Unconfortable pain behind knee ... opinions ?



Cusp

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Sep 17, 2006
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Hello all!

Been training nicely for 4 weeks now. Mostly L2/L3 base training. Recently - have unconfortable pain ... more of a tendon stretch/knot type of pain on backside of leg (behind knee). For the anatomist out there ... the exact location is popliteal fossa.

My time is spent on a gym spin bike. I do set up the seating position correctly (or a think correctly. haha). And I rarely stretch.

Now - the curve ball. The pain almost instantly dissapears when I ride bike without any hands on the handle bars. When I drop down to the bars - the pain starts up again.

I have been riding the same settings on the bike for the past 4 weeks.

Any ideas? Thanks!
 

daveryanwyoming

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Oct 3, 2006
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Cusp said:
....I do set up the seating position correctly (or a think correctly. haha). ...
Sounds like your seat is set too low, that's a pretty common cause of knee pain. Try setting the seat so that your heel barely touches the pedal when the pedal is at the far end of the stroke. You shouldn't be reaching or rocking your hips when you ride, but up to that point higher is better in terms of chronic knee injuries. I suspect the pain going away while sitting up has to do with slight changes in posture and tight hamstrings. Stretching might help, but I think the basic problem is a low seat.
 

garyj

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Dec 7, 2006
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From Bicycling Medicine by Arnie Baker, M.D. - "Saddle too high, saddle too far back, or floating pedals (limit float to 5 degrees)." (P. 214)
 

wiredued

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Aug 17, 2004
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He said the pain is behind the knee that is more a problem with the seat being to high.... Any ways the more time you spend riding the more micro adjusting you will need to do to get it just right.



daveryanwyoming said:
Sounds like your seat is set too low, that's a pretty common cause of knee pain. Try setting the seat so that your heel barely touches the pedal when the pedal is at the far end of the stroke. You shouldn't be reaching or rocking your hips when you ride, but up to that point higher is better in terms of chronic knee injuries. I suspect the pain going away while sitting up has to do with slight changes in posture and tight hamstrings. Stretching might help, but I think the basic problem is a low seat.
 

daveryanwyoming

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Oct 3, 2006
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wiredued said:
He said the pain is behind the knee that is more a problem with the seat being to high.... Any ways the more time you spend riding the more micro adjusting you will need to do to get it just right.
Good point, should read before I write :eek: Still thinkin' seat height though....
 

Cusp

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Sep 17, 2006
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daveryanwyoming said:
Good point, should read before I write :eek: Still thinkin' seat height though....

The knee is fine. What bothers me is ... backside of knee ... the 'hinge'. haha.
 

DesFlurane

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Sep 29, 2005
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You're sitting too far from the pedals.

My bike fit has recently changed, increased the saddle height about 5cm:eek:
Much pain behind the knees, dropped the height and slowly increased it and now I have adjusted to the increased ride height.
 

Cusp

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Sep 17, 2006
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DesFlurane said:
You're sitting too far from the pedals.

My bike fit has recently changed, increased the saddle height about 5cm:eek:
Much pain behind the knees, dropped the height and slowly increased it and now I have adjusted to the increased ride height.


as in fore/aft? Slide the saddle more forward you say?
 

Sillyoldtwit

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Jan 13, 2006
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When I read of these knee problems I sometimes think they are pains/injuries in waiting - possibly from birth. Not necessarily genetic, they could actually be just through prenatal events.

Why do I say this? Because I can ride with my saddle too high/low, too far back/forward and it doesn't make an iota of difference even after pounding the roads in my running days for 30 years. Yet my young cyling buddy has a pain in the side of his left knee and has tried altering everything from handlebar stem length through saddle height to moving the cleats about etc. All to no avail, the pain disappears for a while then after some serious climbing, back it comes.

Why only the left knee? I think possibly through some inherent weakness from who knows when. I'm not saying one can't rid oneself of a nagging pain through some adjustment to the bike, but that in some cases there is a weakness there and that from time to time the problem will occur regardless.

I think you have to bear in mind that we all have an Achilles heel; mine is the lower lumbar region where I manage to keep the problem at bay for most of the time, but then suddenly like last time my back went when removing toast from a toaster situated at knee height, the problem comes back to haunt you.

Cusp, I hope your knee pain is just due to a poor riding position - keep us informed and best of luck.;) Tyson
 

DesFlurane

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Cusp said:
as in fore/aft? Slide the saddle more forward you say?
Difficult of course to say without a picture, but I'd probably drop my saddle a cm or two and go from there.
 

rmur17

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Oct 5, 2004
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DesFlurane said:
Difficult of course to say without a picture, but I'd probably drop my saddle a cm or two and go from there.
yes. I'd also add that if you develop or have developed any unusual swelling of the thigh or calf seek immediate medical help. Could be something much worse than a little hamstring pain.
 

Spunout

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Sep 21, 2005
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Pain goes away when you ride with no hands because you are sitting up on the bicycle and shortening your lower back and hamstrings.

Solution: Stretch lower back, hamstrings, see a physio. Handlebars may be too low, saddle too high.
 

1963

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Nov 6, 2006
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you knowwhat they say?

if you do ot own this bike you are and best t oremember every single time you go to the place? not the height adjustment etc? but the wear and tear of the device used over and over and over again?
 

