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Old 03-15-06, 10:13 PM   #1
youngster
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Knee pain - how long before riding as hard as before?

Hi to all,

I started my "real" workout last week outside. I might have overworked my right knee because I felt some pain. Here are some details. During the winter, I did a lot of weight training - focusing on the legs with squats/leg extension/leg curls/... I also played a LOT of hockey - I'd say about 3-4 times a week for 1 to 3 hours - and rode my bike on the trainer in late january and february about 2-3 times a week for 45 minutes, doing some muscular endurance intervals : 3x8minutes with 2 minutes rest intervals. I felt really great and strong and I couldn't wait to take it outside.

With spring arriving, I started riding outside tuesday afternoon of last week with a 55km ride in the cold (-5 C) with a friend of mine, basically keeping a steady pace and not forcing too much. I felt tired at after the ride as I hadn't ridden for such a long time since november but felt great. I went on the next day for an other 55km ride, this time pushing it a little more, no intervals but riding a big gear in the wind and on steep and short uphills. I felt a little more tired than the day before, but no problems so far.

Then on thursday, I rode the trainer...I felt like doing my weekly 3x8 minutes intervals again, but after the second rest interval and as I began the 3rd interval I felt a really precise pain in the right knee that disapeared a couple of minutes after my exercice. I figured it was normal since I had been riding for 3 days in a row for almost 5 hours. So on friday, I took a day of the bike and lifted some light weight for 1 serie of squats. didn't feel any pain or anything and I had already forgotten about my knee. So on saturday, I went on the same 55km ride and started feeling bether (I was starting to get more cardio and muscular endurance).

Sooooo, on sunday, I felt invincible! I went for that same 55km ride again, but started feeling the same darn pain in my right knee again after some 15km... I kept on going an the pain went away for a while, so I rode on the big ring in the wind, pushing big gears even on the short uphills...after 45kms the pain had come back but this time for real. It would go away. I slowly came back home and decided to rest for a day...

On monday, I woke up, but the pain hadn't gone away! I felt it almost all the time when I was sitting, whether my leg was straight or not, walking on the flat or upstairs but esp. downstairs. the day after, the pain was almost gone, so I tested the knee on the bike just for a 6km ride, easy spinning, and felt just a little pain. Today, I went for a 30 min. bike as easy as yesterday and the knee seems to respond well. I just felt a tiny pinch, really nothing serious or uncomfortable. I felt the same thing going upstairs or downstairs. I know the fatigue sets in faster than the week before though.

The pain occured in the front of the knee, just under the patella but not directly under it, let's say on the inner side. I searched a bit on the web and read some horror stories of tendinitis or mechandolacia or wathever that thing is called...I don't think I have anything like that as the pain seems to go away, but I'm still concerned about it. I figure it's probably due to the intensity and the volume of training I did last week. I rode last year for the first time seriously, managed to ride more than 4 000kms and never felt any pain. I'm 21y-o, 150 lbs.

My main question is, how long do I have to wait before riding some long rides again (2+hrs), and when will I be able to start training with big gears and doing intervals? any of you ever were in my situation? Sorry if my post was so long, but I wanted to give you guys as much info as I could. Just so you know, I had my bike fit last year and feel really comfortable on it. I don't think it's a fit issue. I am considering consulting a doctor for this, but I am also hopping to get some personnal experience from riders who know about this or have been in a similar situation.

thanks!

youngster
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Old 03-15-06, 11:40 PM   #2
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I highly recommend going to see a doctor. How long is kind of hard to answer. Take a few days off, then start of easy. Make sure your saddle hight is not too high or too low. In general check the fit of your bike. If you haven't done so already I recommend getting professional fitting. Did I mention seeing a doctor?
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Old 03-16-06, 08:32 AM   #3
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+1

