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Old 12-25-11, 12:30 PM   #1
MarTay6
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Joint issues riding a bike

Hi, All- and a Merry Christmas!
I'm new to the world of cycling again at 63... I've had a knee replaced a few years ago, and have osteoarthritis in both feet quite bad. I live in Crocs year round, after wasting several hundred dollars on podiatrists and "The Good Foot" store. Does biking cause further deterioration of joints??
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Old 12-25-11, 01:18 PM   #2
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Not in my experience. While I have largely lost the capability of sustained running (even with proper shoes, as I discovered yesterday chasing a bus), a decade-plus of constant riding has kept my lower joints pretty supple; ALL of my joint issues are shoulder- and wrist-related. (I have OA in the shoulders, progressed enough that joints routinely 'slip' out of alignment, and both wrists have had breaks)

The trick, I would suggest, is to find a gear you can pedal without feeling like you're doing leg presses. Simple as that.
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Old 12-25-11, 01:20 PM   #3
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Bicycling is the Last Refuge of the arthritic athlete. The next twenty posts will tell you to ride a bike that is fitted to you properly.

There is one member of the bike club who has trouble walking, but can ride almost anyone into the ground.
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Old 12-25-11, 02:48 PM   #4
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You probably have to be careful on your choice of cycling shoe, a stiff sole works best for me. You can buy shoes with moldable footbeds and you can buy full custom shoes. I suspect you can find something off the shelf that will work.
Have you decided on pedals? Flat pedals to start?
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Old 12-25-11, 03:07 PM   #5
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In addition to all the great stuff above, the saddle(seat)height is very very important,as is pedaling cadence..
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Old 12-25-11, 03:20 PM   #6
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I am developing arthritis in my right hip. I was concerned that bicycling would aggrevate it. Instead, I have found the opposite to be true: cycling seems to improve the condition, rather than making it worse. The only compromise I have had to make is mounting the bike: I cannot swing my leg over a fully upright bike/saddle. Instead, I have to tilt the bike towards me at about a 45 degree angle in order to swing my leg over.
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Old 12-25-11, 03:25 PM   #7
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For pedalsm, I found these Ergon PC-2 pedals that looked like they might go well with my Croc's... http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/en/product/pc2
I wear Medical Rx Croc's.... they offer the best relief of anything I've ever found. These are very different from the other off-the-shelf Croc's.
A lot of good inputs here, thanks, Folks.
For saddle height, have got mine set so my legs are almost straight at the bottom of the stroke... I assume that's best for me?
Wes
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Old 12-25-11, 03:29 PM   #8
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I cannot swing my leg over a fully upright bike/saddle. Instead, I have to tilt the bike towards me at about a 45 degree angle in order to swing my leg over.
I'm kind of finding the same thing to be true for me as well...
Man, it stinks getting older than the brain feels like you are!
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Old 12-25-11, 03:52 PM   #9
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You can pedal through foot problems. After years of suffering with arthitis pain I had my ankle fused 2 years ago. I can ride all day now with no pain. Prior to the fusing I could ride but with discomfort after the ride.

As we get older most of us will have some cobbled parts.

T
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Old 12-25-11, 03:55 PM   #10
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I cannot swing my leg over a fully upright bike/saddle. Instead, I have to tilt the bike towards me at about a 45 degree angle in order to swing my leg over.
Is that a problem? I haven't been able to do that in years. I've heard of people lying their bikes flat on the ground, standing over it, and lifting it up to mount it.

Whatever it takes to get rolling.
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Old 12-25-11, 04:44 PM   #11
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Whatever it takes to get rolling.
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Old 12-25-11, 07:12 PM   #12
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MarTay6,
My experience and the results of many studies all say that biking on a properly fitted bicycle will lessen the stiffness of an arthritic joint along with the pain being reduced. Unless you have a condition flat limiting your motion you should notice a benefit from riding. There are many here with joint replacements and rather severe injuries that have found cycling a pain reduction and motion improver.

Bill
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Old 12-25-11, 07:52 PM   #13
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Thanks for the encouragement.
I went through rehab twice in recent years- once for a sprained ankle- and once for knee replacement. Both times, I found the recumbant bike to be like many people say about running- that it's addictive. I felt great doing the recumbent, and feel great after a short ride on the bike.
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Old 12-25-11, 08:28 PM   #14
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Motion is lotion esp. for joints. Just don't "press" too hard esp at first.
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Old 12-26-11, 01:40 AM   #15
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Answers are already there--Or here.

