Typical Knee Pain

I'm not a doctor but… 
Cycling injury, recovery and health issues.
Forum rules
The information / discussion in the Cycling Health Forum is not qualified medical advice. Please consult your doctor.

Typical Knee Pain

Postby sandman » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:53 pm

Not sure if knee pain is typical but this one is sure self inflicted. A few days off to the bike due to pain under the left kneecap. All self inflicted due to the refusal to "spin". Pushing a 53-14/13 for the last 2 weeks has caused said knee to send enough pain to the brain to keep me off the bike for a week....

Maybe the lesson is to spin, I just dont like spinning, never have and suspect I never will...

Sandman sitting on the couch eating an icecream to help ease the "self pity"
Image
User avatar
sandman
 
Posts: 2025
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:36 am
Location: Alice Springs, NT

by BNA » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:29 pm

BNA
 

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby Wayfarer » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:29 pm

I'd guess you MIGHT HAVE an inflammed fat pad under that kneecap. Once it heals, perhaps use gym sessions to increase your strength and power, so you can push gears like Chris Hoy :)

I hope you realise you take of faster on a lower gear, and once you're up to speed, you can pretty much spin whatever gear you want? its the super-pressure in the take-off phase which injures the most..
What are these salesmen peddling?
User avatar
Wayfarer
 
Posts: 1225
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:39 pm
Location: SW Sydney

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby brauluver » Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:35 pm

I think your body is trying to tell you something, Don't you?
As much as you loathe spinning, maybe you should embrace it a little.
too much constant load on the knees and they will wear out, and you won't get the cartilage back once it's been sucked out.I'm missing 50% of mine in the left knee,and riding makes it feel better, providing I don't grind to much, or overdo it on the track.
brauluver
 
Posts: 3646
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:23 pm
Location: Adelaide N/E

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby Hueber » Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:45 pm

sandman wrote:Not sure if knee pain is typical but this one is sure self inflicted. A few days off to the bike due to pain under the left kneecap. All self inflicted due to the refusal to "spin". Pushing a 53-14/13 for the last 2 weeks has caused said knee to send enough pain to the brain to keep me off the bike for a week....

Maybe the lesson is to spin, I just dont like spinning, never have and suspect I never will...

Sandman sitting on the couch eating an icecream to help ease the "self pity"


I used to be a grinder & had the exact same problem as you which would show itself on longer rides (100km+). It took me a while to get used to it but now I spin & am so glad I changed, it improves your aerobic fitness & I feel it allows you to ride further with less fatigue. I never used to like it either but now I don't even think about it when riding, just need to give it a while for your body/aerobic fitness level to catch up.
Ken

This space reserved for snappy remark!

Scott 2008 S30 speedster
Fuji Thrill 2.0 2007 MTB softail
Mongoose 2003 MTB hardtail
Peugeot 1989 Izoard
User avatar
Hueber
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:15 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby ValleyForge » Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:05 pm

Ah - knee pain. There are several types.
PF (patellofemoral) pain is right under the knee cap. Usually caused by unprepared quadriceps overwork. Fixes with a good physio program.
Tuberosity pain is below the knee cap where the tendon passes from the kneecap to the tibial tuberosity. Can be bursitis, and if you're not a teenager, then it's overuse. If you're a teenager then it can be a little more involved.
Pain along the joint-line, especially intermittent and with clicking is meniscal pain and this is medically sorted out.
If your knee locks sometimes, definite medical attention.

First step if there is recent injury is a plain Xray, otherwise an MRI scan.
Ha ha! Cookies on dowels.
User avatar
ValleyForge
 
Posts: 932
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:37 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby sandman » Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:35 pm

Guys

thanks for all of your feedback. I know the exact reason for the pain, the silly pride of pushing a big gear :-) I know Armstrong went from mashing to spinning and became a much better cyclist. I think the spinning would probably do my cardio the world of good....The pain in the knee was a little nasty as it lasted quite a few days, makes me think I should heed the warning :-)

Cheers..Sandman
Image
User avatar
sandman
 
Posts: 2025
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:36 am
Location: Alice Springs, NT

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby Nedlam » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:48 pm

Interesting to read, I visited the doctor tonight as i have experianced a bit of knee pain. I've just got back into riding, and i must say i have realy only been commuting 15kms each way to work and 2-4 times a week. One med ride and one big ride. Also been Attending the Gym 3 times a week. At this stage Pilaties, Body combat and Circuit. I'm told to get my ass down and do weights to build up strenght in core and in general.
Anyway the Doc took Bloods as i have MEN2 (medical cond. Para thyroids out). He belives it due to this (calcium levels) and maybe Physio session may help. I have 3 free visits left.

