Bushwalking -- reducing impact to the knees

Bushwalking gear and paraphernalia. Electronic gadget topics (inc. GPS, PLB, chargers) belong in the 'Techno Babble' sub-forum.
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TIP: The online Bushwalk Inventory System can help bushwalkers with a variety of bushwalk planning tasks, including: Manage which items they take bushwalking so that they do not forget anything they might need, plan meals for their walks, and automatically compile food/fuel shopping lists (lists of consumables) required to make and cook the meals for each walk. It is particularly useful for planning for groups who share food or other items, but is also useful for individual walkers.

Re: Bushwalking -- reducing impact to the knees

Postby RowanSmith » Thu 10 Jan, 2019 2:23 pm

When it comes to knee pain while hiking- there is a process which will help about 80% of hikers...

Step 1: You need to loosen certain mucles.

-Often an underlying cause of knee pain for trekkers is a lack of mobility in the muscles both above and below the knee.
-When these muscles are tight, the body compensates by allowing more movement through the knee (which not a good thing...)

Muscles that should be loosened are:

*Hips (Front and back)
* Quadricepts
* Hamstrings

*This is best done through a combination of regular foam rolling and stretching.

Step 2: you need to strengthen the stabilising muscles of the knee

- When the stabilising muscles of the knee aren't strong enough, this again allows more movement in the knee joint, making it take a lot more strain then it should!

These muscles should be strengthened:

*Glutes
*Quads (particularly the Vastus Medialis)
*Hamstrings

Step 3: Use Poles (as everyone has said already)

They 100% work - some studies have shown they can take up to 30% of the pressure off your knees when going downhill.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Bushwalking -- reducing impact to the knees

Postby RowanSmith » Fri 11 Jan, 2019 2:50 pm

bluewombat wrote:you only need strength that has a use so doing full squats is not appropriate for bushwalking, where it might be useful if you are a wicket keeper
BW


Hey Bluewombat, why do you say full squats are not appropriate for bush walking?

Strength is strength. You are simply teaching the brain to be able to utiliize more of the available muscles fibers for any given task. Unless your a very experienced trainer - keeping to simple movements like squats are probably going to give most hikers the best bang for their buck in terms of injury reduction...
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Re: Bushwalking -- reducing impact to the knees

Postby Gusto » Mon 14 Jan, 2019 6:31 am

speed_pit wrote: thought that a way to overcome the stress on elbows and knees would be a pole with built-in shock absorption. However, as was explained to me in the above thread, shock absorption poles will lessen impact on the arms, but not the knees.


I'm sorry but you have grossly misunderstood all the advice given to you in the previous thread. I think you need to be much clearer in your questioning. Your other thread was focussed on Elbow pain. You specifically were asking about poles with Shock absorbers. Walking poles reduce an enormous amount of stress from knees and I'd highly reccomend using walking poles for this purpose. But your question was specifically regarding Shock Absorbing Walking poles. As discussed in the previous thread, shock absorbing poles are uncommon and unpopular as most people don't feel the benefit of them.

The difference between shock absorbing poles compared to non shock absorbing poles is that they are meant to reduce the stress on your elbow joints. Some people like this. Most people don't care for this.


As for the now clearer question regarding reducing impact to your knees..

1) Use Walking Poles
2) Reduce Weight - from pack and your body if possible
3) See a podiatrist maybe you'll benefit from othortix
4) See a physio. They will have suggestions of stretches and exercises how to strengthen your leg muscles around your knees
5) Walk more around town whilst carrying a few water bottles to practice
6) A knee brace might help, but you are best to discuss this with a physio first
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Re: Bushwalking -- reducing impact to the knees

Postby stry » Mon 14 Jan, 2019 3:24 pm

RowanSmith wrote:
bluewombat wrote:you only need strength that has a use so doing full squats is not appropriate for bushwalking, where it might be useful if you are a wicket keeper
BW


Hey Bluewombat, why do you say full squats are not appropriate for bush walking?

Strength is strength. You are simply teaching the brain to be able to utiliize more of the available muscles fibers for any given task. Unless your a very experienced trainer - keeping to simple movements like squats are probably going to give most hikers the best bang for their buck in terms of injury reduction...

[/quote]

Dunno whether or not full squats are appropriate to bushwalking or not, BUT full squats on already dodgy knees will lead to major problems, and full squats on healthy knees will increase the chance of problems. This may not be an issue for the young and already fit - yet. :)

Gusto wrote:
speed_pit wrote: thought that a way to overcome the stress on elbows and knees would be a pole with built-in shock absorption. However, as was explained to me in the above thread, shock absorption poles will lessen impact on the arms, but not the knees.