Cusp

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Sep 17, 2006
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Spunout said:
Pain goes away when you ride with no hands because you are sitting up on the bicycle and shortening your lower back and hamstrings.

Solution: Stretch lower back, hamstrings, see a physio. Handlebars may be too low, saddle too high.


Indeed - the saddle was too high. Lowered it by 1/2 inch and raised handle bar. Ride was much better than last time on bike. However- there was still a slight pain when riding.

NOTE: It isn't painful as 'OUCH'. It's like a hard knot in muscle. Like a cramp. And annoying as hell.

MUCH better than before ... but was there every so often. And of course it disappeared when riding up without any hands on handle bars.

Note though - the pain isn't my hamstrings. Located upper most portion of calf.

Thanks.
 

Bicycleboy

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Feb 24, 2007
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Cusp said:
Hello all!

Been training nicely for 4 weeks now. Mostly L2/L3 base training. Recently - have unconfortable pain ... more of a tendon stretch/knot type of pain on backside of leg (behind knee). For the anatomist out there ... the exact location is popliteal fossa.

My time is spent on a gym spin bike. I do set up the seating position correctly (or a think correctly. haha). And I rarely stretch.

Now - the curve ball. The pain almost instantly dissapears when I ride bike without any hands on the handle bars. When I drop down to the bars - the pain starts up again.

I have been riding the same settings on the bike for the past 4 weeks.

Any ideas? Thanks!
I was working with a trainer yesterday, and doing stretches he noted that my hips, glutes, and hamstrings were really tight. He then commented that I probably have back pain and pain behind my knee when I bike. He was correct on all points, I never thought of the source of my problem as these parts, but now that he mentioned it, it makes sense. He gave me some stretches to do in the mean time, and told me to work on my hamstrings in the gym. I hope it works.
 

bighead_9901

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Oct 16, 2006
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I had the same problem and posted about it here as well. I checked my seat using some of the techniques mentioned such as setting the seat at a height where my heel just reached the pedal and then continued making minor adjustments until it felt right.

As far as the pain it took a little over a week until the back of my knee didn't have any pain.

Also once I started riding over 50 miles I developed pain on the outside of my left knee. I mentioned this to the owner of the local bike shop and he had me focus on spinning at a higher cadence and we also began moving my seat fore and aft. After about two weeks of riding at a good cadence and making more seat adjustments I was able to ride pain free. I have now put in 500 miles this month with this setup without any pain.

I really don't know if I would agree with sillyoldtwit that it is a genetic weakness. I think with the repetitive motion of cycling that if your joints and body aren't moving the way they should that it will result in pain/injury. I have discovered that getting a "perfect setup" is a painful time consuming process and you have to make small changes and document what you are doing so that you can find what works.
 

1963

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Nov 6, 2006
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Fo me I must change my settings, for indoor/outdoor higher insideon theseat, and lower outside, knowin where my positions are is a must, if I go off by a hair I can tell. but never in pain of areas.
So it is best to figure what is giving you the pain, ? your force of the body puliing legs to the wrong sector , foward, backward, sideways to high to low.

I am suprized no oneever mention sneakers or ridingshoes can throw pain tpo you? wear and tear my friend, wear and tear...............:D
 

Cusp

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Sep 17, 2006
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With some stretching (lots on the calves) and a lowered seat ... the pain is getting better/less noticable as the spinning continues.

I use Sidi shoes BTW.
 

Paulie-AU

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Mar 22, 2005
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bighead_9901 said:
Also once I started riding over 50 miles I developed pain on the outside of my left knee. I mentioned this to the owner of the local bike shop and he had me focus on spinning at a higher cadence and we also began moving my seat fore and aft. After about two weeks of riding at a good cadence and making more seat adjustments I was able to ride pain free. I have now put in 500 miles this month with this setup without any pain.
I had the same problem after changing frames and losing my measurements in the 6 weeks it took for a warranty frame to show up. In the end I set it up as per basic recommendations. Moving the seat foward 8mm got rid of the pain.
 

Sillyoldtwit

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Jan 13, 2006
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bighead_9901 said:
I really don't know if I would agree with sillyoldtwit that it is a genetic weakness.
I didn't say it was a genetic weakness, my exact words were:-

When I read of these knee problems I sometimes think they are pains/injuries in waiting - possibly from birth. Not necessarily genetic, they could actually be just through prenatal events.

Why only the left knee? I think possibly through some inherent weakness from who knows when. I'm not saying one can't rid oneself of a nagging pain through some adjustment to the bike, but that in some cases there is a weakness there and that from time to time the problem will occur regardless
.

And finally I hoped it was just due to poor riding position.

Cusp, I hope your knee pain is just due to a poor riding position - keep us informed and best of luck
.;) Tyson

Another thing worth bearing in mind is, that some people like me are very lucky and as I said, the bike setup makes no difference to me. High saddle/low saddle, cleats not adjusted correctly etc. etc. So why do some people, like my riding buddy suffer from bad positioning, which brings me back to possibly an inherent weakness which can possibly be overcome by adjusting the bike setup.
Just a thought. TYSON