Sore knees

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Stainlesssteelr, Apr 21, 2003.

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  1. After a couple of months of approximately 1 hours cycling per day (a mix of forest and road) I am
    starting to get incredibly sore knees. It feels a little like tendonitis, as the pain is more
    centred slightly below the kneecap, but it's at the point where it is too painful to cycle :-(

    I was wondering if anyone else has had similar problems after regular cycling, and can recommend any
    solutions (short of not cycling).

    (Sorry if that doesn't make much sense, as the brain isn't in gear this evening!)

    --
    StainlessSteelRat Dana Scully: Y'know, his fly's undone. Fox Mulder: Are you insinuating something?
     
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  2. Tom C

    Tom C Guest

    "StainlessSteelRat" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > After a couple of months of approximately 1 hours cycling per day (a mix
    of
    > forest and road) I am starting to get incredibly sore knees. It feels a little like tendonitis, as
    > the pain is more centred slightly below the kneecap, but it's at the point where it is too painful
    > to cycle :-(
    >

    Hi SSR

    I suffer from knee problems and know what you're talking about. The most important thing is to
    respect the pain - don't just plough through it day after day because that could lead to serious
    injury. If the pain persists take an anti-inflamatory drug like Ibuprofen (generic, or in brands
    like Neurofen) following the dosage on the packet.

    Take a break for a day or two, or until the pain has gone, and then cycle for shorter periods,
    increasing slowly, until you can tell if a more steady build up is strengthening the jknee and
    preventing further problems. If the pain returns even during a managed increase in activity then its
    probably best to have an appointment with a physiotherapist, preferably one who treats sports
    injuries. If you look in Yellow Pages or Thompsons, you will find that many practices specialise in
    sports injuries these days.

    Some people recommend the use of Glucosamine Sulphate tablets but as I understand it, the problem is
    you have to take them for a very long time before they begin to take effect. Even then their benefit
    is not exactly proven (see http://www.sportsinjurybulletin.com/archive/1062-glucosamine.htm ). Cod
    liver oil and other fish oils are claimed to be good for joints too but the evidence is anecdotal
    rather than proven.

    Tom

    --
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  3. Nc

    Nc Guest

    "StainlessSteelRat" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > After a couple of months of approximately 1 hours cycling per day (a mix
    of
    > forest and road) I am starting to get incredibly sore knees. It feels a little like tendonitis, as
    > the pain is more centred slightly below the kneecap, but it's at the point where it is too painful
    > to cycle :-(
    >
    > I was wondering if anyone else has had similar problems after regular cycling, and can recommend
    > any solutions (short of not cycling).

    1) don't cycle in pain/discomfort, you might be making matters worse.
    2) see a sports physio if it persists
    3) check saddle height; is it too low ?
    4) check pedalling speed; do you slog around slowly, or spin quickly ? Should spin at >60rpm,
    possibly >90rpm, including uphill, that's what the "granny" gears are for.
    5) if insufficient low gears for spinning up hills, visit bike shop for smaller chainrings.
    6) if using clipped pedals (SPD etc), check the position of the cleat, amount of float, etc.
    7) do stretching exercises before and after riding

    NC
     
  4. Tom C wrote:
    >> After a couple of months of approximately 1 hours cycling per day (a mix of forest and road) I am
    >> starting to get incredibly sore knees. It feels a little like tendonitis, as the pain is more
    >> centred slightly below the kneecap, but it's at the point where it is too painful to cycle :-(
    >>
    >
    > I suffer from knee problems and know what you're talking about. The most important thing is to
    > respect the pain - don't just plough through it day after day because that could lead to serious
    > injury. If the pain persists take an anti-inflamatory drug like Ibuprofen (generic, or in brands
    > like Neurofen) following the dosage on the packet.
    >
    > Take a break for a day or two, or until the pain has gone, and then cycle for shorter periods,
    > increasing slowly, until you can tell if a more steady build up is strengthening the jknee and
    > preventing further problems. If the pain returns even during a managed increase in activity then
    > its probably best to have an appointment with a physiotherapist, preferably one who treats sports
    > injuries. If you look in Yellow Pages or Thompsons, you will find that many practices specialise
    > in sports injuries these days.
    >
    > Some people recommend the use of Glucosamine Sulphate tablets but as I understand it, the problem
    > is you have to take them for a very long time before they begin to take effect. Even then their
    > benefit is not exactly proven (see
    > http://www.sportsinjurybulletin.com/archive/1062-glucosamine.htm ). Cod liver oil and other fish
    > oils are claimed to be good for joints too but the evidence is anecdotal rather than proven.

