Knees out of whack

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.rides archive' started by Dave Rusin, May 27, 2003.

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  1. Dave Rusin

    Dave Rusin Guest

    I have been doing a lot of riding this Spring -- commuting, having fun, and preparing for a long
    ride in June. By and large it's going very well. (Did over 300 miles this past week!)

    I have noticed, however, that when I kneel in the garden or try to double-step up stairways as is my
    wont, my knees are making their presence known. They're sort of stiff and sore, and if I fold my
    legs under me to squat, I have the feeling I'm stretching something at the knee; when I go to stand
    up, I find myself pushing off with my hands a lot.

    This could be just old age, of course, (I'm 46) but I wonder whether this is common for bicyclists
    and, if so, whether I'm supposed to be doing something about it.

    I don't expect (nor want) free medical advice, but do the regulars here believe this is "obviously"
    one of these things?

    1. A temporary soreness and stiffness caused by putting muscles through a healthy workout beyond
    what they've done in years past

    2. A reflection of permanent but acceptable changes in the body, as larger muscles get in the way
    of flexibility

    3. A warning sign that I'm doing something inefficiently, but hey, if
    if I want to ride inefficiently, that's a matter of taste

    4. An indication of real deterioration or other jeopardy into which I am placing my knees

    5. Other?

    If I suspect #4 is the answer and visit a doctor, is there something in particular I would ask him
    or her to investigate or consider?

    I don't know what other pieces of background information might make my case different. There are no
    indications of any changes when I walk or stand; it's only when I bend my knees that I am aware of
    the stiffness. There is no real pain when I pedal (except that I whacked one knee a couple of weeks
    ago and it reminds of this if I pedal too hard). I rarely stand on the pedals these days. My bike
    seems to be large enough for me (Trek 7100, and I'm 6ft tall). I don't go through any stretching
    regimens when I bike. I'm fairly fit, and swim regularly. I've biked a few miles every day my whole
    life, but only in the last year have I returned to a childhood habit of taking long rides, now
    including centuries.

    I rarely visit doctors but I don't relish the prospect of knee replacement(s) in coming decades so
    if there is something I should know now, I guess I'd better hear it and act on it.

    dave
     
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  2. In article <[email protected]>, Dave Rusin <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > 5. Other?

    Suggest you rule out poor bike fit by consulting with a knowledgeable fitter. Poor fit is a common
    source of a variety of knee problems. It's worthwhile to find a real expert and pay for the service.

    When my knees hurt I reduce mileage, ride easy, and ride low gears.

    --Paul
     
  3. Ns>

    Ns> Guest

    I believe the rule of thumb is:

    Don't stand in the saddle or hit the big ring until after spinning atleast 1000 miles in a low gear.

    I adhere to that rule (mostly) and have the same problems as you. Dave I'm 43 and am in similar
    shape. When I come out of a squat I have to move my right leg forward until my foot sits squarely on
    the ground and use my hands on my left knee to push up in order to avert the loud pop...

    I also am watching the posts for an answer to this....

    NS
     
  4. Dave,

    Good advice to check the bike fit. But if nothing changes and your knees still bother you, the best
    way to find an answer is to see an orthopedist (look for a good one for sportsmedicine). He'll
    probably send you for an MRI and that should answer the question about what's going on inside your
    knee. After that he can determine the best course of action, which can be as simple as some
    exercises to strengthen specific muscles around the knee.

    Janet
     
  5. Janet Cicariello-Cook wrote:

    > Dave,
    >
    > Good advice to check the bike fit. But if nothing changes and your knees still bother you, the
    > best way to find an answer is to see an orthopedist (look for a good one for sportsmedicine).
    > He'll probably send you for an MRI and that should answer the question about what's going on
    > inside your knee. After that he can determine the best course of action, which can be as simple as
    > some exercises to strengthen specific muscles around the knee.

    Exactly what my experience was. Cycling builds up the outer, upper quad. The imbalance in muscle
    strength causes the knee cap to ride up and down with a slight diagonal component, causing rubbing
    and inflammation.

    THAT was MY problem - and exercise did the trick.

    Your problem sounds bothersome enough, though, that you should get a professional opinion. It may be
    this simple a problem. I did some cross training to increase the muscle strength of the inner quad -
    and it's been much better ever since.

    --
    **********************************************
    Chuck Anderson • Boulder, CO http://www.CycleTourist.com Tolerance is recognizing that other people
    have different ideals and needs than you. Compromise is acting on that knowledge.
    ***********************************************************
     
  6. Archer

    Archer Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...

    ...

    > I don't expect (nor want) free medical advice, but do the regulars here believe this is
    > "obviously" one of these things?
    >
    > 1. A temporary soreness and stiffness caused by putting muscles through a healthy workout beyond
    > what they've done in years past

    It is certainly possible to be one of the other, more serious possibilities, but in my experiment of
    one, this was my experience. I am a little younger than you (42), and after I had been riding and
    running (on a treadmill, not pavement) for a year or so, my stiffness and soreness went away, and
    now it is much easier to stand from a squatting position than it had been for several years before I
    started riding again.

    ....

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
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