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    You guys know that I am an obsessive biker. I do almost 50 miles/day. Because of that, I am very concerned about comfort, saddles, knees and pain. Any such problems would ground me. I can't have that.
    I gave up on my (2) Brooks because of the specific position I had to sit, plus the Brooks sensitivity to moisture in form of rain or sweat. I had a Brooks Champion Flyer and a Pro. Both are destroyed.

    I had a simple Gel Serfas and used it Cross Country. I was comfortable as where as the Hot Shot bikers with their Ultra light saddles were in pain. I bought a Treck Madone with a Bontragger Race Light saddle. You must be kidding. This thing is impossible for a series of century's.

    I now use the Serfas Gel and two Terry Liberator Gellissimo Saddles. They are fabulous because you can slide forward, backward on them, could not care if they get wet, look decent and do not break the bank.

    One thing I do is to get off the saddle frequently to let the blood circulate. I do this very often and recommend it. Another piece of advise: Try to balance the load for hands, legs and saddle.

    As I said before, I would not recommend to ignore the warning of pain (and I will not mask it with pills either).
    Will, I was on the Serfas for 2 1/2 hours yesterday, and 35 miles and I can say that this is the first time that I got off the bike with no pain at all. I did order another seatpost to try thr Brooks again, but if it doesn't work I have one that will. I remember I tried the Serfas before and it didn't seem to work, after a little playing around I got it. When I say a little, that what it was a little. My average went from 12 to 13 and 14, and I'm pretty happy with that. Thank you.
    George

  17. #17
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Well, on the coincidental suggestions of my daughter and stapfam, I took the Cypress out today for a slow recovery ride. Just ten miles, and NO hammering.

    Guess what?

    No knee pain.

    Plus it was fun getting back on the old bike after a couple of months. Yes, it's slow but I love the brakes which are so much more responsive than my road bike, and the wide tires (32mm) gives me much more freedom to go over potholes and such. It's a fun bike -- why did I ever move on?

    Anyway, no knee pain whatsoever, and the only differences between today and yesterday were the bike and today I wore basketball shorts, not the gel padded mtb shorts.

    I think the knee thing may have just been a reaction to one too many longer rides. Perhaps I've been pushing it too much? Since I started riding Ruby Roubaix, I have gone farther and faster on my typical rides, and I might have pushed it just a bit too far or too fast.

    So tomorrow I'll ride that white lightening again and see what happens to my knee. Maybe it was just an anomoly, but getting back on the Specialized will probably be revealing.
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  18. #18
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    I told you road bikes were evil.

  19. #19
    The Grampster tlc20010's Avatar
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    It's the curse of the Roubaix, I knew you should have gotten the Buenos Aires
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  20. #20
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    Riding a bike cured me of knee pain (eventually). The "trick" was riding in very easy gears. Gears in the range of 50 inches to 65 inches. After a couple of years of spinning in easy gears, the muscles around the knee seemed to get stronger and take stress off the knee. Year by year, I have been able to "up" the gears that are easy on my knees, but I try to not go over 70 inches or 75 inches.

    I think a lot of folks are riding in silly gears, because silly gears are what come on many bikes. Some road bikes offer choices of 100 inches, 105 inches, all the way up to 130 inches. And, some guys think "Well, this "big" ring must be here for a reason.

    Try 30 minute a day of riding in a 50 inch gear. Maybe take some aspirin before riding and after. If that is not painful, start increasing the amount of time, and build toward 60 inches, 65 inches, and so on.

  21. #21
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Sigh.

    My left knee, the one that kept me off the bike for six weeks last February, is giving me problems again...
    ... and finally was able to fall asleep wearing the drug store knee brace.
    What's the name of that joint supplement so many folks have been taking? Maybe I should give that a try. It starts with a "g" I think.
    Glucosamine seems to be an effective treatment to aid recovery for many (myself included). But you really need to 'treat' the cause of the problem. Surgery after the fact is again just another treatment of symptom/result and not the cause.
    Don't remember a lot of what you noted before and how specific your pain was. Where is the 'pain' currently - behind The patella? either side? back of knee? Top of knee? Bottom? Clearly all Joint or some muscle involvement? (generally a large percentage of join issues also involve muscles regardless of what you might feel now).
    Good thing is it stops when you stop whatever is causing it, so it prolly is not a permanent type injury yet.
    Bad thing is its aggravated enough to really affect your routine, like getting some shuteye...
    Like ABHouston says, get into easy gears. It won;t solve anything long term, but should keep you from aggravating it further.
    Then look at the easy things first - position to include how you pedal, things you do under 'harder' efforts (like sliding back or forward on saddle, dropping a heel to try to push more, rotating the heel under harder effort, etc), structural anomalies like leg length diff. Better to really ferret that stuff out now.
    The next step is to go to more complicated stuff like muscle imbalances, flexibiliy issues. If you haven't already, check out IT Band issues both here on BF with a search as well as outside.
    Start a solid flexibility/stretching program and be as religious about it as you are with riding. Ride 5 days, do stretching 5 days.
    If you plan on becoming a long term rider then you're gonna have to solve this sooner than later. Either way, neither glucosamine nor the knife will be real solutions which solve.
    Best of luck

  22. #22
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezen
    Start a solid flexibility/stretching program and be as religious about it as you are with riding. Ride 5 days, do stretching 5 days.
    +100

    And don't forget TWL's suggestion about getting a program from a physical therapist.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  23. #23
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    A pretty good home brewed drug is "ice", much beloved by knees. I take a bigger-than-bathroom sized dixie cup, fill it with water and freeze it. After a strenuous ride and while eating and drinking, I like to spend about 10 mins massaging my knee with a cup of ice. Simply tear the cup away to expose the ice but leave enough to grip with, and rub it around your knee. It will melt but there's plenty for up to 15 mins even. Just keep it moving in order to not "burn" the skin. Good old refreshing blood will come pumping through to help those tissue recover. A towel under the knee is a good idea. Things feel pretty refreshed afterwards.

    Obviously, if you have a damaged knee you need stronger measures and tactics.

  24. #24
    Hypoxic Member head_wind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    ...The surgeon, of course, flat out admitted he would nearly always recommend surgery. ...
    That is the wrong Doc. That is obviously sometimes the right
    answer, but,,,,,

    Living in Colorado Springs I have access to the same Docs that
    real athletes use. The Olympic Center is here. Perhaps the
    suggestion that you go to a sports Doc was the right answer.
    My experiences with two different Docs in the same practice
    were: 1) for a rotator cuff injury: do the PT and you'll probably
    avoid surgery, and 2) for patella-femoral pain syndrome: just
    to the PT. 1) was 10 years ago and still no surgery (But I must
    keep up the exercise. 2) was 2 years ago and no mention of
    surgery.

  25. #25
    Hypoxic Member head_wind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    ...Yes, it's slow but I love the brakes which are so much more responsive than my road bike, ...

    ...Anyway, no knee pain whatsoever, and the only differences between today and yesterday were the bike and today I wore basketball shorts, not the gel padded mtb shorts. ...
    If you have Shimano break pads I'd recommend that you swap the pads
    for Kool Stops, salmon color. It accents the white.....

    A generalization is that spinning is easier on the knees than mashing.
    Perhaps you should drop down a couple of gears if you are mashing.

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