    Yep, for the moment I think I will go with the "take a break" option, maybe two days on, one day
    off. It's a right pain (no pun intended) as I'm really enjoying getting out of the bike :-(

    --
    StainlessSteelRat "No, Professor, don't give up! There were plenty of times in my century when I was
    going to give up, but I never did, never! Hey, are you even listening to me? Oh, I give up." -- Fry
     
  5. NC wrote:
    >> After a couple of months of approximately 1 hours cycling per day (a mix of forest and road) I am
    >> starting to get incredibly sore knees. It feels a little like tendonitis, as the pain is more
    >> centred slightly below the kneecap, but it's at the point where it is too painful to cycle :-(
    >>
    >> I was wondering if anyone else has had similar problems after regular cycling, and can recommend
    >> any solutions (short of not cycling).
    >
    > 1) don't cycle in pain/discomfort, you might be making matters worse.
    > 2) see a sports physio if it persists
    > 3) check saddle height; is it too low ?

    I've raised the saddle 3 times over the last few weeks. I'm fairly sure I tend to ride with the
    saddle quite high, principally because I don't think my thighs get sufficient exercise if it's
    not high enough to stretch my leg. Just a personal thing, but maybe my knees are now getting
    greater stretch.

    > 4) check pedalling speed; do you slog around slowly, or spin quickly ? Should spin at >60rpm,
    > possibly >90rpm, including uphill, that's what the "granny" gears are for.

    I used to be slow spinning (obviously requiring greater effort) but recently I've dropped a gear or
    two to spin quicker. I'll either stick with that or spin higher if anything.

    > 5) if insufficient low gears for spinning up hills, visit bike shop for smaller chainrings.

    This bike is good for low gears, if anything there are insufficient high gears. I used to be able to
    pedal downhill but can't any more :)

    > 6) if using clipped pedals (SPD etc), check the position of the cleat, amount of float, etc.

    Interesting that you mention that, but when I was cycling a couple of years back I had exactly the
    same problem with toe clips. Hopefully that eliminates SPD from the equation (which I am using now).

    > 7) do stretching exercises before and after riding

    Yep, that's a good point. I guess it's from trying to do to much too quickly
    :-(

    --
    StainlessSteelRat Max: Don't ever invite a vampire into your house, you silly boy. It renders you
    powerless. Sam Emerson: Did you know that? Edgar Frog: Sure. Everyone knows that.
     
  6. Mads Hilberg

    Mads Hilberg Guest

    > > 6) if using clipped pedals (SPD etc), check the position of the cleat, amount of float, etc.
    >
    > Interesting that you mention that, but when I was cycling a couple of
    years
    > back I had exactly the same problem with toe clips. Hopefully that eliminates SPD from the
    > equation (which I am using now).

    I don't think this eliminates SPDs from the equation. Both toe clips and SPDs limit your movement to
    a degree. You might try cycling without SPDs for a while to see if it helps. If it does there are
    alternative designs that provide more (or different) freedom of movement than SPDs.

    The fact that you have raised your saddle three times recently may well be contributing to the
    problem - both too high and too low can give problems (although typically in different places around
    the knee).

    Take at least a week off from cycling to be sure the pain has completely gone. Then build up again,
    but start with short rides and go slow. These are your knees! You can't walk without them.

