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  1. #1
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    icing down a swollen knee

    I've got a problem with my knee, it's not painful it just swells up on me. I've had it mri'd and they said to keep icing it down and take ibuprofen. My actual follow up appointment isn't until Dec 8th. My question is about icing the knee. How long and how often do I ice the knee and should I use a creme on it?

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    First, you might try taking Glucosamine. I find it helps when I have knee difficulties.

    Second, does the knee swell when you cycle? If so, you should probably have the fit of your bicycle checked.

    As for icing the knee, the recommendation is about 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off. If you leave the ice on your knee any longer than that, you're risking freezing it which will just add to your problems.

    As for using a cream, you could, and it may help, but not while you are icing the knee. I'm not sure why not, but the creams tend to say something about not using them while applying heat or cold.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Icing should also only be done right after the exercise to limit/reduce the swelling. Then after an hour or so, you want to apply heat to facilitate blood-flow to speed up the repair.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    First, you might try taking Glucosamine. I find it helps when I have knee difficulties.

    Second, does the knee swell when you cycle? If so, you should probably have the fit of your bicycle checked.

    As for icing the knee, the recommendation is about 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off. If you leave the ice on your knee any longer than that, you're risking freezing it which will just add to your problems.

    As for using a cream, you could, and it may help, but not while you are icing the knee. I'm not sure why not, but the creams tend to say something about not using them while applying heat or cold.
    So far the only time it really swells is if I've been on a hard pounding ride. 10 miles as fast as I can stand it. When I'm riding off road I don't seem to have any issues. It's only when I've ridden hard for a long time. Long being relative to my just getting into riding.

  5. #5
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XChosen
    So far the only time it really swells is if I've been on a hard pounding ride. 10 miles as fast as I can stand it. When I'm riding off road I don't seem to have any issues. It's only when I've ridden hard for a long time. Long being relative to my just getting into riding.
    Sounds to me (I'm not a doc, but I play one with women every chance I get) like you are pushing too high of a gear. Try spinning faster in a lower gear rather than trying to be Jan Ulrich. If you are clipless, you might look at the adjustment of your cleats.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    Sounds to me (I'm not a doc, but I play one with women every chance I get) like you are pushing too high of a gear. Try spinning faster in a lower gear rather than trying to be Jan Ulrich. If you are clipless, you might look at the adjustment of your cleats.

    I just switched to clipless. After the clipless I noticed the swelling has increased. I assumed it was due to me working the legs harder.

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XChosen
    I just switched to clipless. After the clipless I noticed the swelling has increased. I assumed it was due to me working the legs harder.
    Two things ... what is your cadence like? It should at least be above 80, and often cyclists who are riding hard have cadences somewhere around 100. If your cadence is below 80, you are likely mashing the gears and putting a lot of strain on your knees

    And since you say that your knee swells more now that you are using clipless, that would lead me to think perhaps you don't have your clipless set up quite right. Is any part of your knee sore?

  8. #8
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Also check the fore-aft position of saddle. Aim for the KOPS-knee over pedal spindle position with a plumb-bob dropped from the front of the patella intersecting the spindle. Being to far forward is much safer and less detrimental to your knees than being too far back.

    Also make sure your seat isn't too low. Like the fore-aft adjusting, being too high results in less knee-pain than being too low. The lowest safe distance is to set height so that with the pedals at the bottom (parallal to seat-tube), you can just barely place the heel of your shoe on the pedal without rocking the hips. This is the minimum distance you want to set and most people have it about 0.25-0.75" higher.

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