Constant tightness

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Constant tightness

Postby foo on patrol » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:22 pm

Here a wobbly question. In the area I have circled, there is a constant tightness like a cramp about to happen when not on the bike and when on the bike, depending on how hard I am riding it increases in tightness. It is yet to get to a full on cramp but is not far off. So any suggestions on a possible cause? :?

This is behind the right leg and more towards the outside. :(

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Last edited by foo on patrol on Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:09 pm

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Re: Constant tightness

Postby Nikolai » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:09 pm

foo on patrol wrote:So any suggestions on a possible cause? :?


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Re: Constant tightness

Postby foo on patrol » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:49 pm

^^ :lol: ^^

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Re: Constant tightness

Postby g-boaf » Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:51 pm

foo on patrol wrote:^^ :lol: ^^

Foo


Jokes aside, have you tried stretching/rolling out the calf, hamstring, quads, adductor and ITB?

Try a rumble roller on them. They work extremely well - great at freeing up tight muscles quickly. Apart from that, how is the bike fit? I assume you've probably looked at that already.

Are you getting enough calcium, magnesium, salt and other important things you need?
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Re: Constant tightness

Postby foo on patrol » Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:28 pm

Yeah I stretch a bit when I can, I don't know about calcium and magnesium intake levels,with the salt I would think I get enough of that through what I eat. As a general rule I don't put much on my food after cooking, just a pinch. :wink:

I know my RHS quads are extremely achy at times and I use the side part of my palm to roll along them very heavily.

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Re: Constant tightness

Postby g-boaf » Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:54 pm

That may not be enough - I've tried doing that with cramping/sore muscles and it wasn't effective - couldn't put enough pressure on it.

The roller worked much better. 12-15 times over that works very effectively to loosen up the muscles and also helps to reduce the soreness.

Are you hydrating enough? How far are you riding in a ride, what speed, and how much are you riding per week now, and what did you do previously before this occurred?

Stretch out the quads plenty well. You know how to do it, a bit like this:

http://hipflexor.org/wp-content/uploads ... tretch.jpg

But don't lean forward like in the image, image you are wearing a belt and you are trying to keep the belt buckle out forward in front of your stomach, but do keep the foot out as in the image.
Last edited by g-boaf on Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Constant tightness

Postby Derny Driver » Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:55 pm

Mate I heard today that a former Australian track champion /record holder ..household name .. has a problem in both his calves similar to what you describe. In races he suffers cramps in the sprint even though he is still quite fit. He has had the legs tested and its a blood flow problem, the more he exercises the more the muscles constrict the flow. Normal blood flow to the feet is about 90% what it should be but as he exercises /rides the muscles constrict the flow more and more. In a sprint the constriction is 50% and he cramps at that point. I don't think the problem is fixable. Not sure if its somehow related to his years of training at an elite level or not.
May be worth getting some tests done? What you describe sounds similar although his is in the calf muscle whereas yours is higher.
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Re: Constant tightness

Postby g-boaf » Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:58 pm

Derny Driver wrote:May be worth getting some tests done? What you describe sounds similar although his is in the calf muscle whereas yours is higher.


Interesting - terrible if you've got it though.
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Re: Constant tightness

Postby clackers » Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:31 am

g-boaf wrote:
Are you getting enough calcium, magnesium, salt and other important things you need?


You'd think that would affect both legs though.

A trip to a physio seems to be in order. There's some asymmetry in Foo's body or some activity in his life.
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Re: Constant tightness

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:14 am

Thanks for the Vid GB.

Interesting that you say that DD. I had some Ultrasound tests done on my feet some time ago and the results was I have restricted blood flow in my feet or foot, I just can't remember which one. :? The strange part with this is, I don't suffer from cold feet because of it.

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Re: Constant tightness

Postby Dr_Mutley » Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:29 am

Lateral posterior knee pain is usually insertional, with either the hamstrings, or lateral gastrocnemius involved. Common causes of stress to this region is stance too wide, too much forefoot varus on up or downstroke, combined with saddle to high... Lots of other causes though... Any palpable lump in the back of the knee? Sometimes a bakers cyst can be another cause of what u describe... An ultrasound will see this....
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Re: Constant tightness

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:43 am

I can feel a lump there and have noticed it for a while since I started lifting my rides a bit more. I have to see the Dr in the coming weeks to see how my blood tests went, so I will mention it there and see if I can get a referral for an Ultrasound. Thanks for pointing that one out Dr_Mutley. :)

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Re: Constant tightness

Postby Dr_Mutley » Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:56 am

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Re: Constant tightness

Postby NeillS » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:47 pm

baker's cyst or lateral head of calf trigger points for sure. multiple possible causes if it's muscular - your pedal stroke will be assymmetrical somehow and needs to be fixed if it's muscular.