    Regards,

    Mads Hilberg
     
  7. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Mon, 21 Apr 2003 09:40:19 +0100, "StainlessSteelRat" <[email protected]> wrote:

    Well, Slippery Jim, I suggest you start by getting Angelina to apply a little light massage (but
    don't let it get out of hand) and lay off the cigars and booze a bit :)

    >> 1) don't cycle in pain/discomfort, you might be making matters worse.
    >> 2) see a sports physio if it persists
    >> 3) check saddle height; is it too low ?

    >I've raised the saddle 3 times over the last few weeks. I'm fairly sure I tend to ride with the
    >saddle quite high, principally because I don't think my thighs get sufficient exercise if it's
    >not high enough to stretch my leg. Just a personal thing, but maybe my knees are now getting
    >greater stretch.

    Pain in the front of the knees, or under the kneecaps, /can/ be due to various disorders, but AFAICT
    is much more usually down to adjustment or cadence. Having adjusted the saddle three times recently
    may just mean that it was further out than you think :) I am 6'1" tall and the top of my saddle is
    about 44" off the ground on my tourer - it looks a long way up (and feels it when I climb up there
    from my recumbent).

    As you may know the usual starting point for saddle height is 109% of inside leg length (crotch to
    floor, no shoes) from the bottom pedal spindle to the top of the saddle [(c) Richard Ballantine].
    You can refine this by trial and error, tweaking in small increments (1/8" at a time or less), or
    get a more accurate fitting from your bike shop or at http://www.wrenchscience.com. If the saddle is
    too high your hips will rock from side to side when pedalling, and you will tend to get pain in the
    calves and the backs of the knees. If it's too low you will suffer discomfort in the front of the
    knees. This much is well known.

    >> 4) check pedalling speed; do you slog around slowly, or spin quickly ? Should spin at >60rpm,
    >> possibly >90rpm, including uphill, that's what the "granny" gears are for.

    >I used to be slow spinning (obviously requiring greater effort) but recently I've dropped a gear or
    >two to spin quicker. I'll either stick with that or spin higher if anything.

    The Cateye Astrale seems to be very cheap these days and comes with a cadence function. I find that
    a sustained cadence of much below 90rpm causes knee pain.

    >> 6) if using clipped pedals (SPD etc), check the position of the cleat, amount of float, etc.

    >Interesting that you mention that, but when I was cycling a couple of years back I had exactly
    >the same problem with toe clips. Hopefully that eliminates SPD from the equation (which I am
    >using now).

    Not necessarily. I found that I suffered some discomfort at the outsides of the knees when I had
    SPDs adjusted for high tension and the cleats were aligned with the heels too far out. Moving the
    cleats to put the heels slightly closer together, and the cleat nearer the heel, improved this. But
    that was on a recumbent, so may not hold for a wedgie.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  8. Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
    > Well, Slippery Jim, I suggest you start by getting Angelina to apply a little light massage (but
    > don't let it get out of hand) and lay off the cigars and booze a bit :)

    Haha! Yeah, well her and the boys are off saving the Universe or something
    :) As for cigars and booze, I never touch the stuff... much.

    <snip>
    > Pain in the front of the knees, or under the kneecaps, /can/ be due to various disorders, but
    > AFAICT is much more usually down to adjustment or cadence. Having adjusted the saddle three times
    > recently may just mean that it was further out than you think :) I am 6'1" tall and the top of my
    > saddle is about 44" off the ground on my tourer - it looks a long way up (and feels it when I
    > climb up there from my recumbent).

    Yeah, I think I might go even higher with the saddle. It feels more natural to me to pedal with a
    "stretched" leg, and to almost be at the point of tip toes when at the extreme distance point. Of
    course whether this is good for my leg...

    > As you may know the usual starting point for saddle height is 109% of inside leg length (crotch to
    > floor, no shoes) from the bottom pedal spindle to the top of the saddle [(c) Richard Ballantine].
    > You can refine this by trial and error, tweaking in small increments (1/8" at a time or less), or
    > get a more accurate fitting from your bike shop or at http://www.wrenchscience.com. If the saddle
    > is too high your hips will rock from side to side when pedalling, and you will tend to get pain in
    > the calves and the backs of the knees. If it's too low you will suffer discomfort in the front of
    > the knees. This much is well known.

