I am 24 years old, slim, healthy, and vegan. I have had chronic, undiagnosed, and untreated knee pain for the last three years. It started first in my right knee during college when I was frequently swing dancing. I went to Arlington Orthopedic where they gave me x-rays and a cortisone injection, which did nothing but cripple me for a week. They referred me to Daniel Cooper at the Carrell Clinic in Dallas. There I had an expensive MRI and was told my knees were fine and I just needed to "stretch more." He sent me home with no diagnosis or useful treatment information whatsoever.
Three years later, the pain is now in both knees. My knees feel creaky, weak, and inflamed anytime I perform any type of work or exercise that involves repetitive bending of the joint while bearing weight or resistance. For example, I can do squats, but I have to use very low weight or my knees will flare up and go "out." I can go to cycle class, but I cannot do the hill sequences that involve heavy resistance. I have to be extremely careful on both the treadmill and the Stairmaster. The elliptical has also bothered me after continued use over a period of a few days. My heart is willing to work hard, but my knees are too week to support the type of cardiovascular and strength training exercises I want to do.
I supplement with turmeric powder and consume ginger, garlic, spinach, and flax oil to reduce the inflammation, and I also drink kombucha on a daily basis. Both seem to have helped. I have also consulted with a muscle activation therapy specialist who advised me that I needed to rehabilitate my gluteus medius muscles. I have done so by using the abductor and adductor machines at the gym. These muscles are in great shape now, and I can move upwards of 100 pounds. Still, the pain has not been eliminated.
I frequently search reputable medical websites for some clue as to what might be wrong, but the common chronic knee conditions I have found don't describe the weird feeling in my knees at all. Indeed, both the doctors at Arlington Orthopedic and Dr. Cooper seemed totally clueless when I described my problem, and instead of admitting they didn't know what was wrong and referring me to someone who could help me, they only charged me for unnecessary procedures and sent me home, still in pain.
My boyfriend and I weight train three days per week and also work in 2-3 cardiovascular sessions. He is interested in climbing Mt. Shasta in Redding, California, and wants me to come with him. I'm excited at the prospect of mountain climbing, but afraid I will miss out yet again on an amazing activity because of my weak knees.
If you have any insights, I would deeply appreciate your advice.