… See also Average Joe Cyclist Guide to Preventing Cycling Knee Pain, which is about the amazing, short routine I have recently discovered to prevent cycling knee pain …
I have had every kind and degree of cycling knee pain. I have had the kind of cycling knee pain that nags like an irritating but well-intentioned friend, keeping you awake all night, while suggesting that perhaps you are overdoing it and should just be less darn excessive. I have had the kind of cycling knee pain that presents as an agonizing stab of pain, sneaking up on you and attacking you suddenly, causing you to suddenly plummet to the ground as if felled by a lightning bolt. And worst of all, I have had the kind of cycling knee pain that causes you to stop cycling and contemplate the misery of never being able to get on a bicycle again.
Of course, I have also tried every kind of recommended cure for cycling knee pain. I have gone through more expensive tubes of Arnica cream than I care to remember. Therapists have manipulated my knees, causing extreme pain as they tried to remove the accumulated toxins that were, apparently, causing my cycling knee pain. Other therapists have injected Arnica directly into my knees (NOT as much fun as it sounds), and still others have stuck needles into random parts of my body in an attempt to craftily defeat the cycling knee pain via the ancient wisdom of acupuncture.
Thanks to all these therapies, I have blown through enormous quantities of extended benefits, as well as huge amounts of my own hard-earned money.
And as a result of all these remedies and therapies … absolutely nothing happened.
The cycling knee pain remained, and I continued to be terrified that as age advanced on me, my knees would betray me completely and cycling would be pushed away into a sad, dark corner of might-have-been’s and used-to-be’s. It helped that one of my bikes is an electric bike, and to this day I use this as needed to cycle every day without putting too much pressure on my knees.
Then one day my naturopath made a suggestion that I thought was completely insane – as well as probably very messy. So of course, even though I was paying about $100 an hour to benefit from her wisdom, I completely ignored her. I continued in the ways of my own ancient wisdom, wisely throwing away money on therapies and remedies that patently didn’t work.
After about another year of this blatant (and expensive) stupidity, I finally caved and decided to try the insane and very messy suggestion. One evening, scarcely able to walk, but about to go off and cycle hundreds of miles in Montréal, I was desperate enough to actually try her suggested cure for my cycling knee pain.
This is what I did: I bought a bottle of castor oil for $3.95 (including tax). I pulled my moth-eaten $20 heating pad out of the dusty recesses of the bathroom cabinet (the thing that Maggie refers to as the “old-lady pad”). Then I smeared castor oil on my knee, put a kitchen tea towel on top of that, covered that with a plastic shopping bag, and topped it all off with the heating bag. Very attractive. (Fortunately, I have a leather couch, so no great harm was done to innocent furniture.)
I left it on my right knee for 15 minutes, and then switched to my left knee. It was oddly soothing, considering that I have always been taught that inflammation needs cold, not heat. Then I put the whole messy heap away, shaking my head at my own desperation.
The next morning I woke up, and the cycling knee pain was gone! Yes, really. I got on my bike that day and cycled like I was 12 again.
I went off and cycled hundreds of miles in Montréal, and applied my hot castor oil every night. And every day, I was free of cycling knee pain. Since then Maggie has also used this therapy for cycling knee pain, and my mother has used it for arthritic pain. We all say the same thing: it’s a miracle cure!
The theory is that hot castor oil draws inflammation out. It’s classified as an “old wives’ tale,” but my very modern and well-educated naturopath swears by it. And so do I. I have also used it with stunning success for the pain in my Achilles tendon, which was also caused by vast amounts of cycling. As with my cycling knee pain, castor oil has succeeded where hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars of other treatments have failed.
I urge you to try it – you have nothing to lose but your cycling knee pain (and $3.95 for some castor oil).
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