    There's certainly pain all round the knee cap on both legs. Hmmm.

    >> I used to be slow spinning (obviously requiring greater effort) but recently I've dropped a gear
    >> or two to spin quicker. I'll either stick with that or spin higher if anything.
    >
    > The Cateye Astrale seems to be very cheap these days and comes with a cadence function. I find
    > that a sustained cadence of much below 90rpm causes knee pain.

    I think I'm doing more like 30 rpm at some points. I prefer not to use a computer just to reduce the
    "crap" quotient on my bike.

    >> Interesting that you mention that, but when I was cycling a couple of years back I had exactly
    >> the same problem with toe clips. Hopefully that eliminates SPD from the equation (which I am
    >> using now).
    >
    > Not necessarily. I found that I suffered some discomfort at the outsides of the knees when I had
    > SPDs adjusted for high tension and the cleats were aligned with the heels too far out. Moving the
    > cleats to put the heels slightly closer together, and the cleat nearer the heel, improved this.
    > But that was on a recumbent, so may not hold for a wedgie.

    The pedals themselves are set quite low so there is plenty of relative movement in the clip. The
    cleats on the shoes are set pretty much on the ball of the foot, and this feels the most natural
    place to have them for me.

    I'm pretty much coming to the conclusion that I've overdone it, especially in respect of "slow
    spinning" and therefore pushing the muscle too hard.

    --
    StainlessSteelRat "It is much easier to be critical than to be correct." -- Benjamin Disraeli
     
  9. Mads Hilberg wrote: <snip>
    > Take at least a week off from cycling to be sure the pain has completely gone. Then build up
    > again, but start with short rides and go slow. These are your knees! You can't walk without them.

    Yep, that's for sure. A couple of days off now might save a lot of aggro later! :)

    --
    StainlessSteelRat Albert: You must be careful now to end the ceremony properly. If you leave, you
    must not do any work, change clothes or bathe for four days. Fox Mulder: That's really gonna cut
    into my social life.
     
  10. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Just zis Guy, you know? <[email protected]> wrote:

    Is that the time already?

    Welcome back

    Tony

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to
    adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George
    Bernard Shaw
     
  11. Tony R

    Tony R Guest

    "StainlessSteelRat" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > After a couple of months of approximately 1 hours cycling per day (a mix
    of
    > forest and road) I am starting to get incredibly sore knees. It feels a little like tendonitis, as
    > the pain is more centred slightly below the kneecap, but it's at the point where it is too painful
    > to cycle :-(
    >
    > I was wondering if anyone else has had similar problems after regular cycling, and can recommend
    > any solutions (short of not cycling).
    >
    > (Sorry if that doesn't make much sense, as the brain isn't in gear this evening!)
    >
    > --
    > StainlessSteelRat Dana Scully: Y'know, his fly's undone. Fox Mulder: Are you insinuating
    > something?
    >
    I used to get a terrible pain below my right kneecap if I upped the mileage suddenly or generally
    pushed too hard. It would last for days.If it gets excruciating when you walk downstairs you may
    have what I had. In which case this site might be of some help:-
    www.orthoseek.com/articles/chondromp.html I just followed the excercise regime outlined here and
    last year the problem didn't surface at all despite much increased mileage. Of course I'm only a
    sufferer not a physiotherapist. Hope this helps, Tony R.
     
  12. Taywood

    Taywood Guest

    > As you may know the usual starting point for saddle height is 109% of inside leg length (crotch to
    > floor, no shoes) from the bottom pedal spindle to the top of the saddle [(c) Richard Ballantine].
    > You can refine this by trial and error, tweaking in small increments (1/8" at a time or less), or
    > get a more accurate fitting from your bike shop or at http://www.wrenchscience.com. If the saddle
    > is too high your hips will rock from side to side when pedalling, and you will tend to get pain in
    > the calves and the backs of the knees. If it's too low you will suffer discomfort in the front of
    > the knees. This much is well known.

    and theres the top tube length to be considered too. Is your knee too far forward?
     
