For those of you with knee pain while riding

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For those of you with knee pain while riding

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  • Painful knees in the saddle
  • Bent knees while riding horse

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    01-09-2011, 10:30 AM
For those of you with knee pain while riding

I want to know, what have you done to ease the pain? I plan on riding more this spring summer and want to find a way to minimize the pain!
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    01-09-2011, 07:25 PM
I just rode with longer stirrups and made an effort not to overdo it until my leg was strong again and the knee pain went away. Took 3 years, but I'm glad I did it slow and steady.
    01-09-2011, 07:28 PM
You are right, I have learned that longer stirrups help. I just hope it will go away someday, I would hate to think I would have to tolerate it forever!
    01-09-2011, 07:37 PM
Do you ride English or Western?
I've been dealing with knee pain since I was a young teen, and since my injury I've been largely out of the saddle.
What I've found over the years:
- Find a good physiotherapist. A lot of knee pain is due to an imbalance in quads and hamstrings. If you can even yourself out, it can eliminate your pain. This is, in my opinion, the most important element.
- Use EZ-knee stirrup turners for western saddles, or jointed stirrups for english.
- Have an instructor go over your position, and see if there isn't something out of line or rotated.
- Stretch before and after riding, especially your illiotibial band.
- Stretch as needed in the saddle, if it's safe, or at least do some ankle rolls throughout the ride.
    01-09-2011, 08:04 PM
Do you know of any good stretching websites? Thanks for the help!
    01-09-2011, 08:09 PM
I used to have a lot of knee pain while riding because in July 2008, I tore my right MCL. It was misdiagnosed and was never fixed surgically, like it should have been. I had taught myself to walk using my hip flexor to carry the weight of my leg, rather than my quadricep. My right quad was extremely deteriorated, so my doctor sent me to a physical therapist. I only actually went to the PT center two or three times, then I was given a sheet of simple exercises to do at home that took about 15 minutes.

It helped SO much. I have since lost the sheet..but I'll google some stuff to see if I can find similar exercises you can try.
    01-09-2011, 08:12 PM
If you're riding in a western saddle, having the stirrups turned properly helps. You can either buy a saddle with them already turned, train them to do it yourself or buy a swivel. I find having them turned helps a bunch.
I do lower my stirrups some, but that can get dangerous if you're trail riding and your horse spooks sideways. The likelihood of your feet coming out of the stirrups and losing your seat is to easy if your stirrups are over long.
    01-09-2011, 08:16 PM
Thanks Guys! BTW, I ride western...trail riding mostly :)
    01-09-2011, 08:19 PM
Found some of the ones I did! Be warned: These sound really easy, but if you have a week quad, it can be a nightmare. I did these about...once a day for a few weeks. I noticed a difference in probably 2 weeks because my right pant leg was tighter around my thigh.
I found them from this website: Knee Pain Exercises

Quad Strengthening Contractions:
Sit in chair. Move forward so that you are sitting at edge of chair. Extend legs, heels to floor. Keep knees straight (or as straight as possible if you have arthritis.) Tighten thigh muscles. Hold for count of 10. Relax for count of 3. Do 10 repetitions. You can do this several times throughout the day. You can build up to 2 or 3 sets of 10 repetitions at a time.

Quad Strengthening Leg lifts:
Lie flat on back. Bend left knee at 90-degree angle, keeping foot flat on floor. Keeping the right leg straight, slowly lift it until right foot is the height of the left knee. Hold for a count of 3. Repeat 10 times. Switch sides. Work up to 10 sets of 10 over several weeks.

Safety Tip:
Leg lifts: Lifting both legs at the same time causes excessive stress on your lower back so
Only lift one leg at a time; the opposite leg should be kept slightly bent with foot on floor.

Quad Strengthening Short-Arc Leg Extensions:
Sit or lie on floor. Place a rolled up towel under your thigh for support. Keep you leg straight and raise your foot about six inches off the floor. Hold for 5 seconds. Slowly lower your foot, bending your knee. Do 10 repetitions. Switch sides. (NOTE: When I did these, my physical therapist said it's easier to take a coffee can and wrap a towel around it ((mostly for comfort)) and do this.)

One that's not on the site that I did and is ridiculously difficult (but rewarding!) for as easy as it sounds.

Sit with your back flat against a wall and your legs straight out in front of you. I had my hands flat on the ground at my sides. Take the foot you plan on lifting and turn it out at a 45 degree angle and flex it up. Then lift your entire leg about 2-3 inches off the ground and set it back down. I think I did...I want to say 3 sets of 15 of these. Maybe less.
    01-09-2011, 08:43 PM
Yay! Thank you!

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