BTW whats spinning, it sounds silly to ask but to make sure i will ask.

Cheers
Dean
Image
Nedlam
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:33 pm

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby BarryTas » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:30 am

spinning is high cadence (leg revolutions) and easy gear, you focus a bit more on the up stroke.

Spinning is less taxing and the leg muscle but puts more strain on the heart and lungs.

The first thing my coach got me to do is to but a cadence speedo, and to boost my cadence....i have gone from a cadence of about 60 -70 to 80 - 90.
when do we stop for coffee???

Image
BarryTas
 
Posts: 1252
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:53 am
Location: Hobart

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby ValleyForge » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am

BarryTas wrote:spinning is high cadence (leg revolutions) and easy gear, you focus a bit more on the up stroke.

Spinning is less taxing and the leg muscle but puts more strain on the heart and lungs.

The first thing my coach got me to do is to but a cadence speedo, and to boost my cadence....i have gone from a cadence of about 60 -70 to 80 - 90.


In a nutshell, when your leg muscles fully contract, effective blood flow in them stops. Spinning is designed to minimise this, so placing a greater flow load on your circulation. Better for aerobic fitness.

When out of the saddle, each downstroke stops blood flow momentarily in the muscle to a large degree. You reach anaerobic threshold earlier, and start to build lactic acid. This bulds tolerence, and the increased force required and hypoxia in the muscle increases local blood vessel development and myoglobin systhesis (the contracting bit).
Ha ha! Cookies on dowels.
User avatar
ValleyForge
 
Posts: 932
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:37 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby Flying Scotsman » Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:14 am

I think you guys are all on it, as a Specialized Body Geometery Fitter, I see a large number of bike related ailments, many of which are knee related.

The pushing of big gears certainly strains the joints and the mechanical equipment too (all of the drive chain components)

Something which has not been mentioned here is the critical height adjustment of the saddle and also the adjustment fore and aft.

Most riders I meet are sitting too low on their bike and this does cause an increase in tension within the knee, as the leg is never staight enough to allow the knee to relax. Worth checking this one out too. Does the pain disappear when you get off the saddle, to climb for example, if yes I would suggest an increase in saddle height.

Cleat position is another area to check, are the cleats new or worn out, is there any grit caught in the cleat or in the pedal mechanisim which may interfere with your normal alignment.

Hope this gives you some more clues.

Cheers :D
Flying Scotsman
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:59 am

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby AUbicycles » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:57 am

Flying Scotsman wrote:Cleat position is another area to check


Just showing a bit of support of this notion - I recently read an article that attributed a large number of knee injuries to incorrect (suboptimal) cleat positioning - together with footware. While I can't share personal experience / problems in this respect, it it worth investigating.
User avatar
AUbicycles
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 9209
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:14 am
Location: Sydney

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby foo on patrol » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:35 pm

I was always taught, you need to be able to spin a gear, before you could push it. :idea: Can't understand the modern day notion, of trying to grind out a big gear in a sprint, when someone on a lower gear can get going quicker. :? Unless you are going to sprint 400mtrs out from the finish line, then a smart sprinter, on a smaller gear will come over the top of a big gear rider. You don't see track sprinters on ridiculously high gears for a sprint. :wink:

I know when I go for a ride, and push a bigger gear than normal, for some extra effort, my knees will let me know, if I have over stepped the mark, with to much of a big gear. :(

Gary
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Goal 6000km
Image
User avatar
foo on patrol
 
Posts: 4558
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:12 am
Location: Sanstone Point QLD

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby ValleyForge » Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:42 pm

AUbicycles wrote:
Flying Scotsman wrote:Cleat position is another area to check


Just showing a bit of support of this notion - I recently read an article that attributed a large number of knee injuries to incorrect (suboptimal) cleat positioning - together with footware. While I can't share personal experience / problems in this respect, it it worth investigating.


Mostly too much toe in causing anterior (kneecap) pain.

FWIW: Pushing bigger gears doesn't wear out your knees - it places more stress on the joint surface behind the kneecap and therefore pain. A series of quads intensive exercises almost always solves the problem.
Ha ha! Cookies on dowels.
User avatar
ValleyForge
 
Posts: 932
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:37 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby pixola » Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:58 pm

Looking for pointers from people here on the point of high cadence - I don't routinely get sore knees but they do feel a bit strained sometimes.