As for the now clearer question regarding reducing impact to your knees..

1) Use Walking Poles
2) Reduce Weight - from pack and your body if possible
3) See a podiatrist maybe you'll benefit from othortix
4) See a physio. They will have suggestions of stretches and exercises how to strengthen your leg muscles around your knees
5) Walk more around town whilst carrying a few water bottles to practice
6) A knee brace might help, but you are best to discuss this with a physio first


Excellent recommendations. Every body is different and professional advice will help you toward the results you want.

The excess body weight in particular is like carrying a substantial pack 24/7. If 15kg could be removed in one action (like taking off a pack) you would be thrilled at how good it feels. Unfortunately weight loss is gradual and the benefits aren't immediately apparent, but those benefits are no less real. :)
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Re: Bushwalking -- reducing impact to the knees

Postby wildwanderer » Mon 14 Jan, 2019 10:07 pm

Stry,

Where did you hear squats on healthy knees will lead to increase chance of knee problems?
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Re: Bushwalking -- reducing impact to the knees

Postby trekker76 » Tue 15 Jan, 2019 2:51 am

Also depends how full is a full squat. Some interpret it as down to just 90 degrees in the knee and some sitting all the way down to the haunches.

I think a 'not too extreme squat' should be okay for healthy knees since since the bodyweight is still spread between two legs. More load would be on a knee during a big step uphill or downhill as at some point most of the weight is on just the one joint.
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Re: Bushwalking -- reducing impact to the knees

Postby Neo » Tue 15 Jan, 2019 9:46 am

A sports physiois is likely to prescribe lunges as one exercise. Think of it as a stable one-legged squat. In both actions, usually only bend until the knee is at 90°
Can also hold hand weights or wear a backpack if advancing, for greater resistance.
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Re: Bushwalking -- reducing impact to the knees

Postby stry » Tue 15 Jan, 2019 12:58 pm

wildwanderer wrote:Stry,

Where did you hear squats on healthy knees will lead to increase chance of knee problems?


"increase the chance" does not mean that it WILL happen. :)

The deeper the squat, the greater the load on the knee, particularly the cap. The greater the load, and the more frequently that load is applied, the greater the chance of problems. That's pretty much the way the physio explained things to me. Thinking about what pulls on what and where the forces are leads me to agree.

It's these forces and wear and tear that have led many to opt for, or be advised to try, partial squats, wall squats being a good example. Everything in between the horizontal thighs already mentioned to just below vertical.

BTW for me, a full squat is dropping on to my haunches , which I can no longer do. At least I can probably do it, but I definitely couldn't get up again without a lot of pain. :lol:
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Re: Bushwalking -- reducing impact to the knees

Postby trekker76 » Tue 15 Jan, 2019 5:38 pm

Keep in mind too a lot of the traditional warnings against squats are regarding resistance training( lifting heavy weights), not bodyweight exercises.
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Re: Bushwalking -- reducing impact to the knees

Postby cjhfield » Sun 03 Feb, 2019 10:03 am

Poles help knees if you know how to use the poles.

Lots of people only get about 20% of the possible benefit from them through poor technique.

They need to be length adjustable. You need to lengthen them a lot for steep downhills.

You need to use the wrist loops correctly. You pass your hand up through the loop and then grasp the loop and grip together - this way you can take your full body weight on the pole without using your hand muscles to hold onto the grip - the loop takes all the force. If you dont do that you overuse your forearm muscles and get "tennis elbow' = lateral epicondylitis. This is not fixed with suspension poles but by reducing grip force.

With a heavy pack down steep hills and no poles you lock up your knee each step absorbing the energy and preventing being tipped forwards. With poles you can "run" down the hill like a spider not having to worry about balance and not absorbing all that energy through the knee. It is less stressful on the joints and faster.

There is quite a bit of technique involved with using poles well.

Chris
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Re: Bushwalking -- reducing impact to the knees

Postby Neo » Sun 03 Feb, 2019 8:12 pm

Using poles I feel like a preying mantis, prowling...
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Re: Bushwalking -- reducing impact to the knees

Postby cjhfield » Sun 03 Feb, 2019 9:18 pm

Maybe there is more technique I have yet to learn.

Chris
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