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[at-l] Vitamin "I" and other pain relievers

Since many here on the list will begin thru-hikes next year, I thought I'd 
offer some advice that may save you some pain. I talked to quite a few 
thru-hikers last year in the Smokies and found that a significant percentage 
were experiencing knee pain. Several quit the trail because of it. Of 
course, some had serious medical problems, others, just garden variety, 
overuse knee pain. The following recommendation is for minor pain, not for 
serious knee injury and is just my personal opinion.

There was a reference earlier in this forum to Vitamin I or ibuprofen, which 
has been the drug of choice to hikers, cyclists, and other athletes for a 
number of years. I used it often due to my bad knee. After another knee 
surgery last year, my orthopedic surgeon recommended naprosin (Aleve - over 
the counter brand name) in lieu of ibuprofen. He said it was a "better" 
anti-inflammatory. I started using it based on this recommendation, and I 
have found this to be true. He said the normal dosage of 1 caplet (220) was 
probably not enough for me and authorized up to 8 caplets a day. On a 3 day 
hike with lot's of descents, I use about 4 a day, which does the trick. I 
found that it last longer than ibuprofen and certainly dulls the pain better.

One caution. Don't take this stuff on an empty stomach. Eat something with 
it and you shouldn't have any problems. 

Does anyone on the list use pain relievers other than aspirin, tylenol, 
ibuprofen, or naprosin that they have found effective? I use two hiking 
poles also, and have found that this is a good "non-drug" method of 
relieving knee pain.

Peter H. Fornof

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