Knee pain problems
especially when hiking or back packing. If you do, here are some of the
things that have helped , at least temporarily, and some suggestions
gleaned from doctors and other hikers who suffer from various knee
1. Lay down with legs uphill or propped up on a rock. After experimenting
with times, I have found that it is better to take more short breaks
rather than fewer long breaks. This is because three or fifteen minutes
both seem to give only a few minutes relief once hiking is resumed.
2. Take numerous fifteen second breaks to put your leg up on a rock or
tree and massage your knee. Sitting on the ground and holding your knee
near your chest while massaging it works well too.
3. Longer strides sometimes help. This can only be done if the trail isn't
too steep. The relief may come from the fact that the knee bends less.
4. Walk backwards. Warning: this is awkward and probably dangerous on
uneven or steep terrain. Still, walking backwards gives me immediate
relief. My knee problem must have to do with the way the foot is extended
while bending the knee. The feet point upwards when walking backwards down
an incline. I have had to walk backwards for five or ten minutes at a time
just to make it down some stretches without pain.
5. Find ways to bend the knee less. This means walking funny, and you'll
have to experiment to find out what works for you. This can be risky on
steep loose sections of the trail. I only mention these temporary and
potentially risky solutions because I have been in situations where it was
walk back to the car or spend the night out unprepared.
6. Take aspirin. It not only will relieve some of the pain, but if taken
before the downhill stretch starts, it may prevent some swelling that can
cause knee pain. Try other pain relievers if they work better for you, but
don't mask the pain too much, or you may do more damage to your knees than
7. Wear a knee brace. The neoprene ones that are sold in pharmacies may
help support the knees best. You can also try wrapping your knees with an
ace bandage. In an emergency, you could also try wrapping your knees with
a handkerchief, socks, or other clothing.
8. Respect your limits. If you have knee pain regularly, pay attention to
how many miles of steep terrain you can take before suffering. Remember
this limit when planning backpacking trips, and so you'll know when you
reach the halfway point on out-and-back day hikes.
9. Stretching may help, especially if done before the knees start to hurt.
Don't stretch too hard - gently stretch both calves and thighs.
10. Hiking poles or a good walking stick can help take the pressure off
those knees on the downhill stretches. If you cut a dead branch or small
tree to use for a walking stick, make sure it is long enough (up to your
armpits). A longer stick works better on the downhill stretches, where you
need it the most.
11. Poorly designed hiking boots or shoes can contribute to knee problems.
Try different shoes or inserts. You need to avoid excessive pronation
(foot flattening). Orthotic inserts such as Superfeet in your hiking boots
or shoes may help, because they can help control excessive knee motion.
12. Simply avoiding steep routes when hiking can prevent knee pain. Look
at all your possible routes before setting out. Even walking an extra mile
or two may make sense if it means avoiding steep downhill stretches.
13. If the trail or dirt road you are walking on is sloped at the sides,
walk on the side that is opposite from the knee with the most pain. This
may help for those knee pains that are caused by pronation. The outward
slant of the foot can mean less pain.
14. Soaking your knees in the cold water of a stream or lake may reduce
the swelling and pain. If you are hiking during winter or high in the
mountains in summer, you can try using snow as well. Wrap a handkerchief
or shirt around the knee and pack it full of snow.
While the final decision
about what treatment option you use to handle your knee pain is yours,
Banishing Knee Pain will run through all the treatment options open to
you. Written by someone who knows, first hand, how agonizing knee problems
can be - you'll get plain talk, no jargon or hype.
This no nonsense book will help you to:
All-natural treatments for knee pain
Understand the amazingly complex knee machinery and how it works to keep
you balanced and moving.
Identify the most common knee problems and be able to treat the many
uncomfortable symptoms yourself, at home, so you can do what it takes to
help yourself heal.
Recognize the eight symptoms that require a visit to your doctor and what
you can expect in terms of treatment.
Take steps to keep your knee problems from coming back with practical,
low-impact exercise and stretching tips.
Become aware of the diet and nutritional issues that will help with
healing, as well as other supplements and herbal treatments you might want
Learn more about the different surgical options that could be in your
future if other treatments donít help, or donít help enough
Knee Pain Help!
When you exercise your knees, it is actually the muscles around the knee
that are exercised. The bad news is that if you exercise the muscles
unevenly, it can lead to more pain when hiking. The good news is that
there are some simple exercises that can condition your muscles to reduce
When the larger muscle on the inside of the leg above the kneecap is
weaker than the outer thigh muscle (vastus lateralus), it can cause a
slight misalignment of the kneecap. This can cause pain. A simple solution
to this is straight knee leg lifts. This balances the strength in the two
muscles. The outer thigh muscle also is the braking muscle (it slows the
bending of the knee), so proper conditioning can prevent knee pain that
comes from going downhill.
To do straight knee leg lifts, sit on the floor. Put one leg straight out
in front, keeping the other bent at the knee with your foot flat on the
floor. Lift the straight leg several inches off the floor and count to
five, keeping the knee straight. Lower it, rest a moment, then repeat the
process four more times. Then switch to the other leg. Do this every day
for a while, gradually increasing the number of repetitions and the length
of time you hold each leg up.
Walking uphill can be a good knee exercise too. If you can't easily do
this on a regular basis, try doing step-ups. This is just stepping up on a
stair-step or anything of about that height, and then stepping back down.
You should alternate which foot you lead with.
Start by doing this for several minutes several times per week. Increase
the step height and the duration, and wear hiking boots if that is what
you hike in. You can also start to wear a backpack while doing your
repetitions (put some weight in it, of course).
Warning: Serious or continuing knee problems should be addressed by an
orthopedic doctor. You may do more harm using some of the tips, depending
on the type of knee problem you have.
1. There are different types of knee problems.
2. There are things you can do on the trail to treat knee pain.
3. Knee braces and shoe inserts can help.
4. Proper exercise and conditioning can prevent knee pain.
5. See a doctor if pain persists.