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  1. #1
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    Teen with Knee Problems

    Hey everyone,
    I'm a teenager who recently developed patellofemoral syndrome - which means I am basically in constant pain in the knee area. I also have flat feet and very weak legs.
    I started biking to increase my strength, to stay fit, and to be alone recently, although I've biked on/off all my life.
    I can pretty much only go to the park, bike around there, and come back home because it's dangerous to go farther, or bike at night.
    I currently have aMt. Fury Roadmaster, a cheap bike, I know. However, if I get serious about biking, I can probably upgrade. I also own no helmet or other equipment than my bike. I bike around in a pair of Ked's and wear headphones instead of a helmet.

    I want to get serious about biking because it will help me with my pain, get me more fit, make me feel better, and allow me to be alone. I just don't know if I'm approaching it the right way.

    In around 45 minutes or so - I can do around 3 - 3.5 miles, with water breaks every .4 mile and decreased energy as I go onwards, with various hills and slopes. But, I find my capabilities are very low, as this is how far I can go. I hope to ride to school (5.6 miles; have only 30 minutes to really get there) someday, maybe in 1.5 years or so, and maybe someday take biking as an alternative to cars.

    Is there anything I can do to increase my speed, stamina, and capabilities - whether it's eating and fuel, getting a new bike, or just training myself? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    This may help.

    http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/k...s/a/knee11.htm

    http://www.therapydirect-uk.com/Down...20syndrome.PDF

    Another bike would also help.

    I had a Roadmaster bike and it was the pits to ride.

    Moving this thread to Training and Nutrition
    Last edited by 10 Wheels; 02-06-12 at 08:48 PM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member BionicChris's Avatar
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    Have you tried the insoles that you can buy which raise the arch that should be on the inside of the foot?

    I wore these for about 2 or 3 years between 13 and 16 because I HAD lax ligaments in my knees and flat feet.

    Wearing those helped restore the arch, then once my body had finished growing by 19 there were no more problems.

  4. #4
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    First of Have you consulted your Dr. ? is the patellofemoral a diagnosis or self diagnosis? What has the doctor said? Is phyisical therapy indicated?

    To be blunt are you overweight? This could be a big factor (it is for my knees hurting). If so then you have to focus on eating right also if you are seeing a doctor they might have ideas or refer to a nutritionist.

    As long as you are ok'ed by your doctor for the exercise..... here are some thoughts.

    No matter what the bike..... use your gears so that you are not pushing hard on the pedals, better to spin the pedals faster.

    A better bike would help, less work and smother working

    Build up slowly. Consider an out and back route. Go out for 10 minutes and then come back for a 20 minute total. does this for several days in a week and then add a minute on the way out.....up to 22 minutes and keep on like this. This will help you build up strenght and aerobic capacity (stamina) without adding further injury.

    Eat well. Lots of veggies, lean meat, more whole grains (brown rice not white, whole wheat bread, polenta, etc). Fruit for dessert and snacks not sugar.... Avoid fast food.... all the standard stuff we have all heard a hundred times.

    Find a friend/family member to do this with...... training buddies encourage each other. You noted that you want to be alone.....I have a teenager and understand that this is a time where teenagers need alone time sometimes, but if other issues are pushing the need to be alone they might get in the way of your fitness
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BionicChris View Post
    Have you tried the insoles that you can buy which raise the arch that should be on the inside of the foot?

    I wore these for about 2 or 3 years between 13 and 16 because I HAD lax ligaments in my knees and flat feet.

    Wearing those helped restore the arch, then once my body had finished growing by 19 there were no more problems.
    Yes, I am currently wearing something to raise the arch, and the doctor says it will be gone by the time I'm in college (give or take a year or two), but I can't just wait that long, especially considering I can't do any other sports, because of the pressure my feet take from the impact.


    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    First of Have you consulted your Dr. ? is the patellofemoral a diagnosis or self diagnosis? What has the doctor said? Is phyisical therapy indicated?

    To be blunt are you overweight? This could be a big factor (it is for my knees hurting). If so then you have to focus on eating right also if you are seeing a doctor they might have ideas or refer to a nutritionist.

    As long as you are ok'ed by your doctor for the exercise..... here are some thoughts.

    No matter what the bike..... use your gears so that you are not pushing hard on the pedals, better to spin the pedals faster.

    A better bike would help, less work and smother working

    Build up slowly. Consider an out and back route. Go out for 10 minutes and then come back for a 20 minute total. does this for several days in a week and then add a minute on the way out.....up to 22 minutes and keep on like this. This will help you build up strenght and aerobic capacity (stamina) without adding further injury.

    Eat well. Lots of veggies, lean meat, more whole grains (brown rice not white, whole wheat bread, polenta, etc). Fruit for dessert and snacks not sugar.... Avoid fast food.... all the standard stuff we have all heard a hundred times.

    Find a friend/family member to do this with...... training buddies encourage each other. You noted that you want to be alone.....I have a teenager and understand that this is a time where teenagers need alone time sometimes, but if other issues are pushing the need to be alone they might get in the way of your fitness
    The doctor has said it is patellofemoral, but there are different symptoms I am having that have led me to the Orthopedics (who I am visiting on Monday). I am actually underweight for my height and age. and thanks for the other tips.

  6. #6
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    Have you considered embarking on a strengthening program for your feet/legs instead of encasing them in orthopedics? You're young. Your body has great potential to heal itself.

    There are some studies that suggest cushioned shoes are the CAUSE of many issues:
    http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercis...ealth-benefits
    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/PainMan...1#.TzWCkLES3UY
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0104122310.htm

    These are largely centered around runners and the discussion about barefoot vs. shoed running, but I think there are valid points to be made about allowing your feet to function without the constraints of typical shoes.

    I know the conventional wisdom will tell you to get inserts, orthopedics, etc., but you may want to investigate a solution to your problem that doesn't involve further encasing (and weakening) your feet and legs.
    The List: 2013 Wilier Zero.7 / 2006 Look 555 / 2005 Raleigh Prestige / 2007 Kona Dew (commuter) - RIP

  7. #7
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    Are you riding on pavement, gravel, or off-road? These all make big differences in your speed.

    Make sure your bike saddle is set at the right height. If it is too low it will make the front of your knees hurt more.
    See if your knees feel better if you skootch back in the saddle and slightly drop your heels when you pedal up hills.

    Your goal of riding to school sounds quite reasonable.

    To get there: no coasting unless you are coming up on a stop or if coasting is faster than pedaling (downhill). Soft-pedaling with little force on the pedals is OK when you're out of breath. 6 water breaks in 45 minutes seems like a lot. Make sure you're well-hydrated when you start and have water available when you finish.

    Please no headphones, and in some locations minors are legally required to wear helmets.

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