My current riding style is a cadence average of about 75-80rpm when riding solo (avg speed of about 31km/h)

Are there any specific exercises can help me to increase my "natural" cadence ?
Image
pixola
 
Posts: 81
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:46 am
Location: Perth WA

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby ando » Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:31 am

Thanks for all the great input on knee trouble. Yep, I've got a sore knee - that's why I ended up in this thread. I'm going to go to a lighter gear and do more peddling and less pushing. Pixola, you asked about exercises that can be done to increase cadence. I'm only just getting back into cycling after a break of many years, so I have no doubt the knowledge base may have moved on over the decades! But for what it is worth, the following is how my father trained me to have good cadence: - ride a fixed wheel on a very low gear. Find a stretch of quiet road that is flat and straight for a few hundred meters and then rises to a moderate hill. I emphasise 'moderate hill' because you need to live through the experience. ride up to the top of the hill and turn around. Then let the bike go down the hill. Don't fight it or try to use any power at all. Just let the fixed wheel take your legs for the ride. Keep your legs as relaxed as you can and concentrate on keeping good balance and making perfect circles with your feet. The key is to relax your legs. As you get onto the flat gradually let your legs take back control and try to keep it going as long as you can. Once you have lost the momentum roll along for a while then turn around and do it again. After a few days or weeks you will start to feel that you can let your legs go and your feet can make circles which match well with the fast turning peddles. At that stage you can start to introduce a bit of leg power as you go down the hill. Well, that's it. I don't say it is the only way or the best way, but it is how I was trained as a juvenile and it was the foundation of sprinting as well. I hope that helps.
Image
ando
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:16 pm

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby Dizz » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:14 am

ValleyForge wrote:....FWIW: Pushing bigger gears doesn't wear out your knees - it places more stress on the joint surface behind the kneecap and therefore pain. A series of quads intensive exercises almost always solves the problem.


+1, I while back I neglected my weekly quad training routine (weights) for about six weeks; the result was a slight decrease in average speeds and the onset of knee pain :( ; after resuming my weight training everything returned to normal. :D

Therefore, it is clear that not all knee pain has to do with the geometrical relationship between you and your bike; in my case I always spin in the saddle (typical average cadence is about 105rpm) but if you have fallen out of form and are spinning big gears you will still end up with knee pain. :oops:
User avatar
Dizz
 
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:48 am
Location: Brisbane

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby Wayfarer » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:34 pm

ValleyForge wrote:FWIW: Pushing bigger gears doesn't wear out your knees - it places more stress on the joint surface behind the kneecap and therefore pain. A series of quads intensive exercises almost always solves the problem.

I dont get that. Quad intensive exercises would put more stress on the joint surface as well, no? since you're putting enough weight on the knees to have a weight session, it'll load the knee more? How is it any different?
What are these salesmen peddling?
User avatar
Wayfarer
 
Posts: 1225
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:39 pm
Location: SW Sydney

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby Nobody » Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:48 pm

Wayfarer wrote:I dont get that. Quad intensive exercises would put more stress on the joint surface as well, no? since you're putting enough weight on the knees to have a weight session, it'll load the knee more? How is it any different?
I believe it is more about strengthening the leg muscles with reduces the stress on your knee as the muscles provide more support for your knee. Having said it's just what I've heard. I have no expertise in this area at all.

I've recently been trying squats with dumbells and it seems to be working. Less knee pain in general.
Nobody
 
Posts: 6662
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:10 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby foo on patrol » Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:26 am

For what it is worth, I now ride with my seat higher than I did in my hey day! Simply because it was the only way I could take out the soarness in my knees. :idea:

Foo
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Goal 6000km
Image
User avatar
foo on patrol
 
Posts: 4558
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:12 am
Location: Sanstone Point QLD

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:24 pm

Nobody wrote:
Wayfarer wrote:I dont get that. Quad intensive exercises would put more stress on the joint surface as well, no? since you're putting enough weight on the knees to have a weight session, it'll load the knee more? How is it any different?
I believe it is more about strengthening the leg muscles with reduces the stress on your knee as the muscles provide more support for your knee. Having said it's just what I've heard. I have no expertise in this area at all.

