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7/21/2016 11:48 am  #1

Knee Pain

As I get older the pain I get when getting up off my knees when kneeling in my canoe is barely bearable.  Tendon, cartilage, ligament, meniscus damage have been ruled out.  Arthritis is now being considered.  The pain seems to be linked to load bearing the knee while it's hyper flexed. Cycling also aggravates it but less so. Has anyone had a similar experience?   What have you found helpful?  


7/21/2016 12:59 pm  #2

Re: Knee Pain

Everyone can be different BUT ....

It's fairly common for lower back issues to have symptoms that include radiating pain down the legs, including the knees and at times all the way to the foot. Sciatica is one variation as the pinched nerve serves the whole leg. In my case it was the Physiotherapist who finally figured it out - on the first visit of course. That was after years of asking the Dr. for help. Now a sports medicine Dr probably would have gotten it right too, but the family Dr not so much. 

Since it was diagnosed properly, I have had pretty good success managing it in the lower back. That includes trying to get to the gym regularly to build strength - particularly in core muscles to better support the lower back. I also find that a Deep Cold patch in the right spot on the lower back works really well. Of course applying the same patches to the knees and legs didn't do much because that wasn't where the inflammation actually was. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen also get used - sometimes together - but much less that I used to now that I know where the problem really is. 

Standing up after an extended period kneeling in the canoe can still hurt and I do tend to save the kneeling for when the conditions require it. That said, I'd still say that I'm better off today than I was 10 years ago. 


7/21/2016 1:18 pm  #3

Re: Knee Pain

As someone who has had both herniated disc 'leg pain' and arthritic knee pain, I can agree to them being two distinct and separate conditions. Being on arthritis meds sure helps with the arthritic feet, knees and hips. Prior to getting on the prescribed meds, I would apply a topical pain cream to my knees about 5 minutes before coming ashore. That gave it enough time to penetrate before I got out of the canoe.


7/21/2016 4:04 pm  #4

Re: Knee Pain

Well yes similar. Went for xrays and was diagnosed with severe arthritis in both knees and both hips.
and back
Only one knee really gives me pain and hips become stiff after sleeping ( inactivitiy) Canoeing is ok on them
Not so right knee for kneeling long. X ray showed bone on bone
Everyone is different. I met a lot of kneeling canoers who recently had total knee replacements and they all said do not put it off. It does not get better and the more you do physio you can certainly kneel
My surgery is in Oct.

There are different kinds of meds for arthritis. None work for me. Its the worse at night or when walking.  My right leg can now not straighten and its an inch shorter than the left. That will for sure screw up my back and has given me foot pain.

Tests are most helpful as is a specialist.  Forum answers arent going to help as there a jillion causes of knee pain.


7/26/2016 11:48 pm  #5

Re: Knee Pain

I have many of the same issues and I know so many other people who have the same challenges with knees, legs, hips, feet etc,. What I find sad, is they just complain about their pain, nursing their infermities, while all you AA 'ers are out there making life count. Cheers to all of you for lovin' every moment and doing all you can until you can't anymore.


"Anyone can make love in a canoe, it's a Canadian who knows enough to take out the centre thwart!        Bahahaha!
                                                                      - Philip Chester

7/27/2016 8:59 am  #6

Re: Knee Pain

I have found stabilizing and strengthening exercises have been extremely effective for much of my knee pain.  I can now walk up stairs with no pain and down short steps.  The one I can not shake is the band of pain above both knees coming up off a kneel. I now have a solo boat which I usually don't kneel in. This has been great.  However, when I do whitewater I like to kneel.  

Many sports have well known classic injuries but information on lower body strains or injuries related to canoeing is difficult to find.  So far my physio and family doc haven't figured it out.  Posting on a canoeing forum can help establish if this is something many canoeist experience.   Their outcomes can help inform conversation when speaking with health professionals not familiar with our sport.  

I can't imagine ever not being out in the wild in some capacity.  I want to make sure I keep as fit and injury free as my aging body will allow.  



     Thread Starter

4/13/2017 5:58 am  #7

Re: Knee Pain

Not being YOUNG these days, I too experience some minor knee pain when tripping.  The last two years I have torn something around my left knee cap (which 25 years ago I broke 95%) and it makes my knee swell up to twice its normal size and basically incapacitates me for two days.  This happened to me two years ago on Lake Traverse and a party beside me helped me back to my car.  The year before that, it happened again when I was on Pen Lake.  Again, after two days rest I was fine.  This has happened to me about 12 times since I broke my left knee cap 95%.

​Besides this I always have a problem with my LEFT LEG falling asleep when I am kneeling in the canoe or sitting on the seat for long periods of time.  It is very SILLY when I reach land and cannot walk for close to a minute or so and hoping no one is around to see me.

Last edited by boknows (4/13/2017 5:59 am)


4/14/2017 12:37 pm  #8

Re: Knee Pain

Hey Bo! I sympathize. I posted in this thread back in July of last year. I sure sounded smug about having my arthritis under control,eh?

Well, a few weeks ago my left knee flared-up royally! I had occasion to compare notes with a neighbour .. the same 69 years of age with arthritis in both knees! His comment is echoing in my ears like a dark brooding song, "Getting old isn't linear." My unspoken thought back to him was, "No it's like potholes in the road. A bad one can take out your suspension."

I'd made a couple of canoe trip reservations before the flare-up. I may be changing them into "paddle-in basecamping" if the knee doesn't settle down.

Please excuse the whining!


4/16/2017 7:16 am  #9

Re: Knee Pain


My arthritis comes and goes,  but I have it under control now with medication I am on.  Compared to how I felt last year and the knee pain I was enduring, this year I am 100% healthy just waiting for the White Partridge Express to flex its muscles and take me to the glory land and GLORY BAY on White Partridge Lake.


5/02/2017 10:34 pm  #10

Re: Knee Pain

Scruff wrote:

I have found stabilizing and strengthening exercises have been extremely effective for much of my knee pain. ...


My knees have plenty of damage and early onset arthritis.and I really notice a negative impact if I go a week without doing physio type exercises.

And if you kneel while canoeing you are probably causing some stretch that you body isn't prepared for.

Last edited by keg (5/02/2017 10:35 pm)


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