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Bicycle Rides For Knee Rehab

by Jennifer Burns
(Northglenn, Colorado)

What did you do exactly? I rode a bicycle after being diagnosed with chondromalacia patella. (Chondromalacia patella causes softening and degeneration of the cartilage under the kneecap -- Editor.)

When was it? It was 1998 or 1999 in junior high school.

How old were you? I was 12 or 13 give or take.

Where did you find the workout? It was recommended by my physical therapist after we were done with our sessions. He wanted me to keep up strengthening my knees so they wouldn't get worse faster.

How long did it take? They wanted to ride as much as possible but basically said to try riding half a mile to 1 mile a few times a week.

Were you in good shape at the time? I was in average shape at the time; I've always had weak knees and asthma but other than that yeah.

What made it difficult? My asthma made it hard for me to ride my bike very long and I wasn't fond of the pain in my knees. So I didn't ride as much as I should have.

Did it help you physically? After some time I did feel my knees getting stronger. I could walk, run and ride longer than when I started but the pain was still there.

Did it help you mentally? Not really. I didn't like the pain and I eventually just gave up riding the bike altogether and stuck to walking and running.

Was there a coach involved? I only had a limited number of sessions with the physical therapist so he just gave me a list of exercises to work with when those were over.

Were you working out with others? After my sessions with the therapist, I continued by myself.

Was it a one time workout? It was supposed to be a long term exercise to keep up the strength in my knees. I was supposed to do it a few times a week.

Were you able to finish? At first I would only make it a couple blocks every few days and then worked up to a mile every couple of days.

Were you sore afterward? My knees always hurt the worst but I also had thigh and calf aches a lot.

Did it make you stronger? Towards the end, yes. I almost wish I'd have kept it up all these years later.

Were you injured? It didn't cause any injuries but I just couldn't take the pain of doing it all the time anymore.

Do you still exercise? Yes, I don't run because my asthma has gotten worse but I do walk at the park near my apartment on the weekends and try to walk during breaks and lunches at work.

Should other people try it? Absolutely, I enjoyed everything about it other than the pain in my knees.

Any advice you would give them before they start? Lots and lots of icy hot and ice packs for when you're done!

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