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Monday, March 09, 2009

I was wondering if you could reccomend a good brand of knee brace so I can walk the Trailwalker?

Hi Gary

I am hoping you can help me. I am walking the Oxfam Trailwalker in 4 weeks (100km in 24 hours), and after a few training walks I believe I am going to need some knee braces to be able to get through as both knees start to ache on the outsise, inside and back at about 30km or 5 hours.
I don't want one that will roll up or down and think I need one that has the side supports, apart from that, I am at a loss, there are so many out there, I was wondering if you could reccomend a good brand or product.

Gary responds:
Jess, without a healthy, mobile pair of knees life can be miserable. I ask you this:
"How long do you intend to live and how many of those years do you wish to spend laid up in a wheelchair?".

While there have been great advances in knee replacement surgery, there is still nothing quite like the real ones. And all surgery has risks and a number of these go horribly wrong.

The point is this Jess: Treasure and care for your knees just as you would your children. They are irreplaceable.

Please have a good read of the many articles on this site about joint, muscle and knee pain and put in place the recommendations that appear to be most related to your pain. This will include some tissue salts, glucosamine and chondroitin and weekly deep tissue massage. Have a look at my e-Book on training for running or walking a marathon and be guided by the training advice.

Knee Braces
I can not recommend any braces that may be suitable for the level of support you are looking for. If you need that level of support then you shoudl not be doing the Oxfam 24hr. It is just far too much for your knees if they are hurting as much as they are.

However, I do think you would benefit by wearing a pair of quality elastic knee supports as of now. Here is the link to one of the best brands. This design can reduce swelling, helps the kneecap track straight and does give a little stability without restriciting movement. Whether you do the Oxfam or not, you need to get your knees into better shape and these will be part of the recovery.

Why not give this year a miss and start training as of today for the 2010 Trailwalker?
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