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#129592 - 06/08/10 11:57 PM Frustrating knee problems!
jpleboeuf Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 06/03/10
Posts: 69
A/S/L: 27 / M / Cut Off, LA
For the first time I'm really getting into bowling. I've been reading these forums and thinking about my stroke constantly. But here's the thing: the last 2 times I've tried to practice I've experienced excruciating left knee pain after about only one game.

I've always had a little soreness in my left knee (I'm right handed) after bowling, but it's never been debilitating until now. So frustrating.

I saw a doctor today. She gave me anti-inflammatories and some mild pain medicine to take before bowling. I also bought a knee brace.

I know knee problems are common in bowling. How do you guys deal with it? Do you have any tips to help reduce this problem? Thanks in advance for your responses.

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#129600 - 06/09/10 05:13 AM Re: Frustrating knee problems! [Re: jpleboeuf]
Dennis Michael Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9763
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
jpleboeuf, sounds similar. I carry a bottle of Aleve in my bag. Usually take one before I bowl. Sometimes, I need 2. But, they help.

I also bought one of those knee wraps from the Drug Store. And, when I need it, I strap it on. Getting to the point where my side pouch is pretty full of non bowling stuff.

Better be prepared then hurt.
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#129606 - 06/09/10 09:11 AM Re: Frustrating knee problems! [Re: Dennis Michael]
Leopard11 Offline
Bracket Donor

Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 148
A/S/L: 35/M/MD/USA
I have had a constant pain in my left knee for like the past 2 months. Some days are better than others as far as pain. It also makes a popping noise when I straighten it out. I have 2 young children so I am constantly using my knees, and have always used my left knee to support my body weight when standing idle. Bowling has become frustrating and almost pointless right now as I cant even slide or follow through correctly. I dont think it was one single incident but just pulls/strains over time that has caused it(im 35). I thought it would get better but in 2 months it has not, so I am going to see an orthopedic/sports medicine dr soon and make sure everything is ok with ligs and such. I do wear a brace which helps sometimes but when pain is high doesnt at all. Pain is on the inside/front portion of the knee more inside than front. Good luck.


Edited by Leopard11 (06/09/10 09:30 AM)
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#129609 - 06/09/10 10:05 AM Re: Frustrating knee problems! [Re: Leopard11]
Joe Bowler Offline
2x Virtual League Champion

Registered: 04/09/09
Posts: 3824
A/S/L: 50s/M/MD
Pain killers can help you get through a session. But, it would be best to find the source of the pain.

For me, knee pain is usually a sign of issues with my slide. Switching to bowling shoes with interchangeable soles was a big help. Recently, I discovered UHMW plastic, which is like Teflon but bondable, and created my own super slide sole. It is a real knee-saver.

The other thing you can do is build up the muscles around your knee. For example, the machines where you sit down and extend your leg forward can help strengthen your quadricep muscles. That can relieve stress from your knee joint.

If these are not enough to eliminate the pain, you may want to see a specialist.
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#129610 - 06/09/10 10:52 AM Re: Frustrating knee problems! [Re: Joe Bowler]
Revenator Offline
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Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 118
A/S/L: 49
When you slide, are you letting the heal slide inward. That would be proper technique anyway. But if you are prone to letting your toe slide inward ( to the right) and your heel to slide outward ( to the left) it can cause more pain because you are putting the knee in to much of a twist position.
Don't slide the heel inward to much either, but just the right amount to where you are balanced and the knee feels very stable through the slide. Practice without a ball first.
Hope this helps, also once your knee has injury, you might have to give it some rest, especially if your not sliding properly. If it hurts after one game, it is not heeling, but is re-injuring itself everytime you slide.

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#129611 - 06/09/10 11:01 AM Re: Frustrating knee problems! [Re: Joe Bowler]
Leopard11 Offline
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Registered: 02/01/09
Posts: 148
A/S/L: 35/M/MD/USA
I may have to invest in a new pair of shoes when I get cleared. I used to do a lot of body building when I was in my early 20's(was skinny as a teen went from 170 to 235lbs all natural some creatine in take)learned a lot about body building. Squats and sitting leg press free weights seemed to work the best for building my legs. You can put a ton of weight on and do sets of presses and you would think that would be a lot of pressure on the knee, same for squats. But the amount of pressure you can put on your knee while doing sports with your body weight (mine being about 225lbs) and the motion can exceed doing exercises/free weights etc. I tend to keep thinking "i will get over it" but I better make sure I dont have an injury. A slight torn meniscus or worse could only get worse with exercise I would think, until repaired with surgery and healed/therapy. Its sad man, im falling apart at the ripe old age of 35 = /
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#129612 - 06/09/10 11:30 AM Re: Frustrating knee problems! [Re: Leopard11]
wklstoy Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 782
A/S/L: 58/M/Camano Island, WA
I recently switched from an old (35 years) pair of Brunswick shoes to a new pair of 3G Tour Ultras, and the difference in my left knee has been amazing. I used to get pain after 3 or 4 games, but last Friday I bowled 16 games without any pain (in my knee) whatsoever.

I would definitely look at your shoes as a possible problem. I also lift weights, but found that squats and leg presses somehow didn't seem to simulate the same stresses that the bowling slide put on my leg.
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#129624 - 06/09/10 03:10 PM Re: Frustrating knee problems! [Re: wklstoy]
jpleboeuf Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 06/03/10
Posts: 69
A/S/L: 27 / M / Cut Off, LA
I guess I'll have to look into new shoes as mine are cheap Dexters I bought at Academy. The most frustrating thing about this is that I have no pain whatsoever in my knees unless I'm bowling. I can run, play basketball, whatever. But as soon as I throw a game I'm in serious pain. I dislocated my knee cap in HS basketball practice and my doctor thinks I might have some scar tissue behind my kneecap. That's exactly where it hurts.

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#129629 - 06/09/10 05:36 PM Re: Frustrating knee problems! [Re: jpleboeuf]
Calvin Pistorio Offline
State Champion Contender

Registered: 02/19/07
Posts: 6283
A/S/L: 32/m/maryland
The shoes won't help if you are not sliding correctly and putting a lot of torque on the knee by trying to do too much to the ball, either trying to throw it hard or make it hook.

Your slide should be straight in regards to the line you are playing and your body. If your toes are pointed in toward the center of your body and the heel out like this / for a right hander or this \ for a left hander, that puts a lot of strain on the knee. You want it either straight or \ for a right hander and / for a left hander.

It could also be the amount of knee bend. If you are standing too tall at the line which means very little knee bend then you will put strain on the knee.

Then it could be a combination of any of the above including the shoes.
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#129630 - 06/09/10 05:44 PM Re: Frustrating knee problems! [Re: Calvin Pistorio]
jpleboeuf Offline
League Bowler

Registered: 06/03/10
Posts: 69
A/S/L: 27 / M / Cut Off, LA
I've never been serious enough about bowling to be concerned about form. I've always been decent though and averaged 192 this winter without putting a thought into what I was doing. Now I want to get really good.

I shot a video about a week ago though and I definitely realized that I need to change some things. My slide is not good and my left foot definitely turns to the right. I know that I need to get fundamentally sound to reduce the stress on my knee.

I'm just hoping that I don't need surgery. State is this weekend though and I'm really worried about trying to bowl 9 games in two days. I guess I'll just have to see how the first day goes.

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