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  1. #1
    The guy in the 50+ jersey PAlt's Avatar
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    Tendinitis in the Knee

    Posted this in Training and Nutrition, but other 50+r's may have more age relevant advice. Anyone have experience with tendinitis in the knee(s)? After finishing AOMM, seen to have some in my left knee. Two days off the bike after, did an easy spin on Thurs. nite, pain back Fri. AM, not quite as severe as Tues. AM. Sat, rode about 25mi, moderate pace, pain back again. Climbing stairs and ramps seen to be more painful than flat surfaces, but the forward walking motion causes a twinge. Have iced it ystd. & today, as well as used an electronic "stim". This does provide some relief. Anti-inflammatory medications (Advil, Tylenol) don't seem to help much. Questions are:
    1. If you have experience with this, what is generally the recovery time.
    2. Any other suggestions as to self-treatment, would like to make the doctor the last choice.

  2. #2
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Lots of experience with it - for years it kept me from doing centurys, I would start training, longer rides and adding hills then it would hit. Before I knew it I'd be lucky to rider 12 miles without pain. Here is what I found, you need to let it heal and it will take a long time - many many weeks. There is low blood flow in this area of the knee. Ice will reduce the inflamation but not help the healing, because of low blood flow anti-inflamatories don't work well. What I found that worked for me was to wear a knee sock (brace) fromt eh drug store. This aided in increasing the circulation and provided enought support to allow me to ride longer until my knee strengthened enough. I have been riding centurys for several years now. I always wear the brace for rides over 40 miles but as the season goes on I find I can leave it off for rides up to a metric.

    Good luck - it is frustrating
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  3. #3
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    I had a pretty bad case in my right knee in April. The day I noticed it (two days after a hard ride in cool weather and the day after an easy ride in cool weather) I started ibuprofen and rest. Took six days off the bike. I then started back with the following rides over three days - 10 min low resistance trainer; 20 min low resistance trainer; 30 min low resistance trainer. No pain - so over the next five days took three rides outdoors of increasing intensity and no recurrence. Then went back to routine riding. I did some extra stretching over the timeframe but did not ice my knee.

    Hope that helps.

  4. #4
    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
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    It can take a very long time, as cyclinfool points out. Knees are like elbows when it comes to tendonitis and epicondylitis (in the latter, golfer's or tennis elbow). It can take a LOT of anti-inflammatories to hit this (BTW, Tylenol isn't an anti-inflammatory- aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are). IMO, rest and support are absolutely essential- the worst thing you can do is to keep using the joint unsupported. Sorry to say this, but be prepared for a potentially long recovery- knees are snarky, and it is the 50+ forum, after all.

  5. #5
    Senior Member garysol1's Avatar
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    Can you guys that have tendinitis of the knee describe where and what the pain feels like?

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    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
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    It probably varies for a lot of people, but for me it's a burning, sometimes shooting pain from the top of the kneecap area to the bottom of the quadriceps. It is pretty localized, and is most painful on exertion during the concentric part of the pedal stroke- that is, from about 12 to 4 o'clock on the crank. However, it's not always most painful on hills- I get it on flat rides too, so it's not completely dependent on the amount of exertion, but hammering on the flats can really bring it on.

  7. #7
    Senior Member lighthorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBLover View Post
    .... but hammering on the flats can really bring it on.
    This is the most important point!!! If your knees begin to hurt, then take the pressure off of your knees by spinning and quit hammering, whether it is on the flats or on the hills. If you want to ride long distances at our age (I'm 63) then learn to spin.

    How long will it take to heal? Guess that depends on how badly you strained it and your definition of healed. You can still ride if you just spin with no pressure on the knees on the down stroke.

    Often on a cross country I will begin to feel the knee pain and I know that I have not been concentrating on my form. I find that on the flats I can concentrate and spin easily, in the mountains I can spin easily as well, but in constant hills (Texas hill country for instance) it is much more difficult to stay focused and keep the shifter working.

    Just my .02.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lighthorse View Post
    This is the most important point!!! If your knees begin to hurt, then take the pressure off of your knees by spinning and quit hammering, whether it is on the flats or on the hills. If you want to ride long distances at our age (I'm 63) then learn to spin.

    How long will it take to heal? Guess that depends on how badly you strained it and your definition of healed. You can still ride if you just spin with no pressure on the knees on the down stroke.

    Often on a cross country I will begin to feel the knee pain and I know that I have not been concentrating on my form. I find that on the flats I can concentrate and spin easily, in the mountains I can spin easily as well, but in constant hills (Texas hill country for instance) it is much more difficult to stay focused and keep the shifter working.

    Just my .02.
    + one, on the spinning...I am at 65+ Its even more important...
    Bud

  9. #9
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Have you ruled out synovial plica inflammation? Been there ... done that. Not fun, but self-healing over a several-week period.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  10. #10
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garysol1 View Post
    Can you guys that have tendinitis of the knee describe where and what the pain feels like?
    For me it is a sharp pain on the left side of the knee cap - mostly on the inside (medial). I have also had flair up on the other side (lateral). I also can get it if I go hiking and am walking down the mountain, going up doesn't bother it. If you ran your finger along the ridge just to the inside of the knee cap and on the head of the tibia- thats where it hurts for me.

    I also get pain near the knee about 3 inches above the knee cap that will feel like a knife stab but I think this is muscular as it heals quickly and I can press through it - I can't press through the tendinitis pain.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  11. #11
    The guy in the 50+ jersey PAlt's Avatar
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    Update - diagnosed with patellofemoral syndrome. Prescribed anti-inflammatory, icing, light trainer, no heavy training for probably 2-3 weeks minimum. Anyone have experience with this???

  12. #12
    2 soon old, 2 late smart Bluetail's Avatar
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    Been there, done that?? No, no: AM there, DOING that. I was recently diagnosed with not only tendinitis, but also osteoarthritis in my 60-year-old right knee. Treatment plan from the sports medicine/orthopedist? Take ibuprofen BEFORE a ride, then again after along with icing down the knee; keep moving, but REDUCE GEAR INCHES and spin, as others have said--I'm picking up my bike from the shop this afternoon, where I had them swap out Ultegra components for--gasp--Deore, front and back. This hurts the ego, but the doc said that it may postpone knee replacement surgery by 5 yrs. Good luck to you!!

  13. #13
    tm3
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    orthopedic surgeon told me that advil et al don't really aid healing, they only reduce pain.

    however, ice is another matter. it stimulates blood flow which promotes healing. i have had patellar tendinitis off and on over the years and my motto is

    ice ice ice

    and

    spin spin spin

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