If they find a solid baker's cyst and you don't want to have it removed (I would try everything else first) try moving both cleats as far back as possible on the shoe to lower the calf activation. You will need to lower the saddle at the same time and perhaps move it forwards, depending on where you started from of course. It might work, it might not.
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Re: Constant tightness

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:22 pm

Already got the cleats back as far as they will go but I lifted the seat by about 4mm and that has eased it off a bit. I only drop my heels when I'm digging real deep for (don't laugh) power. My action has always been pull back on the pedals at the bottom of the stroke.

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Re: Constant tightness

Postby Dr_Mutley » Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:02 pm

U could also try reducing the pulling back a bit by sliding the saddle forward a few mm at a time... Might be more of a insertional hamstring thing if u pull back a lot because your a fair way behind the BB... Turn into more of a pusher for a little while and see if that helps... Obviously mark all your spots then u can just easily go back to where u were if it doesn't help. U will probably find its all just a biomechanical thing influenced by your position rather than anything structural... Good luck tinkering :-)
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Re: Constant tightness

Postby Majohn » Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:57 pm

I have a similar tightness in the same spot as well. I have been able to gain some relief by stretching to lengthen my hamstrings. My right leg is also slightly shorter than my other leg so I'm unsure if that has anything to do with the tightness.
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Re: Constant tightness

Postby Dr_Mutley » Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:27 pm

Majohn wrote:I have a similar tightness in the same spot as well. I have been able to gain some relief by stretching to lengthen my hamstrings. My right leg is also slightly shorter than my other leg so I'm unsure if that has anything to do with the tightness.


Well if its on the same leg u could certainly make a case for it causing it... Having said that, uneven leg lengths could cause it on either side depending on which compensatory changes u adopt to compensate for the LLD...
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Re: Constant tightness

Postby TheBikeShed » Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:49 pm

Sounds like there are a lot of different potential causes of this tightness, and that it's definitely a good idea to get it checked out by a professional. Getting a proper bike fit is always a good idea, and I second the recommendation of using a foam roller—you can get some really stubborn knots out of your muscles quickly if you use one on a regular basis. I had extremely tight calves for a while (they were causing problems in my feet), and I found acupuncture to be very helpful. A couple months of one acupuncture session per week really loosened everything up, and allowed me to keep my calves loose with stretching and rolling. I've only had this done for muscular problems, but I know that some people have seen improvement with a number of other things, so it's worth looking into.
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Re: Constant tightness

Postby The 2nd Womble » Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:55 pm

Hmmm, had similar issues with the right leg now for the last few months. Much worse on the up stroke to the point that I can't even stick a full rotation when it goes and the leg can occasionally collapse under me out of the saddle.
I'm off to the doctors this week about it, but I bought a knee brace today to go back to work tomorrow, and today it's done well for me. Bandaid solution.
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Re: Constant tightness

Postby Majohn » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:37 pm

Yup knee brace helped me as well. I should have mentioned that in my earlier post.
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Re: Constant tightness

Postby toolonglegs » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:54 pm

I get it there to mate... stretching out everywhere and everything helps. So does foam roller. But I am constantly tight everywhere :| .
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Re: Constant tightness

Postby g-boaf » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:09 pm

TheBikeShed wrote:Sounds like there are a lot of different potential causes of this tightness, and that it's definitely a good idea to get it checked out by a professional. Getting a proper bike fit is always a good idea, and I second the recommendation of using a foam roller—you can get some really stubborn knots out of your muscles quickly if you use one on a regular basis. I had extremely tight calves for a while (they were causing problems in my feet), and I found acupuncture to be very helpful. A couple months of one acupuncture session per week really loosened everything up, and allowed me to keep my calves loose with stretching and rolling. I've only had this done for muscular problems, but I know that some people have seen improvement with a number of other things, so it's worth looking into.


I've never tried acupuncture.

Yesterday was a day where my calves were just ridiculously tight and threatening to cramp, and this morning they were a bit crook too - yet somehow after 45km everything seemed to work properly, well enough to chase down some big gaps. :) And at 130km, the legs were feeling quite free.

My left leg is actually a bit shorter than the right one, and it is always the left one that gives me problems. Rolling and stretching along with massaging it has helped to lessen the tendency for it to get very tight and cramp up, but occasionally sometimes it will go bad. But I'm riding a lot more now too, so that's not a bad result.
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Re: Constant tightness

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:07 am

Well went to the Dr this morning and my blood test and blood pressure is good :D but Dr_Mutley you be on the mark= Bakers Cyst :( I am going to get the Ultrasound Scan done because, when I said that when I ride, the tightness progresses down to my calf and increases the pressure towards a full blown cramp. :evil:

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Re: Constant tightness

Postby g-boaf » Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:26 am

From reading elsewhere, they might drain the cyst, or they'll remove it completely. That I suppose will be take time to recover from.
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