I've recently been trying squats with dumbells and it seems to be working. Less knee pain in general.

haha :) sorry if i put you on the spot there.. But I think it might just be urban tales, since we're pushing such a low load on the bike, and such a high load on the squats, but still strengthening the knees..
What are these salesmen peddling?
User avatar
Wayfarer
 
Posts: 1225
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:39 pm
Location: SW Sydney

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby Nobody » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:21 am

Wayfarer wrote:haha :) sorry if i put you on the spot there.. But I think it might just be urban tales, since we're pushing such a low load on the bike, and such a high load on the squats, but still strengthening the knees..
True, could be urban tales.

I've read that running and cycling work the outside leg muscles mainly which is supposed to put a strain on the knee. Doing other weight bearing exercise is supposed to give more balance by strengthening the inner muscles of the leg also. (Once again, could be tales. I'm not expert.)

Yes we cycle at low relative load but the angle of the leg at that load and the extremely high repetition rate may not be helpful if the biological structure and fit isn't perfect to start with, which in my case obviously isn't.

I think I'll try Foo's idea and raise my saddle a bit. My saddle is still a bit lower than in my racing days, although my cranks are shorter too.
Nobody
 
Posts: 6662
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:10 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby ando » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:34 pm

Moving my shoe cleats back seems to have worked for me. I have only been back on the bike for a short time after many years away. I had never in the past ever had any knee trouble. Since starting again last week, with a new bike, I had developed a mild but annoying ache in the front of my right knee. After reading the discussions here I decided to take a look at my shoes. I moved the cleats back as far as they would go. Rode today with the cleats in the new position and fingers crossed my knee is not sore tonight.

I am probably showing my age, but when I rode a lot, many years ago, it was all on conventional racing peddles of the era - toe clips and straps. Now of course I, like almost everyone else, am riding on the new style. I can't help but observe that on these modern peddles there is not much peddle under the foot for support, and this fact combined with the floating nature of the cleat somehow makes my feet feel like they are kind of 'searching' for a solid base. When I compare that feeling to the old days when we would really strap in hard like we were getting ready to go to the moon. It was sometimes a bit painful over a long period but I think there was a greater sense of solid support under and around the foot.

What do others think about this?
Image
ando
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:16 pm

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby trailgumby » Thu Jul 29, 2010 10:53 pm

Not sure what kind of clipless pedals you are using (mountain or road) so I'm going to take the scattergun appoach and hope I hit you with something useful. :lol:

having never used straps and clips it's hard for me to compare, but I have to say I quite like mtb clipless pedals to the point that I feel quite insecure with flat pedals. I can understand you might feel like you don't have a solid base, but expect you will get used to them with time.

I came from the opposite end - as a beginner, being clipped in made me very nervous about not being able to get my foot out in time, and that negatively impacted my confidence riding off-road trails which significantly slowed my skill acquisition. It took awhile, but now I am more than fine with them and they have been my clear preference for a few years.

SPD-SL, Look Keo and Speedplay pedals are much better for foot stability than mtb pedals as the cleat/platform is bigger and there is no reliance on the side edges of the shoe sole to provide lateral stability - which can be impacted by wear - so I think they will suit you better. Speedplay is apparently very popular woth TdF pros and the engineering of the overall package looks like it might provide a larger effective platform (contrary to initial impressions of the tiny-looking pedal), so if you already use road-style pedals, these might be worth investigating.
User avatar
trailgumby
 
Posts: 10365
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 4:30 pm
Location: Northern Beaches, Sydney

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby Wayfarer » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:11 am

Hey Ando, I know it might sound simple, but are you lowering the saddle a few millimeters with each cleat positioning? I hope you dont have the seat too high :) What Trailgumby's said is on the money too; one thing to add on is that if it feels like your shoe is flexing around the pedal, perhaps the shoes are too soft.I know that with my SPD-SL pedals, i would think the pedal supported the whole foot if i went by feel alone..
What are these salesmen peddling?
User avatar
Wayfarer
 
Posts: 1225
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:39 pm
Location: SW Sydney

Re: Typical Knee Pain

Postby ando » Sat Jul 31, 2010 12:33 am

Fingers crossed, two days of riding without any knee pain since a moved the cleats back. Maybe this has done the trick. Thanks for the advice all. Much appreciated.
Image
ando
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:16 pm

Next

Return to Cycling Health

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU

“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter

> FREE BNA Stickers
> BNA Cycling Kit
cron