Many of us have joint problems and it is Exercise in general that keeps us able to move. Cycling is one of the few Non-Impact forms of exercise that is available to us "Invalids".One of the others is sitting on a couch- and just moving from the chair to the fridge for a cold one. I can't think of any form of exercise that keeps the body mobile without causing any pain or further damage. That being said- Numb bum syndrome does hurt and you will just have to get over it.

Take it steady and come back gently. Try to do 25mph up your local mountain and it will hurt
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Old 12-26-11, 11:19 AM   #16
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For the OP, I had my left knee replaced last year. Getting back on the bike helped keep the Range of Motion for the new knee.
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Old 12-26-11, 11:36 AM   #17
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I am having some left hip joint pain (osteo or bursitis, not sure). I find that if I just relax on a ride I can do just fine. If I start pushing too hard, it really starts hurting and carries over into walking while off the bike. So, I just relax and "smell the roses" YMMV
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Old 12-26-11, 11:56 AM   #18
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This is an interesting paper.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19011540
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...5/?tool=pubmed

Apparently, frequently resveratrol has positive effects on all joints.

Also, deep prolonged heat assists the body's "heat shock proteins" in promoting rapid healing. Get a heating pad to put over the effected areas and use it - as hot as you can make it without it becoming painful. Try as best as you can to get the heat deep inside.

Last edited by christ0ph; 12-26-11 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 12-26-11, 01:04 PM   #19
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I have joint issues that get BETTER when I ride my bike. I have a knee that gets sore and stiff when I sit around. If I go for a 20 mile bike ride, it feels fine when I get back.
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Old 12-26-11, 01:29 PM   #20
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The only thing better for weight-bearing joints is swimming - this was said to me by my Ortho. I have had knee issues for 30+ years, 8 surgeries and (so far) a knee and hip replaced. I have OA rather badly. Riding keeps my new knee loose and working. Can I ride like a kid? Nope! But nice easy long rides (smelling the scenery) are great for me.

Now if they could only replace a hand...
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Old 12-26-11, 01:39 PM   #21
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Shorter crank arms helped reduce pressure on my bad knees. Went from 175mm to 172.5mm crank arms and was able to increase the distance(by 5-6 miles) before discomfort would set in. I am thinking of going to 170mm crankarms. I am not going to get any faster, but I never was anyway.
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Old 12-26-11, 05:37 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
You can pedal through foot problems. After years of suffering with arthitis pain I had my ankle fused 2 years ago. I can ride all day now with no pain. Prior to the fusing I could ride but with discomfort after the ride.

As we get older most of us will have some cobbled parts.

T
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Old 12-26-11, 05:38 PM   #23
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Shorter crank arms helped reduce pressure on my bad knees. Went from 175mm to 172.5mm crank arms and was able to increase the distance(by 5-6 miles) before discomfort would set in. I am thinking of going to 170mm crankarms. I am not going to get any faster, but I never was anyway.
Good point. I use 165mm arms on my fixed gear bikes and don't have problems with my knees.
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Old 12-26-11, 07:19 PM   #24
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That ankle looks like it belongs to a carpenter who had a nail gun run amok!!
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Old 12-26-11, 07:35 PM   #25
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That ankle looks like it belongs to a carpenter who had a nail gun run amok!!
Wes
You just HAD to say that didn't you? It brought back a very bad memory, and its' all your fault.

I was building a Christmas set at a local church, in fact just a few miles from where I am now, and nailed two fingers together with a defective nail gun. Needless to say I let out with a loud, very unchurchlike expletive that silenced the entire crew and those practicing the drama.

A bit of Keflex and some bandages and the fingers were just fine. The gun was used by one other person who also injured himself, guess he didn't believe me. And, I was told I was forgiven of my sins in speaking that way.

Way OT, but it was a dramatic reminder.

Back OT: Like the TV commercial says "A body in motion tends to stay in motion, or words to that effect. Best I can figure exercise has no downside. It only wears out artificial joints. The rest exercise lubricates and keeps working. Go for it. There is no downside. By the way; I was older than you when I started cycling as a hobby.
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