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  1. #1
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    Ligament Pain After 10 Mile Ride

    I'm about to head on a 1400 mi tour, but every time I go on a 10 mile+ bike ride, my right liofemorral ligament starts to hurt; the longer I go, the worse the pain gets.

    http://www.pudendalhope.info/sites/d...tAboveMale.jpg

    My bike saddle height is adjusted to let my leg be completely extended when I use the heels of my feet to pedal. My fore aft position is adjusted so that the bone right below my knee forms a perpendicular line with the ball of my foot and the center of the pedal. My stem is slightly too long (I can see the hub of the front wheel), and it's adjusted to be the same height as my saddle.

    Any idea what might be causing the ligament pain?
    Last edited by Distinguished; 05-29-14 at 06:34 PM.
    2012-2013: Trek 1000, Cannondale CAAD9
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  2. #2
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    You are going to ask for medical advice on a bicycle forum? Seriously?

    Stop your tour now and go see a doctor. Even the worst configured bike in the world should not cause pain after only ten miles.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  3. #3
    Bike touring webrarian
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    I'm not sure this is relevant to your situation, but I may have a similar problem.

    When I was learning to ski, maybe 20 years ago, I fell down a lot, as I'm sure you can imagine. One of those times, I must have injured something in that area of my right hip/thigh. Since then, I have had an occasional pain in the area where the diagram shows the ligament you identify as the "right liofemorral ligament."

    I don't have this pain often, certainly not every time I ride my bike. However, I like to coast a fair amount when I ride and I find the pain the worst when I start pedaling after coasting a bit. There are times when I have to wince every time I start riding, but, again, these are rare.

    Sometimes, it is a wrong step that sets it off. But, it has always gone away.

    I once had it happen during a tour and it was miserable for a day or two.

    I have no idea if what I have is what you describe. I've never seen a doctor for it. But, if it was something that happened consistently, I would definitely go to see a medical professional about it. I would certainly do this before a long tour if the pain was constant when I rode a bike.
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    Not a doctor.

    That said; since August I have been putting serious miles on bikes in preparation for an upcoming tour and have learned a lot about my own ligament pain (mostly around and below my knee).

    First off, I have learned to use simple platform pedals that allow me to change the position of my foot on the pedal.

    Secondly, pain, sometimes quite severe pain, can come and go on the same day during the same ride. I find that often if I simply move my foot so that the painful ligament is no longer under that irritating load, the pain will go away.

    Often this involves putting the instep directly over the axle of the pedal, complete eliminating the ball of the foot from driving the pedal. When I do that the leg pain generally goes away, even a high as my knee. Of course pedalling this way is inefficient but I do not worry about speed anyway. Often I can resume loading the ball of my foot on the affected leg later in the ride w/out further problems.

    Works for me so far, I have no idea what a physician would think.

    Mike.

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    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    See a Doctor, knees too important to hope for the best. If you are able to only do 10miles before pain sets in, the cause needs to be looked into IMO.

  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distinguished View Post
    I'm about to head on a 1400 mi tour, but every time I go on a 10 mile+ bike ride, my right liofemorral ligament starts to hurt; the longer I go, the worse the pain gets.

    http://www.pudendalhope.info/sites/d...tAboveMale.jpg

    My bike saddle height is adjusted to let my leg be completely extended when I use the heels of my feet to pedal. My fore aft position is adjusted so that the bone right below my knee forms a perpendicular line with the ball of my foot and the center of the pedal. My stem is slightly too long (I can see the hub of the front wheel), and it's adjusted to be the same height as my saddle.

    Any idea what might be causing the ligament pain?
    Lower your saddle.

    You should have a slight, very slight bend in your knee when you've got your heels on the pedals. Your leg should not be completely extended.


    Next ... what are you wearing?


    Third, have you seen a doctor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Lower your saddle.

    You should have a slight, very slight bend in your knee when you've got your heels on the pedals. Your leg should not be completely extended.


    Next ... what are you wearing?


    Third, have you seen a doctor?
    I'm thinking the issue is with the saddle height and possibly the fore-aft position of the saddle. I'll try lowering the saddle, and maybe maving the fore aft position back slightly. Maybe that might give the ligament more space to move.

    It's strange though, since the pain only happens on the right side.

    I usually wear cargo shorts on top of padded Bontager spandex shorts.

    I haven't seen a doctor. Unfortunately, the campus health center is closed until fall.
    2012-2013: Trek 1000, Cannondale CAAD9
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  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distinguished View Post
    I'm thinking the issue is with the saddle height and possibly the fore-aft position of the saddle. I'll try lowering the saddle, and maybe maving the fore aft position back slightly. Maybe that might give the ligament more space to move.

    It's strange though, since the pain only happens on the right side.

    I usually wear cargo shorts on top of padded Bontager spandex shorts.

    I haven't seen a doctor. Unfortunately, the campus health center is closed until fall.

