Hi everyone,

I'm a 23 year old looking for some answers about hip and knee pain. Body wise I'm 5'5', slim and have a pretty high level of fitness (I cycle regularly and do quite a bit of yoga).

Apologies for the mega long message, but I think it's important to include all the detail.

Before all of this started, I'd never had any problems with my knees or joints. About 2 years ago, I was travelling, carrying a heavy backpack for 2 weeks. About mid way through the trip a problem arose in my knee - while I was walking (freely, without my backpack), I felt a painful slipping feeling in one knee. This didn't seem severe. A few days later, I was off on a trek where we climbed a mountain with hundreds of steps. I could feel tension building in both knees, and I felt the slipping happen in the second knee. Once we got to the third day and I was required to walk downhill, it was nearly impossible. Both knees became increasingly sore and painful (particularly when walking downhill but in general they were very sore). One I got down (I could barely walk) I massaged both knees and had a rest, and they were totally fine the next day.

In the months following that incident, I was a lot more conscious of my knees. I only encountered the slipping feeling once more - but I began to notice a dull ache in one or both of my knees at random times. Walking downhill was definitely something which caused tension. I also noticed that yoga poses which involved my knees could sometimes cause pain, so I was weary of them. (For example, the front knee in pigeon pose). Sometimes fully locking my knees (straight) would cause a feeling of tenderness under the knee cap too.

All this was never really enough to get in the way of my day to day life so I ignored it. Eventually, (about a year after the initial incident), I began to feel pain in my outer hips. It began with another 'slipping' moment, in my left hip (this happened completely randomly). The slipping only happened once. But gradually, I began to notice a dull ache and tenderness develop in both hips, in particular when I walked or hiked for prolonged periods (say when I was travelling).

For the last year, my knee pain seems to have subsided, but my hips usually begin to ache whenever I walk for a few hours at a time. The pain is in the outer part of the hip, almost towards the buttocks. Normally it starts with a dull ache and gradually builds up. If this happens, when I lie down on either side I feel pain on the hip I'm lying on as though it's swollen. It usually is fine by morning, but if I'm tired or haven't had enough sleep (or go for another walk) the pain persists.

I recently visited a physiotherapist who claims I have weakness on the outside of my hips, so she has given me some exercises to strengthen that area. In the meantime, I have been on a long distance cycle which for the most part was OK, but I experienced intense pain in and around my kneecap on every uphill - which made me realise the knee issue(s) are still very much there. I usually cycle for about an hour 4 times a week and that doesn't usually cause any problems. This was my first long distance cycle (5 hrs and some proper uphills).

I have a follow up appointment in a month's time so I'd like to go there a bit more informed. My main questions are,

- Are my knee and hip pains connected?
- How were these issues caused or how did they develop in the first place?
- Are these conditions which need to be treated or corrected?
- How can I reach a stage where I can both walk for prolonged periods and cycle long distance without any pain.

Any answers would be incredibly helpful.


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