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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    I used to be over there
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    517

    Knee pain hiking downhill

    I can cruise up a hike no problem, I can go up 4K like I'm walking straight - but when I turn around to go downhill I can't make ir more than a hundred feet before I am in pain.

    By the time I hit the car these days I just am in agony, it feels like I have watermelons for knee's. It usually starts on the outside of the knee's, but soon is just pain over the entire joint.

    I take anti-inflamatories for a few days and the pain is gone. It usually is so bad sleep is tough the first night.

    I am 36, have had on acl surgery (3 years ago), 6'3 210lbs. I want to hike to get down to 190 lbs, but the pain is really stopping me right now.

    Any ideas what it might be? Artheritis?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Taking names later
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    3,599
    possible causes
    1. patello-femoral syndrome
    2. patellar tendonitis
    3. arthritis
    4. IT band syndrome
    5. outside chance of a meniscus tear
    fighting gravity on a daily basis

    WhiteRoom Skis
    Handcrafted in Vermont
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    I used to be over there
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    517
    thanks Vinman,

    Checked all of those possibilites out via your links and searching & have come to the conculusion that I need to go see an ortho.

    Went on a 4 mile hike on Saturday with the mrs - 2k up, 1k down. I pushed through the pain until I reached the car, but then just couldn't do it anymore. knees just refused to bend.

    Three days later and I can walk again (although with pain).

    whatever the hell this is it is really messing with the quality of my life.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Golden CO
    Posts
    2,309
    just walk on flat stuff.... or get on a bike and do some cross training. could also be related to your insoles or your arches... if they are collapsing a lot as you step, you could be throwing your knees out of line.... look at orthodics.
    smile when you are going down, it looks more graceful
    Backcountry Coalition
    dobish.blogspot.com Dynafit & O1 Adapter/2nd Ski Kit Sandwich Blog

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Summit County
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    257
    Invest in some trekking poles that have anti shock. There is substantially more trauma to your knees going down rather then up. The shock of each step especially on steep slopes is very hard on your body. Pick up some poles and place the pole before each step. I couldn't believe the difference it made when I got my poles. I'm using the Leki Super Makalu....but Black Diamond and a few others also offer trekking poles with Anti shock. My dad has had mulitple knee surgerys and the poles pretty much are the only reason he can still hike....along with taking glucosamine chondrotine.

    Good Luck,

    SEth

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Blandcouver
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    1,014
    Its always easier on the uphill than the downhill....

    With that said, as Dobish has suggested, Id try something with a lower impact rating like cycling or walking on fairly moderate grades.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Alpental
    Posts
    4,000
    I feel your knee pain.

    It's hard to day what the cause might be, as vinman pinted out it could be any number of things. I have had way to many knee surgeries and I'm 2 yrs older than you, yet I still like to hike alot. As Seth said, get some treking poles, they really do help considerably. I also use a neoprene brace, only on the way down, and it helps to stabilize the knee joint a bit and displace some of the stress with downhill hiking.
    I'm 4 months post op ACL today and over labor day weekend did 42mi with 8K up and down and a 50lb pack and couldn't have done it without the poles and the brace.
    Move upside and let the man go through...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    uTardedland
    Posts
    11,184
    I have the same problem and one of the reasons I bought my MTB. I am probably 20lbs heavier than I want to be and wanted to hike to slim down. Problem now is twisting out of my pedals and by the end of the day I hurt pretty good. Frustrating to say the least.

    Scope and ACL surgeries to the left knee has done it in and I can't get downhill without my Donjoy Defiance to help hold the knee together and take some stress off it.

    I believe mine is arthritis from when I went in year and half ago for the ACL. HS soccer and volleyball did not help my knees much.


    Hope it gets better somehow.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    297
    Get an MRI and a good physical therapist. I had a similar problem, and ignored it for about two years and biked more. Turned out I had a torn quad tendon. The injury was the symptom, but the cause was problems with my stride, balance, unequal muscle development in my legs (due to tons of biking but no hamstring and glutt work) and perhaps a reliance on trekking poles with further disrupted my stride. I saw one physical therapist who didn't have a clue, and then a guy who completely addressed the problems in my stride or gate. I walked duck toed, and by simply correcting the swing of my leg can alleviates lots of the pain. Even the swing of my arms was completely off which caused much of my problems. I really needed to learn how to walk again and this is the only thing that has addressed the root of the problem. People often develop knee problems as they get in their late 30s just due to problems in their stride or gate. Get someone to take a really good look at your stride and muscle development, and balance. Oh, and not to bash trekking poles, which I had become dependent on, had actually compounded the problem, and my knees are much better now that I have limited my use with them. Oh, and of course, drop some pounds, but I can attest to how freaking hard that is. Good luck.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    297
    To continue on about trekking poles which I absolutely loved when I got them. I even got an MSR tent that uses trekking poles to reduce weight. I thought I would never hike without them again. However, because I have some knee problems it actually compounded my problem. When I was going up hill I would often hang on them, leaning forward more than natural, this caused my knee to extend to far over my toes, a classic knees no no. I also would often find my self using them with the wrong arm swing pattern, which people who have knee problem often do. That is, I was putting my right arm forward when my right leg is forward, which is wrong, and I never noticed this when I was using my poles. I didn't do this all the time but the poles actually made me do this more, especially on uneven terrain. In addition, going down hill, I was so dependent on them due to my knee pain that my poor form, ultimately hurt me more.

    For many people trekking poles are a godsend, but if you have knee problems, take a good look on how you are going to use trekking poles and if they are really going to help solve your knee issues. Most importantly, talk about it to a really good physical therapist for your specific knee problem.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    I used to be over there
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    517
    Great data all. Especially interesting is the trecking poles comment - I was about ready to pull the trigger on some until I read that.

    --Hiking without hills also seems like a no brainer - until you see where I live. The northern wasatch soars 5K up to the peaks without much break about 2 blocks from my house. Hiking out the front door rules, hiking straight up really rules. Hiking back down sucks ass.

    Buckle down time and make an appointment I guess.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    here now
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    1,215
    Physical therapists have taught me how to walk again two times now.The thing that really stuck with me after my first acl was that the therapist coached me specifically in walking downhill. She said that landing on a straight leg was part of the cause of my problem. So she wanted me to walk downhill in a particular way, consciously putting my foot down on a bended knee and tensing my hamstring as I did so to control any tendency for motion in the knee. I still remember that and do it to this day, 26 years later.

    I boiled my thermometer, and sure enough, this spot, which purported to be two thousand feet higher than the locality of the hotel, turned out to be nine thousand feet LOWER. Thus the fact was clearly demonstrated that, ABOVE A CERTAIN POINT, THE HIGHER A POINT SEEMS TO BE, THE LOWER IT ACTUALLY IS. Our ascent itself was a great achievement, but this contribution to science was an inconceivably greater matter.

    --MT--

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    954
    is alias your actual name you use to post all the time now... or why did you have to use an alias to post this??

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