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Anyone else with knee problems?

I lost a ton of weight a few years back and was a running machine in the best shape of my life. Unfortunately I started having some bad knee problems and had to stop running and switched to the elliptical machine. Last summer I wasn't able to continue the elliptical because of knee pain, and now I can barely even do yoga without them hurting.

I'm going to set an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon and finally get this pain taken care of (which I'm assuming will involve surgery), but until then I was wondering if any of you had recommendations for exercises I could do that are effective but won't kill my knees. I can't do lunges or squats or anything high-impact, but I'd still like to try to tone as much as I can while I'm trying to lose weight.

I'm hoping that by the end of this year my knees will be fixed and I'll be back to a regular exercise routine. It's so hard when you want to work out and can't!


  • Kagard11
    Kagard11 Posts: 396 Member
    Maybe some light weight kettle bell exercises that you only move from the waist up? Exercising in a pool is also great, high resistance moving your body through the water, but easy on the joints! Hope this helps!
  • squirtgunsablzn
    i have have knee issues, strongly recommend stationary cycling and swimming.
  • stevenxbaker
    I have had quite a bit of knee trouble. Recently I had an arthroscope which cleaned out loose bone and other bits and pieces. My knee was better but still not 100%. I was encouraged to visit an osteopath who worked on the muscles surrounding the knee, thigh and upper thigh because he felt that I had been compensating my good leg for the bad leg. In reality I was not walking properly and was doing damage to the leg that had been operated on. After 3 visits, my knee felt so much better and 5 months down the track I am back to normal.

    If your knee is causing grief, visit your specialist and get an opinion.

    These days there are some very good tools available for when you have a knee injury and can't walk properly. For a full review -
  • Bocch
    Bocch Posts: 191 Member
    I have knee problems due to old football injuries. I have had 3 surgeries.
    1) Unless you had an accident that caused an injury why do you think you need surgery?
    2) If you did not have an accident, fall or bad twist of the knee like you see in a football game, I would think tendonitis.
    3) Tendonitis is not easy to get rid of and you do not need surgery.
    Best thing to do for tendonitis is rest. You probably need a lot of rest.
    If you have your cartilages intact, you might want to see about Glucosomin-Chondroitin Sulfate. that supplement takes a bit to work. AND it does work contrary to some doctors.

    Now after your rest period, the two recommended exercises are cycling and swimming.Naturally you would need to keep the cycling in easy gearing or you might have to swim without kicking too much. What you are actually looking for is low impact exercises for that knee joint. You might need to consider not running that marathon. however you might still be able to ride in the Tour de France if you take up cycling!
  • dfquigley
    dfquigley Posts: 186
    With that much pain I'd shy away from anything that uses the knee, even cycling.

    Unfortunately I'd stick mostly to the pool, and doing core/upper body weights.

