Reduction in Knee pain

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I have been playing badminton for some 40 years which has resulted in quite severe knee pain in recent times.  Cartilage has worn away from under the knee cap and also the surface of the femoral groove, so essentially, I have `bone on bone` resulting in severe knee pain when I try to jog or do any sporting activities. Tried VMO exercises and undergone several months of treatment/manipulation from an osteopath with limited success.

To try and maintain fitness without putting strain on the knee I have tried cycling but the knee pain remains, however, I have started walking on a treadmill over the last few weeks and to increase the effort, I have set the treadmill on an incline and secondly, and probably significantly, I have worn ankle weights. I have noticed withing days, that my knee pain has reduced. I have gradually increased the weights from 1.2 kg on each leg, to 2.5kg on each leg and recently have gone up to 4kg.I am fairly convinced it is the ankle weights that have made a difference. I have set the treadmill at 3.5 miles per hour to resemble a brisk walk and walk for around 10- 15 minutes on alternate days. In case anyone is tempted, I would not recommend trying to run with ankle weights on as I am sure the extra weight will put significant strain on knee ligaments as the lower leg flicks up whilst running. 

I have researched on the internet and not found any evidence of anyone trying this approach for knee pain, so my account is a purely individual and cannot be used as proof this approach works, but i would think this is fairly safe and worth a try. If anyone does it it a go, I would be interested if they have found any benefit from this or not. Good luck.

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17 Replies

  • Posted

    Seems worth a try Jonathan, cheers 😀i went for a 7 mile walk on Monday.it was great going uphill (about 1200 feet) but was getting increasingly worse coming down.

    I was wearing a knee brace too btw

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  • Posted

    Jonathan thank you for telling us about your experience with the ankle weights, and I hope you will continue to make good progress with the. Try this too...check out Stem Cell Therapy and Platelet Rich Plasma on Google, maybe one or both of these modern therapies can help you too.

    Happy New Year! 

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    • Posted

      Hi Patrick, Thanks for the suggestions. Will have a look. Suspect these therapies do not come under the NHS or consultants will be reluctant to carry these out with the existing cut backs in NHS/public sector spending. Kind regards.
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  • Posted

    In Physical Therapy I was given increasing weight during several exercises and had good success with ankle weights.

    Marching in place with ankle weights, sitting on a chair and lifting legs straight out then down using the weights, and straight-leg lifts while laying down using ankle weights were three exercises that REALLY HELPED to build up my muscles again following my two TKRs of June and October.

    The concept is strengthening MUSCLE which is being trained to do the work instead of the grinding BONE-ON-BONE arthritic joint. My hips were hurting, but with added exercises using weights, I have MUSCLE that has been put back to work for me. A great relief for the JOINTS!

    Good work on developing YOUR special weight program! Weights really help!

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    • Posted

      Thanks Cheryly.That makes perfect sense. I had similar exerises 20 years ago following arthroscopy. The challenge for me is that I found the straight leg exercises quite boring/tedious and it takes a lot of self discipline to carry them out regularly. Walking on a treadmill with ankle weights feels like you are doing something `active`(and I do it to music/videos on a tablet) and thinking about what you are saying and analysing the walking action,there is minimal leg bending when walking on a treadmill- in fact it is not far from straight leg exercises. Your feedback is going to encourage me to carry on with the ankle weights, so thank you.

       

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  • Posted

    I had TKR 3 and a half years ago. I found ankle weights very helpful, but used them under instruction of physiotherapist.

    Sarah

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    • Posted

      Thanks Sarah. Yes, you are right about getting medical advice, particulalrly after surgery like a TKR. One could do more harm than good. Fortunately for me, structuraly, my knees are quite good according to my osteopath, but it just happens that the cartilage surfaces have worn away on both the knee cap undersurface and the femoral groove it glides along. 

      I guess the moral of this is finding exercise that is of benefit as the biggest enemy of knee pain is doing no exercise at all. Hope your knee is as good as new. Jonathan

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  • Posted

    hi jonathan yes its a great idea to use ankle weights to help with muscle strenghtening,                 for me though walking on the treadmill either flat or downhill or uphill is a no no for me unfortuneatly as im not allowed to use one ive had bi lateral and also a revision wish i could !!
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    • Posted

      Hi,

      as they say for any exercise, you need to follow medical advice, particularly as you have had several knee operations. For me, my problem is loss of cartilage and I am trying to avoid a TKR. In fact, I saw a consultant 4-5 years ago and he said I needed a knee replacement but said I should hold off as long as possible. I guess it is finding an exercise that suits you and your clinical situation. Take care.

      Jonathan

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    • Posted

      I'm in the same boat Jonathan only I'm facing another arthroscopy first.I've got 3 bikes, 2 of which are mountain bikes and the cycling feels good.

      If I do have another arthoscopy I'll take my time and not go out hill walking straightaway

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    • Posted

      Hi Larry,

      Sounds like you still have quite a wait until you have a possible arthroscopy. Assuming you have no ther underlying knee problems like knee ligament damage or meniscus tear, then In the meantime, it might be worth trying light ankle weights whilst walking. I find using a treadmill(hidden away in the shed) of keeping strict control on speed and progress.As with the usual advice, you should consult Gp, physio, before you start a new exercise. Hope it goes well and you get some relief with your knee pain.

      All the best,

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    • Posted

      I'm seeing a physio at the moment and seeing a biomechanics consultant in 2 weeks.

      Another op has been mentioned by my doctor a few times but after the last one failed I'm not too keen.

      How did your arthroscopy go and what was your recovery like ??

      I was up and walking straight away and was expecting to be running but I got that wromg

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    • Posted

      hold off as long as you can would also be my advise .my husbands knee really dose need to be done but seeing me go through so much it has put him off ,he is holding off his leg is slightly bowing but he is not in severe pain he cannot straighten it even when he got some cartilage removed 3yrs ago during the op they tried to straighten it but it would not budge .he will have to do it someday as the bow may get worse and thats not good because he could lose more bone ,until then he is holding on to it and i agree with him as there is no going back
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    • Posted

      Hi Larry,

      I have had two arthroscopies, both over 20 years ago. Both entailed a washout, trimming of rough/loose cartlage. The problem I have now is no underlying cartilage, so another arthroscopy would be of no benefit. In fact, I have heard that some research suggests arthtroscopies for minor clearing/tyding of the knee joint is less beneficial than physiotherapy/exercises. I wonder if you want to ask the physio/or Biomechanics consultant about the possibility of steady walking with ankle weights. I think that walking with ankle weights is better on a treadmill than walking in the outdoors as there is control and less likey to have strain put on the joints. All the best.

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    • Posted

      Totally agree. Hold off as long as possibly and try to find exercises that suit yourselves and enable to strenthen muscles around the joints. Walking is the best exercise, but if you did consider small ankle weights, I would check first with your GP or orthopaedic consultant. All the best.
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