T Nation

Knees Getting Worse Over the Years


I'm completely at a loss as to what to do about my knees. They have been bothering me for 5 years or so and they keep getting worse, slowly but surely. I've visited many doctors and therapists and none of them seem to be able to help. I think they are good doctors. At least one of them is excellent. But I don't make any progress at all. Everything I do either does nothing or makes it worse. What do I do?


Sorry for the lack of details. I just got back from the best doctor I’ve seen so far (I had been there before), basically devastated because it seems so hopeless, and she didn’t have much left to say. She gave me a prescription for accupunture, as a last ditch effort, and a contact so I can buy a specific kind of tape to use on my knees for a specific way she likes to tape knees. And she said an Alexander teacher might help. It’s a 1 hour and 45 minute drive each way, yeah she seems that good, just not able to help me much. Then I had therapy a bit closer to home.

Here’s what’s going on.

Occasional pain â?? There is a bit of stinging or irritation in the quadriceps just above the kneecap. Sometimes there is pain in various areas around the knee joint. This is very intermittent. Also, every once in a while as the knee is extending, for instance when climbing stairs, and the whole joint will get a big jolt of pain but it immediately subsides and I can continue walking
Quad Inactivation â?? The two parts of the quadriceps that are visible near the kneecap don’t activate properly. The load is carries much more by the rectus femoris. The two prominent muscles near the patella don’t seem to be doing any work, and don’t seem to contract normally. They remain fairly soft even when I try to contract them.
Tightness â?? The IT Band and muscles, on the side of the knee and thigh are tight. When I stick my leg out in from of me with my knee extended, they seem to carry all the load, with the muscles of the quadriceps remaining soft, or at least softer than they should be.
General awkwardness of movement and alignment â?? Nothing feels natural any more â?? standing, walking, squatting all feel abnormal. The right muscles aren’t worked when doing certain exercises. The knees visibly bend inward when standing and squatting, and it seems like there is something mechanically stopping them from lining up correctly. It seems like there could be some type of issue with the thigh and lower leg not aligning properly, like the knee joint itself is bent and/or twisted. Also, my knees just look different than they used to. The abnormality is visible.
Lots of popping and clicking the knee joint â?? Both knees pop and click a lot. Both make sounds throughout the range of motion and overtime this builds up until it pops loudly. My right knee also pops loudly when I bend it inward after I can feel that it’s ready to pop.
Arches â?? I have also been told my arches collapse.

All symptoms except for the arches, have been slowly getting worse in the four years since I first sought medical attention. I’ve done therapy, but I don’t think it has been all that intensive. I’ve consulted with Mike Robertson (you might recognize the name from TNation) and nothing seems to help.

I need a plan to get better soon. These are my goals:

Squat 315lbs
Single leg bodyweight squat
400 meter run in less than 55 seconds
100 meter run in less than 12 seconds
Be able to comfortably play sports such as racquetball and football.

Also, it would be nice if my knees looked and felt normal and didn’t make all sorts of sounds.


I am a total noob but have you assessed to see if you are lacking in hip/ankle mobility and internal hip rotation and done exercises to correct these problems? How about Vastus medialus specific exercises. Maybe you need to bring up your hamstring strength up to par to your quad strength, generally the knee is the slave to the ankle and the hip and you want your knee stability to improve while increasing mobility at the hip and ankle. I also heard good things about walking barefoot and those virbram 5 fingers even though i never had them.


Sorry to say, but if someone like Mike Robertson has actually assessed you in person and still cannot figure out a solution, then I highly doubt anyone just reading your description is going to do any better.


[quote]iwong wrote:
Sorry to say, but if someone like Mike Robertson has actually assessed you in person and still cannot figure out a solution, then I highly doubt anyone just reading your description is going to do any better.[/quote]

It wasn’t in person. It was just an online thing. I’m not really looking for someone to give me the answer. I just need to know how to find the answer.