Mountain Biking - my knee, wtf is going on?
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08-21-02, 09:51 AM
Hi, well i brought my bike in for a tuneup, and apparently the guy changed the seat height cause when i went riding after i rode for about 2 hours on some hard trails my knee started hurting when i pedaled with my left leg. I put the seat back to where it was (or so i think) but my knee still gets these "pains". I've never gotten them before on my bike and i'm sure it's due to the seat change. However the pain feels like it's on the outside left of my left knee, not directly in the knee. I'm getting pretty pissed cause A) i can't bike like i used to and B) i can't run very well now with this problem. Anyone have any suggestions of excercises to do to stretch it out, or am i best off by seeing a doctor? :(
08-21-02, 10:02 AM
What type of pedals are you using? Is your foot still positioned the same? Usually but not all ways, pain on the out side is from stress being placed on your tendons running along the outer portion of your knee. If your knee is not tracking properly it could cause the tendons to become irritated and inflamed.
08-22-02, 08:28 AM
I've got the same exact problem. I fell down some stairs in college and hit the outside of my right knee on an arm rail. It was sore for a long time, went away, and now it has slowly come back. One thing I think you will notice is that it only starts hurting if your knee flexes alot. So now, when I run, I keep my legs stiffer than usual, and when I bike I put the seat up fairly high unless I'm just messing around. Also about two weeks ago I bought a neoprene knee brace from Wal-Mart that works wonders. It looks like a wrap, and has these bubbles in it that channels the sweat into them for evaporation. I put it on, crank down the velcro pretty tight, then fold over the top and bottom so I've got two layers of tight neoprene around the hurt part. I went from not being able to run half a mile and not being able to bike 5 miles on the road to being able to run until my lungs give in (2 miles) and mountain biking until I'm exhausted (12 miles off-road, with lots of hills and tree roots). As you can see I'm not in the best shape right now because I haven't been able to push myself in over a year, but that brace has enabled me to start doing that again, so I recommend you do the same before it gets worse. Yeah I ran every day last week, biked 12 miles off-road saturday night, and did the same thing as soon as I woke up sunday morning. It's been a looooong time since I could do that. If you get more information, please relay it here, or write to email@example.com.
08-22-02, 08:50 AM
Dear Dr. Gonzo,
I had a very similar thing happen to me on my first long bike ride. I had the seat adjusted too low for the first 200mi, and developed what I think was patellar tendonitis and achilles tendonitis. I thought I was maimed for life when I returned home. I couldn't bike or run without pain for weeks. Then I just did neither for about a month and eveything cleared up completely.
If you have any kind of inflamation in your knee or in the tendons and bursa surrounding it, it will take time to heal. Time and Ibuprofen/motrin. Joints like the knee have a notoriously poor blood supplies, and therefore it takes a while to "flush out" the white blood cells and debris that inflammation introduces.
I also found that by taking Ibuprofen BEFORE a ride (with a meal, of course), i could minimize the pain during and after. If you take Ibuprofen before a ride, STAY HYDRATED, as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen and Motrin are not easy on your kidneys.
So to sum up - try taking it easy and give your knees the time they need to improve (repetitive motion and impacts can both irritate your knee). Use NSAIDs with care to reduce inflammation before it even starts.
08-22-02, 09:17 AM
I know that in dance and general correct posture, you want to always make sure the center of your knee cap goes directly over your second and third toe (from the big toe) during movement. The knee is a pretty unstable joint so always watch for alignment. Check out how you walk/run, too. Your feet should always line up with your knees. If your feet go outwards (knees inwardly pronated) when you walk/run, your knees are still going forward and it torks your knee joint. Same thing if they go inward (knees outwardly pronated). There are several ways to correct that habit. One is to constantly check out where your feet are in relation to your knees when you're sitting or standing. Line 'em up! Another way is to walk slowly forward towards a mirror (so you can see what you're doing without looking down) while trying to keep your knees and feet going directly forward (insides of feet shouls be parrallel, not outsides). Try walking backwards too. Knee bends are also a good idea. Standing with your feet in parrallel and hip-width apart, take a slight bend and keep your knees going directly over the second and third toe. Don't let your knees roll in and touch each other or roll out away from each other. Repeat the bends.
Having improper alignment in your knees can cause all kinds of problems besides screwed up knees, like a sway back which can cause lower back pain. Having knees that turn inward can also press your arches towards the floor, contributing to flat feet. When you start to correct these kinds of things you should do it very slowly. You'll be using muscles that you aren't used to using. If it hurts, back off and make smaller changes. If you've got some serious pain or a major injury, see a doctor before messing with your knees any more! :)
I've had knee problems for years with my right knee (I think it was from messing around on skateboards when I was younger).
Anyway, the pain crops up from time to time and I have learned you really need to take ibuprofin and rest it for awhile because you will only make it worse (don't push yourself). When it starts feeling better you can work out supporting muscles to make up for your weakness--for me, I have to work out my inner thigh since my outer muscles are too strong and pull my knee outward. I just got into biking recently and thought I might have knee troubles again but it has only bothered me on longer trips. I know it is time to quit then because you can really screw it up if you push it. Pain is your body's way of warning you and always listen. A guy at work pushed himself on a long roadbike race and thoroughly screwed himself up...now he hasn't been able to ride in a year and is so sorry he didn't quit when his body told him to.
It sucks to curb yourself but it is far better than not riding anymore!
08-22-02, 12:34 PM
"Pain is your body's way of warning you and always listen."
True dat. Keep flogging an aching knee and eventually you'll break it (osteoarthritis). Replacements don't work nearly as well and last only ~10 years. You don't have to "pound" a knee to damage it (I am repeating myself here, but this is important) - it's the presence of inflammation, the pain and swelling, that's actually tearing up your joint space.
08-22-02, 01:53 PM
If the pain is on the outside of the knee. . . how do these additional symtoms sound -
It doesn't hurt when you walk, but when you go for a run, after a while the pain starts and gets worse quite quickly. The pain doesn't come on footstrike, but rather its when yo flex you leg as you bring it forward for the next step.
When you stop to walk the pain quickly goes away.
If this is a match you could have ITBS Ileo-tibial band syndrome. A big tendon that goes from theoutside of your hip, down the side of your thigh and ataches to the bony knob at the top of the tibia. When the knee flexes this tendon slides normally on the outside of the knee. it is supported/slides on a couple of fluid filled sacks or bursa. These can become inflamed and are the cause of the pain. Rest, anti-inflamatories and ice will help. So to will stretching. And physio. do an internet search on ITBS
08-22-02, 02:39 PM
Stew, and everybody else, thanks for your comments. It appears that this is exactly what I have, although I didn't start this topic. I read several articles on http://www.itbs.info and it fits me perfectly. This prompted me to contact a local sports medicine and orthopedic surgery doctor, and I have an appointment for this Tuesday. I thought it was some freak occurrence I should live with until I read these posts. Thanks guys.
08-25-02, 12:40 PM
Thanks for all the great replies! I've been taking a little break and i started running on a treadmill and so far the 30minute runs are going good! that itbs.info is a good link too
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