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Thread: Knee supports - who uses them? Do they work?

  1. #1
    Mini Goon
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    Knee supports - who uses them? Do they work?

    Hi there. I've been asking for (and receiving) some excellent advice on here ahead of a 50 mile walk I have at the end of the month. My biggest concern about possible causes to fail are my knees. Generally they are fine, but each time I attempt this walk my knees get shot.

    To date we've done some 20-odd mile training walks and the knee pain has come and gone - it's been pretty painful at times but not nearly enough to force me to stop and it has subsided later in the walk. I've not worn supports in the hope of strengthening my knees as much as possible. We've got two more training walks between now and the main event, and it's time to trail knee supports if they are going to be worthwhile.

    So does/has anyone use(d) them, do/did they work, and does anyone have any advice about them and knee management in general!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Metric Kate's Avatar
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    Can't help you with the knee supports, but have you done any specific knee strengthening exercises rather than training walks? It may or may not help, but I've generally found exercises (for me, lunges) have been the best thing for helping keep my knees working more smoothly.

  3. #3
    Mini Goon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metric Kate View Post
    Can't help you with the knee supports, but have you done any specific knee strengthening exercises rather than training walks? It may or may not help, but I've generally found exercises (for me, lunges) have been the best thing for helping keep my knees working more smoothly.
    Thanks Kate. I've been going to the gym a bit and doing a few exercises there I thought might help, but lunges weren't on the list, and you've prompted me to have a look for any others I could add into my routine - great idea.

  4. #4
    Mini Goon
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    Hi!

    I have issues with my knees too.

    I am tackling them with exercising, especially the area of the quadricep is the thing you want to be looking into. And of course the over all muscle balance.
    Lunges indeed are an excellent movement for that. One easy thing to do even at home is to take a rubber band, place one end of it around a leg of a sturdy table and the other one around the bottom of your thigh and then go from bent knee to straight knee. Seems to help, but internet is full of tips on how to train your quadricep, just go googling!

    Also stretching is important, we so often forget especially the outer side of our thighs, which can get completely jammed in all silence, and then start creating quite some knee issues. Would check that too!

    I do also use knee supports on runs and especially mountainous walks, just to be safe and not get the tendons inflamed. Mueller seems to have a wide range of products. I am using the Max Knee Strap from them.

    Good luck with your walking!

  5. #5
    Also consider how you walk. Going downhill crouch slightly and land on your forefoot rather than your heel. Your heel landing just transfers the shock up into your knees.
    You may be overstriding and landing on your heel rather than the flatter part of your foot. Take shorter strides.

    Whilst strengthening exercises will help immensely these are really ameliorating the symptoms raher than trying to ascertain the causes.

  6. #6
    Mini Goon
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    Walking poles helped my partner massively on a trek with her dodgy knee.

  7. #7
    Ultra King Martin Carpenter's Avatar
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    They're definitely the best immediate thing - take a whole load of pressure off, especially for downhills.

    Longer term there are all sorts of exercises that might help of course. Maybe best to ask to a physio as it might be weak muscles, strong muscles that are too stiff, etc etc.

  8. #8
    Mini Goon
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    Thanks. I've purchased some poles but need to get some practise in with them.

    Will look further into supports too I think.

  9. #9
    Mini Goon
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    I'll be interested to read how the poles work for you. I had similar problems with knees, and I'm not sure if knee supports helped - they seemed to a little, but they'd move and made mye knees sweaty.

    I finally took the plunge and tried a walking pole, and haven't had problems since - I usually swap one pole between left and right.

  10. #10
    ‹bermensch Taz's Avatar
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    Poles and stretching (at home, 3x p/w), my IT bands are too tight.

  11. #11
    Widdler
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    My poles definitely help me especially on down hill bits, wouldn't be without them. I see more people using them now, not just
    'old age perishers' like me. Check out the folk doing Through Hikes in the USA.

  12. #12
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    Poles can be good if used effectively. They typically aren't...
    http://medphys.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinc...es/poles1.html is a guide with some options for getting useful work out of a set.

    I typically find poles to be a bit of a faff so carry mine until I'm doing steep stuff. Going up they make me a lot quicker, and coming down they save my knees quite a lot of bother.

    I'd thoroughly endorse the building of supporting muscles, including your quads, and of taking more weight on your quads with a bent knee as you descend (like Parky says, avoid those heel strikes with a more crouched posture, keeping weight forwards).

    I've used knee supports in the past, but I prefer muscles and poles. Not as sweaty, and the supports start to chafe a little if it's a big day.

    Pete.

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