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knees and other stuff

Hi everyone,
I have tried to read all the "injury" posts and not be preachy,
but I can stand it no longer!!  Everyone wants to help out by
describing their injury and what they did that worked.  And 
giving out web sites and email addresses.  I just have to say
to everyone that there is no substitute for a good medical evaluation
by someone who is proficient in SPORTS medicine.  A description that
sounds like what you may have had and conquered may be something 
totally different that will be made worse by your cure.  
   What prompted me to finally respond was the post about the H.S.
cross country coach being the medical expert.  I am sorry, but I
have spent my whole career caring for sports injuries and, while
some coaches are very knowledgable about certain injuries, their training
is in coaching and not in injury care. (Sorry if that venting was
out of place for this list).  
   Anyway, my advice is to find a physician or PT you trust, and who
offers helpful advice, then take it!  If you aren't satisfied, then try
another.  Never accept that you have to "live with" not hiking anymore.
There aren't many injury situations that can't be at least made tolerable
with maybe a little rest (a four letter word, I know) and some adjustment
in technique, distance, adding poles, orthotics or one of a thousand things
DEPENDING on what the injury is.  Even the very best sports med physician
would not prescribe a solution for you without a physical exam.
   Best luck to all.  And that pretraining is an excellent preventive
strategy, one that I always use.  And two hiking poles have made a
huge difference in my sorry knees on my last hike.

   I promise I won't do this again for a while.  Feel free to email
me personally with any "flames" or questions.  

By the way... I'd love a way to know who is out there on the trail
and on this list.  I passed so many folks on my last hike and wondered
if I knew anyone "virtually".  I applaud you, Needles, for that idea.
Usually patches are only available in bulk (by the hundreds).
Keep us all posted!