    You'd be surprised at the cardio you can get if you keep switching muscle groups without rest on a weight session though!
  • lizsmith1976
    lizsmith1976 Posts: 497 Member
    I wouldn't start by assuming surgery! Start with an osteopath and a physical therapist! A surprising number of knee issues, especially for runners, is really a problem with the IT band (runs from hip down side of thigh and attaches to knee, but rubs over and over and over knee when in motion). Unless serious, it is fixable usually with proper stretching and icing before, during, and after running. Go see a doctor and get recommendations on who to see, preferably quickly. Not being able to run stinks!
  • nanc94
    nanc94 Posts: 141 Member
    i have knee problems also and progressivly getting worse. I have the same type of symptoms as you impact workouts, kneeling and squatting. Ive found using a stationary bike helps, but still puts some strain on my knee. My Ortho Dr also recommended using a knee brace .....also stated that even though I cant do vigourous cardio workouts...doing alternative excercises such as weight training also helps with burning calories.
  • laurensgettingfit
    laurensgettingfit Posts: 41 Member
    I'm in so much pain with one knee and it's only been a month. I used to do a lot of exercise but stopped when I started full time work contract lasting 9 weeks as it was quite physical so I didn't really need to. Ironically the week before I finished work my occasional knee pains jacked up a few notches on the pain scale and I couldn't work my last week as the pain was unbearable. First dr said torn meniscus but second dr said there was no significant injury that I can remember so he thinks burstitis and anterior knee pain. It is sooooooo depressing not being able to get out there and exercise when I really want to. I have always been active and find it very hard to sit still. Even grocery shopping is painful and I can't walk on anything sloped. I am trying to rest but it is hard when I am a naturally restless person (who loves to eat!). So I'm not working and have been doing a lot of eating and gone oh crap gained 3kg when I really should be losing weight better get back on MFP and start tracking again. So glad to see your post and know I'm not alone although that really sucks as I know how painful it is.
  • georgina1970
    georgina1970 Posts: 333 Member
    Hi, I originally injured my knee 20yrs ago, with recurrent injuries since then. Have seen Orthopaedic Specialists many times, and did eventually have surgery, but using an Exercycle post injury, before and after surgery was always recommended . i was advised to start gently, and gradually build up time first, then increase resistance to build strength in the muscles supporting your knee. Good luck!
  • tpt1950
    tpt1950 Posts: 292 Member
    I was diagnosed with effusion of the knee after I started running on pavement. Previously was running on composite tracks with no knee proglems what-so-ever. The impact on pavement caused my knee to collect water. Dr. recommended running with a knee brace, but that would not correct the problem and that it would eventually get worse if I kept running. Dr. said the elliptical is the most like running and I do use stationary bike as well, with no recurrence of problems. I would suggest you get an ortho to see what's going on with you before you do any exercise at all so as not to make it worse. Good luck.
  • mitzi1235
    mitzi1235 Posts: 17 Member
    I think you are smart going to an orthopedist. You need to find out what is causing it first. Don't be disappointed, you have years ahead to exercise and you will be doing things eventually. My back of knee pain turned out to be a Baker's Cyst which I ruptured. It caused pain all down my lower leg. The most helpful thing (after I had a DVT test to make sure that I now did not have deep vein thrombosis) was to get compression stockings that go up to the thigh. I got those from CVS pharmacy. They run about $45 but they were worth it and I wore one day and night and followed instructions for how to put them on, etc. They made all the difference between being able to walk and not walk and stand comfortably. Check with your doc to see if these will help. My leg had swelling and bruising from the knee down and is now significantly better. I do hand weights and whatever does not cause jarring to my knee at this stage. I hope to get back to aerobics and vigorous exercise.
  • Sycoholic
    Sycoholic Posts: 282 Member
    Swimming. It's awesome conditioning. I'm in pretty decent shape and have a good run time, but swimming.... man, it kicks my butt. No impact, great cardio, and good strengh conditioning too.
  • tiff8208
    I have knee pain all the time due to early osteoarthritis and issues with my knee caps, IT Band & tendonitis, all before the age of 30 :o( I work out with a personal trainer 3 times a week & they are so amazing with giving me exercises that challenge me but don't hurt my knees.
    Band walks, using the elastic band around the ankles and walking sideways, works your hips. Deadlifts, Glute Bridges, I'm not able to do regular squats or lunges, but I can do squats with the TRX and those don't hurt at all! I also walk backwards on the treadmill, I thought she was crazy when she told me to walk backwards, but it is great for your butt an doesn't hurt at all. We also do a modified version of a mountain climber, and just slowly bring one knee in towards my chest at a time. I can do these on days I have no pain, so maybe not best if you have pain. Of course there are a ton more and I can't think of them now! I have to ice and foam roll a lot and its not convenient, but it helps. Good luck!!
  • Idrum23
    Hey guys! my name is Amber and im currently working on my second semester in college. My knee injury occurred in my senior game of varsity soccer. Had to have some tests ran and it ended up resulting in a torn meniscus and pulled acl. Its been about a year since the incident. I have not had surgery or physical therapy due to certain reasons, so i am kind of doing this whole exercising blindly. I have never had problems with my knee before so this is all new to me and my body. Ive been mostly on the bike in the gym and i do some hiking with my boyfriend but unfortunately im still having some significant pains. Feel free to add me i just made my account today and really need some advice on how to change up my exercise routines!
  • cjgsmg
    cjgsmg Posts: 131 Member
    I injured my knee 15 years ago and had tons of knee pain. I re-injured it a few times and really never had the pain go away. About 7 years ago I was tired of the constant pain so I went to a orthopedic surgeon. He told me I didn't need surgery but gave me exercises to do at home to strengthen my thigh muscles. The pain has completely gone away and as long as I only run every other day, I am completely pain and injury free.

    Since that time my brother has become a physical therapist and he is who I turn to first when we have a problem. I am a believer in trying physical therapy before surgery.
  • pattycakes10117
    pattycakes10117 Posts: 55 Member
    I have tender knees. Dr. advised no tread mill. Worst thing for knees. I have a reculbant bike....whick is DORMANT at this time. I am sure it has been missing me.
    I also take Osteo-Bi-Flex...twice a day. It helps so much
    I also sleep with a soft pillow between my knees or under my knees. That imporved my knees 60%. My legs do not like laying straight all night.
    If I do to much of anything my knees and legs hurt so I am apprehensive to start any exercise program.
    Good Luck to you.