    You might try shifting the nose of your saddle off to the right or left, rather than having it centered. Many of us ride with our saddles slightly off centre because it is more comfortable that way.

    Have you tried riding with different shorts, with different padding?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    You might try shifting the nose of your saddle off to the right or left, rather than having it centered. Many of us ride with our saddles slightly off centre because it is more comfortable that way.

    Have you tried riding with different shorts, with different padding?
    Hm, never thought the bike shorts were an issue; the pain is just about the same whether I have them on or not. The nose of the saddle might be worth investigating though, how do you determine which side to go off centre to? And how severe is the deviation usually?

    I just called the campus health center and they said they still have one person serving students until noon. I'll let you know what she thinks of my issue.
    2012-2013: Trek 1000, Cannondale CAAD9
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  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distinguished View Post
    Hm, never thought the bike shorts were an issue; the pain is just about the same whether I have them on or not. The nose of the saddle might be worth investigating though, how do you determine which side to go off centre to? And how severe is the deviation usually?

    I just called the campus health center and they said they still have one person serving students until noon. I'll let you know what she thinks of my issue.

    It's a good idea to see a Dr. 10 miles is a very short time to be experiencing pain. You might also think about a chiropractor.


    Clothing can cause issues, but it's usually quite easy to discover ... when you change the clothing, you feel better.


    And I ride with my saddle just slightly off to the left ... slightly. You'd need to experiment to find the right place for yours.

  11. #11
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    You might try shifting the nose of your saddle off to the right or left, rather than having it centered. Many of us ride with our saddles slightly off centre because it is more comfortable that way.

    Have you tried riding with different shorts, with different padding?
    I have mine slightly to the right because my right leg is slightly shorter than my left.

  12. #12
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    If you are in pain after 10 miles, 1,400 miles of touring will be a problem. See a doctor.
    Zero gallons to the mile

  13. #13
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    I spoke to the nurse practitioner at Amherst College's health clinic. She suggested to not ride for the next few days, to sleep well, to eat well, ice where it hurts, and take two tablets of ibuprofen every 6 hours for the next day or so. I like all of this advice, and will follow it (except maybe for the ibuprofen--my body can heal naturally since I have the next 3 days to rest).

    The nurse practitioner--who routinely bikes centuries--concluded that the pain might be inflammation of one of the ligaments in the groin, possibly from overstretching. She suggested to get a bike fit at a bike shop, or to lower the seat. Also, since the pain is only present on the right side, it could be possible that the damage to this ligament was done in the past, and the overstretching is only triggering the past wound and its associated pain.

    If that's the cause, then there's the possibility that no matter how much I adjust the bike's fit, I'll still have the ligament pain. Thankfully, I've ridden a few other bikes before and never had trouble with this ligament, so I think it is a result of bike fit.
    Last edited by Distinguished; 05-30-14 at 11:36 AM.
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  14. #14
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    It would be very unusual for someone to suffer from a strain in that ligament from riding a bike, except when you throw a leg over to get on it.

    You don't mention what cadence you are riding at -- or the number of pedal revolutions a minute. But I suspect that if you are riding at a low cadence, tha pain in the iliofemoral ligament would manifest itself.

    I would definitely follow the advice provided by the nurse practitioner, including taking the ibuprofen which will play a significant role in reducing the inflammation.

    I also would be somewhat less ambitious on the first week of your long tour. Ride the 10 or 15 miles each day, if possible, to allow your ligament to regain its strength. Ligaments and tendons are not serviced that well by blood vessels, and do take what seems to be an inordinately long time to heal.

    Note: I am not a doctor nor a medial practitioner in any field... just someone who has suffered various soft-tissue injuries over a lifetime.
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  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distinguished View Post
    concluded that the pain might be inflammation of one of the ligaments in the groin, possibly from overstretching.
    By "overstretching", do you mean that you stretch in addition to riding ... or that perhaps your saddle was too high and there was a bit too much of a stretch during the pedal stroke.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    By "overstretching", do you mean that you stretch in addition to riding ... or that perhaps your saddle was too high and there was a bit too much of a stretch during the pedal stroke.
    My saddle was too high and there was a bit too much of a stretch during the pedal stroke.

    Though the "stretch" might be so subtle that it takes a few miles for it to turn into pain.
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  17. #17
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    Where is your tour? When?
    Zero gallons to the mile

  18. #18
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distinguished View Post
    My saddle was too high and there was a bit too much of a stretch during the pedal stroke.

    Though the "stretch" might be so subtle that it takes a few miles for it to turn into pain.
    A little unusual that you did not notice a too high of a saddle issue right away. Seems like too high of a saddle would be difficult to mount and then pedal if it were too high but perhaps it is something about you specific physiology where you need to have your saddle set a just bit lower.

    I am really glad it was that simple. I hope it is a permanent solution for you. You might want to ramp up your miles slowly just to be sure.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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