Osteoarthritis of the Knee and Cycling

UFCmark
UFCmark Member Posts: 7
edited 9. Mar 2019, 03:17 in Living with arthritis
Hi All

I feel it's time I shared this in the hope it could help others. My name is Mark, I'm 53 years old and was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis in the left knee approximately 2 years ago, after experiencing some discomfort and restricted movement. The following 18 months or so saw a marked deterioration to the point where I was either limping badly or barely able to walk a few yards. My physiotherapist had provided an exercise regime which I diligently adhered to but it had no real effect. My consultant had previously advised cycling but i had nowhere to keep a bike.

Then I moved house, two and a half miles from work. With room to spare, and a motive, I bought the bike. I had it modified by moving the pedal 40mm down the crankshaft, just enough to enable my knee to rotate.

6 months on and the result is astounding. Sleepless nights are no more, I feel very little pain, and my limp is occasional and light. I understand it will not be for everyone but I can't recommend cycling enough. If you're suffering and but are able to rotate your knee enough, you have to give cycling a try. I can honestly say it has transformed my life.

All the best,

Mark

Comments

  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,085
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Mark and welcome to the Versus Arthritis forums from the moderation team.

    I am very sorry to hear about your diagnosis of Osteoarthritis of the knee and the resulting pain and limited mobility you experienced. I read that you tried conventional treatments such as physiotherapy with no noticeable improvement.

    What an excellent outcome you have had for your pain and mobility from cycling! Exercise is something which is absolutely recommended for those who have the condition:

    https://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/news/general-news/2011/march/importance-of-exercise-for-knees.aspx

    Thank you for sharing your story on here and long may your results last for you.

    Best wishes

    Ellen.
  • UFCmark
    UFCmark Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Ellen

    Thanks for your reply and your best wishes. I thought about posting a couple of months back but now feel, after 6 months, I can genuinely share this in the knowledge that cycling has been the prime catalyst in the improvement of my condition.

    Please feel free to share the above post anywhere. I know how low I became as the condition worsened, with no resolution in site no matter how we treated it. If this helps just one other person it'll be worthwhile.

    Very best regards

    Mark
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,248
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Mark, that's great news! Cycling and swimming have long been recommended for knee OA as the body's weight is supported by either saddle or water but it's lovely to hear how well it's working for you.

    I'm sure you'll have been told that the value of exercise is that it keeps the muscles surrounding a joint strong and therefore supporting that joint well. This means less pain and slower deterioration. A recent x-ray showed that my husband has quite bad OA in a hip but, thanks to walking, golfing and gardening, he keeps strong and not needing any medication for it.

    Well done you and thanks very much for taking the time to share the good news. Long may it continue.

    Mods, would it be worth moving this thread to the Living With Arthritis forum where more people will see it?
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,085
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Mark I can move this thread onto the Living with Arthritis forum where more people are likely to see it if you'd like?

    Or you can cut and paste your initial post over and start a new thread over there yourself, if you'd prefer.

    People do like to welcome new people in 'Say Hello' but it's up to you :)

    Let me know if you need my help!

    Ellen
  • UFCmark
    UFCmark Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Ellen

    Please feel free to move it if you feel it better suited and advantageous to others.

    Best regards

    Mark
  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,085
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Here it is Mark safe and sound :)

    Ellen
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am so pleased for you - keep up the good work! I used to love cycling but those days are long gone, never mind. In the early days of OA it does help to do the right kind of exercise and cycling fits into that category. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • Miffed
    Miffed Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Mark,

    Thanks so much for sharing this with everybody.

    I am still recovering from a knee replacement operation and awaiting a hip replacement. Meanwhile, the hip pain continues relentlessly and I don't seem to be responding to the physiotherapist's recommended exercises. If anything, my condition is worsening.

    Having read your post, I am going to get back on my exercise bike (if I can) and see if I can reap the same benefits as you did!

    All the best!
  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,085
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Miffed
    welcome to the community, sorry to hear that your hip is causing you so much pain. How is the knee replacement recovery going?
    Keeping ontop of pain can prove to be incredible difficult at times, I hope that getting back on your exercise bike helps. We do have a section about pain on our website that you might find useful here https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/managing-symptoms/managing-your-pain/
    Let us know how you get on
    Best Wishes
    Sharon
  • Miffed
    Miffed Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Sharon,

    Thanks for the welcome and the useful link about pain.

    As far as I can tell, the recovery from my knee replacement is going well but is totally overshadowed by the horrendous pain from the hip that is masking any knee improvements. Hopefully, this will eventually be sorted by a hip replacement. Such was the severity of the arthritis in both joints that the surgeon initially didn't know which one to operate on first!

    I have been a visitor to your site for a number of months and just wanted to say thank you for all the help and advice you give. Although I've had arthritis for years, it is only relatively recently that I did anything serious about it and your website and its contributors have been a wonderful support in dealing with this unwelcome condition.
  • UFCmark
    UFCmark Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi All

    Thanks for all the good wishes here. I extend my best regards in return.

    Good luck with your hip replacement Miffed. Having (thankfully) not thus far had any problems with my hips, I'm unsure of the effect (good or bad) cycling would have. Once it's complete though, cycling will definitely help strengthen the knee and the leg in general.

    I've attached a photo of the modification I had done on the crankshaft, in order to rotate my leg on the peddles. Surprisingly, the 40mm reduction on one side is imperceptible. Come spring I will return the pedal to the normal position, with the intention of extending the knee fully. Fingers crossed.



    Very best regards

    Mark
  • 40withKneePain
    40withKneePain Member Posts: 25
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This is fabulous news. I am so so happy for you.
    I think I might go and buy my bike today to help with my knee movement.

    Thank you for sharing!!

    And I wish you continues success!
  • Tyjen
    Tyjen Member Posts: 14
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I bought one of those portable cycle exercise machines where you can sit on a chair and peddle away, what a disaster that was I was unable to put my foot in the pedal straps!! I soon gave up on that idea. Cant get an exercise bike as its impossible for me to lift my leg over. I cant even get into a car as my knees wont bend enough to get through the door! :(
    I am from another planet, but its ok, they know me there.
  • 40withKneePain
    40withKneePain Member Posts: 25
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    4 days into cycling and I have to stay the muscles have started building. This is great. My knee is still bent, however I know the strain is less than it was.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That's terrific news, 40KP, I am very pleased for you. It does not take long for our muscles to strengthen and they will better support the joint. Keep up the good work! DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • UFCmark
    UFCmark Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This is excellent progress 40KP. Keep it going, cycling will never make it perfect but it can make the world of difference. And has other health benefits too.
  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,427
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    After a lifetime of cycling my lightweight 21 speed bike had to go and an electric bike has taken its place, I can go much further without tiring unduly. As a result I have used it more but alas it won’t rebuild arthritic joints just help me to be fitter whilst having Arther around. Nicer than using the car as well.

    Good luck with your cycling.🚴🏻‍♂️