Better rider 20 yrs ago
Knee pain, all over, chronic injury
I went to a physical therapist this week, but unfortunately cannot afford the treatment, at $120+ per week. I went because my knees were killing me this past September after a summer of (over)training. I couldn't walk upstairs after a long ride even after spinning and not pushing any big gears. The PT told me that I don't appear to have any ligament or meniscus injuries or anything, except perhaps some tightness and that my patella is not floating around enough (my summary, I can't remember exactly what he said). I have typical cyclist inflexibility and muscle tightness apparently, except my hip flexors which are surprisingly loose.
The symptoms are overall pain, somewhere on the interior of the knee. It is not pinpointable to behind, in front, or the side of the knee. I have had a bike fit previously. We suspect that it may be an overuse injury, but the only way to rehabilitate it is to stay off the bike and do other stretching and strength exercises until the soreness goes away.
Sorry for the book. What are some thoughts on good exercises to do that won't stress the knee, yet still allow me to get some exercise in? Do I have to take up swimming? (I will say, even the elliptical bothers me) How about recommended stretching that can rehabilitate the knee? I want to go to at least 1 PT session, but it may be a few weeks before I can afford it, and I need to get off my ass and exercising again. This R&R is not doing me or my knees any good - even stairs or snowshoveling still hurts them.
damn, that really sucks. I have a couple of suggestions...
first off, if you're going on your PT's word that nothing's torn in your knee, get your ***** to an MRI machine. I hurt my knee about a year ago, went to the doc, nothing showed up on xray, but she insisted I go get an MRI anyway. turned out i had partial tears of the LCL and PCL. bottom line, you (and your PT) can't know for sure unless you get an MRI.
secondly, a runner friend of mine turned me on to AI stretching. yea he's a runner (heh), but i gave these exercises a shot, and they make a world of difference. you don't need to do all of them; just target your legs to start with. nowadays i spend about 5 minutes doing maybe 6-8 of the stretches after every ride, and i notice an immediate 'recovery'. they're good stuff.
the book is cheap, you'll need a rope or something though, any rope will do (though they sell specialized ones).
good luck...and, really, get an MRI (if you haven't). it's worth the cost..