I was in two minds about posting this. I guess I figured that people wouldn’t be interested in the state of my knees.
But then I realised – this is fairly relevant to anyone heading out into the bush. Especially when I noticed on a recent MSC post about what people were looking forward to most this season was essentially getting their health/injuries sorted and getting back out into the bush.
I have always had tight muscles, particularly in the legs. Always had relatively strong muscles there, but they have always been tight, and the knees have always popped.
I did a lot of martial arts as a kid and nothing challenges the knees like sitting in Seiza for long periods of time. I would have sessions where you would get up and nearly fall over again because the knees has locked up. Bit of a kick out, stretch them, and away you went.
When I started getting back into tramping, as you do, I packed heavy. I still do I guess – because I like to carry around a full sized SLR and extra lenses, my pack easily gets up over 20kg for an overnighter. My sleeping, shelter and cooking gear is getting lighter and lighter, but the 5d MK III still weights nearly 950 grams, and that is the body only. Think lenses, tripod, additional electronics – it soon adds up.
Anyhow, I noticed that I was starting to get a bit of pain in my right knee after being out for 3 to 4 hours – especially if there was a lot of downhill involved. It was very progressive – I walked on it, it got sore, I backed off, it would slowly go away.
After one particularly challenging trip, I nearly hobbled most of the way home, and was essentially that evening. Next day, little sore, but generally sorted. I rested up, did more stretches, ended up going regularly to a massage therapist to try and relax the legs up a bit.
Late last year, after a few more sessions out tramping, and the same issue with the knee, I decided to head off the the doctor. A quick physical examination showed no major issues with the tendons, so I was booked in for an X-Ray and Ultrasound to see if we could identify the issue that way.
Still no issues identified. I don’t seem to have any bone spurs, there is a little fluid noted on the knee – but not enough that I should be experiencing the kind of issues I am getting. So next step is a MRI.
Hopefully, it’s something I can get sorted without having to get too invasive – I am going to read up a bit more on supplements that might just help with the operation of my joints, and its a timely reminder to get back into my daily stretches and mobility exercises.
Obviously, knee pain is going to effect my tramping, quite a bit – so I am really hoping we can sort it soon.