There are many possible knee conditions. Without a specific diagnosis, it's impossible to determine recuperation time and strategy. If your problem doesn't resolve itself quickly, you should see an orthopedist, preferably one who specializes in sporting injury.
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Old 03-16-06, 09:32 AM   #4
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I have a rule of thumb that works for me when I have knee pain. If my knee hurts in the front I lower the seat, if it hurts in the back I raise it. I have also found that if my cleats are not adjusted perfectly I have real bad pain in my knees. I find the smallest things cause the worst pain. However I am not a doctor and I know what is best for me, which may be totaly wrong for you. Anytime I have aches and pains I try to self diagnose if that fails I look for help.
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Old 03-16-06, 12:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akarius
I have a rule of thumb that works for me when I have knee pain. If my knee hurts in the front I lower the seat, if it hurts in the back I raise it. I have also found that if my cleats are not adjusted perfectly I have real bad pain in my knees. I find the smallest things cause the worst pain. However I am not a doctor and I know what is best for me, which may be totaly wrong for you. Anytime I have aches and pains I try to self diagnose if that fails I look for help.
+1

Bike fit can certainly play havoc with your knees.

I still think you should see a doc though, seeing as you are experiencing pain off the bike.
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Old 03-16-06, 12:49 PM   #6
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that may work for you, but you should raise the seat if your hurting in the front (knee is squashed) and lower if hurting in the back ( leg is hyperextended).

Thanks,
NFields

For the OP, see a Dr. now and never ride through the pain. It gets worse!
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Old 03-16-06, 04:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NFields
For the OP, see a Dr. now and never ride through the pain. It gets worse!
the thing is the pain has slowly gone away since sunday, but as soon as I ride more than 20-30 minutes on a small gear a little pain comes back... I called some sports clinics, but can't get any appointment before april 10th... it sucks!!!!!!!! what should I do till then, get off the bike and wait? I won't be able to get any training in and the race season starts at the end of april...I don't want to get to the start line w/o any training!
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Old 03-16-06, 04:29 PM   #8
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BTW, my seat is at its max height, hasn't changed since last summer and I never encountered any pain last year.
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Old 03-16-06, 06:01 PM   #9
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I had pretty much the exact same thing happen to me in mid-late Jan. I don't have knee problems so I thought it was a bit weird when i'd get this pain on the inside upper part of my knee (kinda half under the kneecap and half out). I got nervous too after I read about all the knee problems that can occur. It never hurt to do anything but bike. I could lift weights, run, walk, go up and down stairs no problems. The pain would start about 20 minutes into a ride. I tried pushing through it during a 2.5 hr ride and it just ended up hurting through the weekend. Anyway, I didn't ride for about 2 weeks, just lifted weights and ran since those activities didn't seem to affect it. After the 2 weeks I nervously got on my bike, started pedalling and the pain never returned. I thought I maybe had VMO tendinitis but now I'm pretty sure it was from slamming my knee into the corner of a cabinet. The pain started the day after I did that, just didn't connect it b/c I've hit my knee many times before. But this time the cabinet corner went right into where my VMO connects with the kneecap. I'm no doctor, but I'd say don't do any activites that aggravate it for at least a week, keep some ice and pressure on it and pray for the best.
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Old 03-16-06, 06:02 PM   #10
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oh yea, forgot to mention I did all kinds of seat adjustments, cleat adjustments, new cleats, pedals, but nothing helped. However, that being said, I'd try all that first.
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Old 03-16-06, 06:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akarius
I have a rule of thumb that works for me when I have knee pain. If my knee hurts in the front I lower the seat, if it hurts in the back I raise it.
I thought this was assbackwards!
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Old 03-16-06, 07:22 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by shawneebiker
I thought this was assbackwards!

Your right, maybe thats why me knee hurts.
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Old 03-17-06, 12:16 AM   #13
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I agree about the doctor part.

You might also conside a bike fit. That can make a big difference.

Finally, when my knees start hurting, I find that the worst thing I can do is stop riding totally. If I can get back on the bike (or something else like an elliptical) for, the pain goes away faster. But I have to stick to easy gears.
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Old 12-20-07, 12:10 PM   #14
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Cyclists often have outer quad (and hip flexor) strength that dominates a relatively weaker inner quad. Apart from icing, ibuprofen, trigger point therapy to work out knots in outer quad, patients with patellar tendinitis need to strengthen their VMO muscles to avoid these kind of injuries.

Full range of motion squats (with good form) are excellent to build up to. Try googling "Peterson Step-ups" to strengthen VMO. Also, if you have access to a weight sled or heavy tire, pull/drag it backwards. These build up the VMO muscle (tear-drop shaped that connects to inner knee patella).

Good luck.
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