left knee all over the place

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by catch, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. catch

    catch New Member

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    My right knee looks a lot smoother than my left. It does not bow outwards and seems to follow a smooth course. Whereas my left knee is all over the place even when I am comfortably spinning - it seems to wobble as i bring it towards my chest. If I pedal harder I find my foot wanting to turn more and more inward. Is this due to tightness in certain muscle groups or more likely to be due to poor bike set up. My saddle height is adjusted to the highest point without allowing for any pelvic tilt and my cleats have a good degree of float in them but are set as my feet stand (which is different for both feet - outwardly rotated for my right foot and straight - almost inwardly rotated for my left)
     
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  2. Smartt/RST

    Smartt/RST New Member

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    Your best course of action is to meet with a sports physical therapist who can asses you in person. Just doing some stretches, without knowing which muscles are tight and/or weak, can possibly worsen the situation (i.e.: you may end up just stretching the already flexible muscles, while the tight muscles may not initially respond to static stretching).
    Erratic tracking of the knee is almost always an issue of muscular tightness and/or imbalances of the hip rotator muscles, which you have eluded to in your description of the way your feet are when you stand.
    But without seeing you in person, one can only speculate.
     
  3. TheToad

    TheToad New Member

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    I used to have this problem with my left knee as well, I later found out that my left leg is longer than my right and my right leg is about 10% more flexible than my left, I found this all by going to see my Physio, who as it happens is a mad keen cyclist.. I suggest like Michael says get a "pro" of some sort who has a good reputation to have a look at your drivetrain (feet through to your back/core) in general. A friend of mine had a similar problem in his right knee but that turned out to be a back flexibility issue.. I guess what I am saying is that its really individual.. see someone who knows their stuff ;)
     
  4. catch

    catch New Member

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    Thanks for your advice - have seen a sports physio and as you say my left half is a lot tighter than my right - which it turns out is exceptionally tight. Particularly my IT bands and my gluts. Have been given some good stretches - now just need to become more disciplined
     
  5. Smartt/RST

    Smartt/RST New Member

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    You might want to inquire about getting some Active Release Therapy(ART) (sports PTs do this); it really initiates an increase in flexibility which can then be maintained via static stretching. I've seen many cases (including my own) where people continually stretch a problem area with no significant results, but then have a break through after having ART done. You still need to be disciplened with your stretches afterward though.;)
     
  6. scuba aruba

    scuba aruba New Member

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    The problem with your knee could be your pedal set up. I just got back into riding this spring after essentially a 25 year lay off. When I was fitted for my bike (about a 3 hour process for both bike and pedals) both my knees were making large figure 8's when viewed from the front. The bike tech adjusted my pedals and cleats, including adding wedges between the shoe and the cleat. After the fitting my knees were travelling practically straight up and down. After a few minor adjustments, I have had no knee problems (Torn ACL in one knee). I have put over 1100 miles on my bike since July and completed my first century ride in 6 hours a few weeks ago. It would be worth the money to get a total fit assessment that includes the pedals. It paid off for me.
     
  7. Smartt/RST

    Smartt/RST New Member

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    I couldn't agree more that this is a good idea for any cyclist putting a lot of time on the bike. Injuries have a way of creeping up on us (thanks to the millions upon millions of reps we put in, even if they are low intensity) when our alignment is less than optimal.
    However, simply adapting the bike/cleats to a less than optimal state of flexibility or strength is only looking at half of the equation. Both the cyclist and the bike must be in proper working order and alignment to maximally avoid injury and optimize performance.
     
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