Here is something new I
learned about my own experience.
I agree that if I could hike downhill as much as I cycle, I would not experience this pain.
But, for me, that is not practical since I ride 12 to 13 hours per week (commuting), and I work full time most of the year, etc...
Based on my recent experience having more than a week off the bike on travel and holiday events,
and based on the idea that the bundles of muscles fibers when rubbed together under force in one direction (cycling)
build up a grain on the muscle bundle edges, I decided to try something new to reduce the pain.
After a few days inside with no exercise and needing to return home, I also had to go down many flights of stairs to move belongings.
The same pain happened acutely during this activity, so I stopped and for 10 minutes where I sat on a high chair and swung my legs freely front and back so that the knees bent and straightened and the quad muscles would be flexed and rub together, but not be under tension.
I thought this action might slowly reduce the scarred edges to the muscle fibers (assuming that's what was there).
I then resumed walking down stairs.
The quad pain was greatly reduced and almost eliminated, and from experience, this was a huge improvement.
So, although this result does not prove the muscle fiber theory, it at least supports it.
And it gives me a way to reduce the pain when it happens.
I might work these leg swinging actions into my daily routine.
I've been managing the same problem since I started taking spinning classes years back. Lately I've taken on biking 4-5 times week and I experience the same issues when taking more than 2 days break. Even shorter breaks of 36h make me legs feel "funny" for the first 30 min into the bike ride. I have a desk job and I'm convinced that the problem is due to the leg muscle unbalance. What works for me is to do squats at the gym, once a week, 5-8 sets of 15-20 reps using maximum weight I can handle. Hiking seems to help too but requires way too much time.
Have you been diagnosed with relatively short tendons/ligaments in the posterior of your upper leg? My first thought upon reading your symptoms was to hold suspect the muscle group which counterbalances the forces acting on your bones by your quads (biceps femoris and semitendinosus, roughly). A deficiency in the elements which anchor said counterbalancing muscles may account for this.
Originally Posted by buzzbee
Is this a burning pain or a cramping pain? Have you tried treating it with rehydration salts?
You may hear something like "you cannot cycle too much" but this is not correct, as it is impossible to make such an assertion without knowing the intimate details of your muscle physiology, which even your PCP won't have the time or funding to know. If you ride hard enough while cycling, perhaps your physiology is such that the repeated concentric contractions during a hard ride while commuting causes a sustained injurious state within the quad's myofibrils, which is only revealed when the quads are used for eccentric contraction while hiking a downhill grade. A simple way to diagnose this is to run a trial wherein you discontinue cycling for a significant period of time while retaining your hiking schedule; if the pain decreases or disappears altogether, the culprit is logically cycling, or at the least has to do with cycling.
Qualified in what?
Originally Posted by shawnh
This is not a bad route to pursue, and my sentiments with respect to the OP's problem.
Originally Posted by DesertCrawler
I'm not sure if I've been asked this question...
But, yes, I have proved it is commuting by bike that causes my problem.
If I stay completely off the bike for a few weeks or more, then this pain never appears.
The pain is not sharp or stinging, but starts off as twinges, and gets more acute within minutes.
I have not found any medicine that helps.
My current theory is that the constant cycling builds up a grain direction (like in wood) in my quads, and walking downhill goes against the grain. If I hike the day after riding I do not get the pain because the scar tissue has not built up yet on those muscle grains.
What I do to help prevent the pain is to swing my legs freely for at least 10 minutes, perhaps this reduces the amount of exposed grain or breaks down the scar tissue...
It's just a theory, but it seems to match the data.
The impact of walk/hike/jog is going to make a difference too. I pretty much never stretch (my knees are too wonky from crashes), and i've never had any issues. I have had pains here and there, though i doubt they are cycling related. Proper potassium intake is just as likely cure as anything to do with repetitive exertion.
Hope that helps? :thumb: