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I"ve had knee problems for quite some time; seemed to try about everything. However, I've never found knee braces to work well. Also, I was told that accumualting fluid around the knee would be a problem. What seems to work for me is
1. Get to the Gym and pump some weights. A good weight-lifting program has done wonders for me ( and I hate going to the gym)
2. Hiking with a walking stick. I avoided this for years, but now will not get on trail without my trusty pole.
3. Stretch out frequently during the day, espically at the start of the day and just after pulling the boots off.
4. A couple Ibufroin at bed.
My knee problem is due to a muscle in-balance, due to mega-miles as a competitive cyclist.
Nothing worse than the gut-wrenching stab of pain that I could get from one of those famed ass-over-tea-kettle descents found on the AT.