TriAgain, as anyone who regularly dives into the comment section knows, has been participating for a long time in the dialogue here about how to heal painful knees. His interest, like that of so many others, arises from his own struggles.
Over the course of many months, he has shared his story with all of you in bits and pieces. Recently he set down the long version in a forum for triathletes. (U.S. English speakers, note that the Australian usage of “trannie” differs from ours ;). Also, TriAgain says there's a little "salty language" in his account FYI).
First, here’s a trimmed-down version of where he says he’s at right now:
3.5 years into the journey, pain down by 70-90% (varies a bit), function up by about 50% ... Day-to-day living/tasks much better. I do think prolonged sitting was a major factor in my demise.This sounds pretty good. Not victory yet, but a lot closer. Note that he’s been working on healing his knees for 3.5 years. That will no doubt sober up first-time visitors to this blog. But sometimes the process takes a long time as you navigate setbacks and figure out what works and what doesn’t.
His full story is extremely detailed and quite interesting (I had to skim some parts, as I read it on a workday morning over breakfast and my train schedule is unforgiving). He credits Scott F. Dye with helping him arrive at a good framework for understanding what was going on. Dye’s common-sensical idea of “envelope of function” I wrote about here.
One thing I find interesting about TriAgain’s story is that he can wade about for hours, fly fishing, while on a rocky riverbed -- and his knees aren’t bothered.
I wonder if: (1) fly-fishing is something he enjoys, so he’s relaxed (2) the walking is slow, at a sort of aimless wandering pace, which when combined with some standing, makes for a winning combination of easy movement and rest (3) water helps a lot by cushioning the impact on his joints: walk over a rocky field and you’ll find the activity is very knee unfriendly, but walk over those same rocks under a few feet of water (which effectively unloads the force that your body lands with) and the experience is quite different.
Anyway, I encourage everyone to read this story. It’s broken up into pieces, and you can tell by the interspersed comments that TriAgain quickly manages to hook his audience. A good read (and encouraging for others worried about how long their knee program is taking).