  13. John B

    John B Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:

    > Just zis Guy, you know? <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > Is that the time already?
    >
    > Welcome back
    >

    But only if he can leave Sm*t* alone ;-)

    John B
     
  14. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    John B <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Tony Raven wrote:
    >
    > > Just zis Guy, you know? <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >
    > > Is that the time already?
    > >
    > > Welcome back
    > >
    >
    > But only if he can leave Sm*t* alone ;-)

    Too late. He's gone after him already. :)

    --
    Dave...
     
  15. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Dave Kahn <[email protected]> wrote:
    > John B <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >> Tony Raven wrote:
    >>
    >>> Just zis Guy, you know? <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>>
    >>> Is that the time already?
    >>>
    >>> Welcome back
    >>>
    >>
    >> But only if he can leave Sm*t* alone ;-)
    >
    > Too late. He's gone after him already. :)

    Pulled straight out without looking and tried to run him off the road ;-)

    Tony

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to
    adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George
    Bernard Shaw
     
  16. James Hodson

    James Hodson Guest

    On Mon, 21 Apr 2003 16:54:27 +0100, "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >As you may know the usual starting point for saddle height is 109% of inside leg length (crotch to
    >floor, no shoes) from the bottom pedal spindle to the top of the saddle [(c) Richard Ballantine].

    Hi Guy

    No, I didn't know that. However, I get my saddle's height by putting it to a level at which my hips
    rock'n'roll and then lowering it by about an inch. I do fiddle around with the height quite
    regularly anyway as this seems to prevent any knee or leg pains. FWIW, I tend to spin at about 80 or
    90 rpm - by reck'o'theen.

    I have the saddle on my rigid, get around town MTB too low purely for convenience. I have to attach
    kites to the X-bar occasionally.

    In general I prefer my perch to be a little lower rather than a little higher as I can't "ankle"
    with my right foot.

    James

    --
    Watch the kite, not where you're going!
     
  17. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Mon, 21 Apr 2003 16:09:24 +0000 (UTC), "StainlessSteelRat" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I think I'm doing more like 30 rpm at some points. I prefer not to use a computer just to reduce
    >the "crap" quotient on my bike.

    'taint about reducing the crap, it's about tuning the machine. And, of course, being able to boast
    in the pub abot how far you rode today...

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  18. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Tue, 22 Apr 2003 20:21:11 +0100, James Hodson <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I get my saddle's height by putting it to a level at which my hips rock'n'roll and then lowering it
    >by about an inch. I do fiddle around with the height quite regularly anyway as this seems to
    >prevent any knee or leg pains. FWIW, I tend to spin at about 80 or 90 rpm - by reck'o'theen.

    I've not moved the saddle on my tourer in living memory, it's "right" and stays that way, but I drop
    the saddle slightly on the MTB for rough ground. Another quick & dirty method is to sit on the
    saddle and adjust the height until your leg is straight with the pedal down and your heel on the
    pedal, over the spindle. That's how recumbent riders usually do it, because the 109% rule is not
    easy to measure on a 'bent.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  19. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Mon, 21 Apr 2003 16:09:24 +0000 (UTC), "StainlessSteelRat" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I think I might go even higher with the saddle. It feels more natural to me to pedal with a
    >"stretched" leg, and to almost be at the point of tip toes when at the extreme distance point.

    That's a bit *too* much; even on a 'bent you only point your toes a teeny bit. You know you're on
    the right track when you can pedal in nice smooth circles at 100rpm without bouncing out of the
    saddle or waggling from side to side.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  20. Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
    >> I think I'm doing more like 30 rpm at some points. I prefer not to use a computer just to reduce
    >> the "crap" quotient on my bike.
    >
    > 'taint about reducing the crap, it's about tuning the machine. And, of course, being able to boast
    > in the pub abot how far you rode today...

    Hehe, well I went through that phase and swore blind that my next bike wouldn't have too much
    "clutter".

    --
    StainlessSteelRat Sushi Master: He say you are Blade Runner. Rick Deckard: Tell him I'm eating.
     
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