Knackered (rider!) knee - riding exercise suggestions please?

Tobiano

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hi there

I had a cartilage op on my knee in January. The knee has not been very good or strong since I ruptured my cruciate ligament in 2009 and went again in Dec though this time it was just the cartilage. Despite doing physio since February it is quite painful when riding, particularly in rising trot or when taking a forward seat in canter.

I am pretty sure it would be better if I had stronger inner thighs / quads. The physio has given me exercises but they haven't worked so far.

Any suggestions from you lovely people please, what I can do off the horse to strengthen my knee / muscles so as to reduce the pain? had to take a double dose of ibuprofen last time!
 

Angelagain

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Have you tried different stirrups? A friend has arthritis in her knee and flexi stirrups help her a lot.
 

wren123

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My sympathies and all the best for your recovery!

Now this is not a ridden exercise but this is the exercise I have found most effective for building my VMO muscle (very important muscle to stabilize your knee!). So sit in an dining type chair with your thigh parallel to the ground and your lower leg on the ground with a 90 degree angle at your knee. Then without moving anything push the weight into your heel and, at the same time tense your muscles as if pushing your knee forward, you should feel the lower part of your inner quad activate. Hold this as long as you can, then work on getting up keeping that VMO muscle activated, also straightening the leg again keeping that VMO muscle activated. When my knee was at its most painful this was the only exercise I could do.

I assume your physio has said whatever you do do not exercise your knee if it is swollen, you will do more harm than good.

Also not so much for the riding but generally I have really had to work on my glutes because they affect my knee and let it fall in. My physio says the weak glutes are very much related to bad knees, and if I don't build them up as well as the muscle in my knee then I will continue to have problems.
 
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ozpoz

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Sometimes rest is the best cure - and flexi stirrups make such a difference for joint problems.
Have you seen a sports physio? Specialized,personal advice is well worth it.
 

Tobiano

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Thank you! I already use Sprenger Bow Balance stirrups but i will have a google to see if there are any others that might help. I even checked when riding last week whether i had the stirrups on the wrong side and was rather disappointed to see they were on the correct side so no easy fix there!

Thanks for the suggestion of a sports physio too. My physio is great but she doesn't know much about riding and I am not sure my descriptions are very helpful! My horse physio is also qualified to treat humans so I may ask her if she can give me a session too when she comes to see the horses.

Funnily enough I find i have less pain in a lesson when working without stirrups so I guess if I had some more of those i might also strengthen the right bits.

Thanks for the very helpful suggestions so far! :)
 

Sprout

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Fascinating thread - I suffer too so will be trying the exercise described by a Wren 123.
I use flexi stirrups, and do what I can with exercises/careful gym sessions, but riding, particularly rising trot and forward canter are unbearably painful.
Hope you can find a way to strengthen and ease your pain.
 

Tobiano

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1 August 2010
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4,236
Location
Norfolk
Fascinating thread - I suffer too so will be trying the exercise described by a Wren 123.
I use flexi stirrups, and do what I can with exercises/careful gym sessions, but riding, particularly rising trot and forward canter are unbearably painful.
Hope you can find a way to strengthen and ease your pain.
You too Sprout! Lets PM if either of us finds a good solution! :)
 
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