Joint supplements work for your old knees? Stay home?

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hikerduane
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Joint supplements work for your old knees? Stay home?

Post by hikerduane » Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:22 am

Is there a thread I can read if one is available about knee problems when sleeping when out, supplements work? I thought maybe just using my torso length pad kinda torqued my knees since they had no support past my thighs, but even with a full length pad my knees hurts on the inner side about half way thru the night and with these long nights my knees take turns hurting depending on which side I'm on. Help? The cold nights are getting harder to take, been out twice in temps only 17 to 18 degrees this Fall and Winter, feels colder. Hang up my pack?
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Re: Joint supplements work for your old knees? Stay home?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:20 pm

I gave up serious winter backpacking years ago. And I never really loved winter anyway. Just cannot tolerate the long dark nights and cold. Lucky, here in California we do not have to. I now "winter" backpack on the coast or we travel to the southwest in our trailer. Also do lots of day-hiking instead of backpacking.

Maybe you just need to keep your legs warmer. Down pants inside the sleeping bag? Those chemical hand warmers put on knees? Hot water bottle? Maybe it is caused by stress on knees due to walking in snow, snowshoeing or skiing? A couple of Advil before bed always help me. Slug of whiskey before bed? Smoke a joint? Whatever works.

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Re: Joint supplements work for your old knees? Stay home?

Post by bobby49 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:37 pm

I used to have knee problems following knee surgeries. I found that I had fewer problems by keeping my knees warmer. So, I use medium synthetic tights and sometimes I put kneepads over that. Then I wear wool trousers over that. In some cases, then rain pants go on over that.

One trick is to use every spare piece of clothing to support your body on the sleeping pad.

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Re: Joint supplements work for your old knees? Stay home?

Post by maverick » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:48 pm

Hi Duane,

Have you injured your knee/s previously? Do they hurt when you sleep at home in your bed?
Sometimes improper knee alignment when walking or even when getting up from a chair on a daily basis, with your knees caving inwards relative to the proper knee/toe alignment, may be causing an overuse injury, which is then irritated by your side sleep position.
Have you tried placing a pad/pillow between you knees, you will need to experiment with sizes, one size doesn't fit all.
Curcumin, Glucosamine, Omega-3 (fish oil, fatty fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds), and green tea.
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Re: Joint supplements work for your old knees? Stay home?

Post by hikerduane » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:07 pm

Sometimes my knee(s) will ache on a multi day bp trip, but that goes away the next day. I've thought maybe a pillow or down gear between my knees might help. Sometimes my shoulders hurt also when sleeping on the ground. I usually sleep pain free at home. Will give some supplements a try. Thank you. Longer days I can stay up to 9 or so, up at 5 or 6 depending, so to bed by 7 or 8 in the winter, up at 7 makes a long night.
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Re: Joint supplements work for your old knees? Stay home?

Post by maverick » Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:13 pm

Sometimes my shoulders hurt also when sleeping on the ground.
You may consider a thicker pad or carry a closed cell pad under your air pad for added cushioning.
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: Joint supplements work for your old knees? Stay home?

Post by bobby49 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:47 pm

If you are having sore knees and shoulders, first you want to determine whether the problem is caused from bones and cartilage, or whether it is from sore muscles above or below the joint.

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Re: Joint supplements work for your old knees? Stay home?

Post by mrphil » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:26 am

I've got to agree with Mav on this one. The way you describe it with a torso-length pad and the pain being dependent on which side you're on causing the problems is all about torquing your knee. What's the thickness of your pad, an inch and half, two inches? For a joint that's not really designed for much lateral movement, that's a lot. You're just throwing them right out of alignment and stressing the joints/ligaments with a drop like that. They don't get to relax and recover in a natural position. You might find that jackets or other clothing under/between them is the magic solution overall, but the place to start is a full-length pad.

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Re: Joint supplements work for your old knees? Stay home?

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:56 am

You need to determine if the knee pain is caused by the day's activities (including being cold), or if the pain is due to your sleep system. That you do not have the pain at home when sleeping, says little because both your activities and sleeping system are different when at home. Here is a little experiment:

Sleep on your floor at home, on a day you do not hike, with your backpack gear and see what your knees feel like.

Then do the same at home, on a day you do not hike, but outside in the cold (same cold as you would get in winter where you backpack), and see what that is like.

Then repeat these and hike a lot during the day. You may be able to glean some information from this experiment.

If your knees hurt in each case, then experiment at home with different thickness, lengths, and placement of under layers. If nothing helps then buying an expensive full length thick pad may not be worth it.

I assume you are a side sleeper. Have you tried to sleep on your back?

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Re: Joint supplements work for your old knees? Stay home?

Post by freestone » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:29 am

I assume your knees hurt only at night, you have no history of knee issues and only one knee depending on what side you are lying on. The inner knee joint (medial side) has poorer blood circulation that the other side (lateral side) so the medial side is more prone to problems such as arthritis and meniscal tears. It could be that lying on your side for a period of time is cutting down the blood flow to that area thus causing the discomforting when you switch sides, the condition does as well.
I have had a long history of knee issues and have had better luck with physical therapy than supplements. I would suggest seeing and orthopedic doctor that you trust before hanging up the pack!
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