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  1. #1
    Acquiring new target.... carlfreddy's Avatar
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    Stretches/exercises to alleviate knee pain?

    After a hard ride (for instance, after today's 20 mile "sprint") my knees hurt. It's a very specific and isolated pain, right on the side of my knee just below knee-cap level.

    I'm assuming that the pain is caused by tight IT-bands, but I'm no doctor. I only know of one stretch that works the IT-bands, should I just religiously do that stretch?

    (For those that don't know the stretch: lay flat on your back, lift your left leg up straight and reach for your left toes with your right hand. Hold that for 10 seconds. Then swing your left leg down to the right, keeping it extended and continuing to hold your toe with your right hand. Hold that for another 10 seconds. Repeat for the right leg.)

  2. #2
    Aut Vincere Aut Mori Snuffleupagus's Avatar
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    There are a ton of IT band stretches you can do:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iliotibial_Band_Syndrome

  3. #3
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    amazon.com: Treat your own knees. A book that I found to be very helpful. Written by a PT. Good luck and hope you feel better soon.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Chicocreole's Avatar
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    if you have a gym membership go and ask a Personal Trainer they can take you throught some IT band Stretches. One in particular that works for my clients uses a Pilates Roller or noodle that works extremely well which I can't really explain but I am sure Trainer worth talk to would know how to stretch an IT Band

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    Senior Member Chicocreole's Avatar
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    spell check?

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    my bet would be (based on personal experiences)...

    ...that your on-bike position is not quite right, which shows under a "hard ride" conditions.

    perhaps saddle a bit too far forward or a bit too low or even both. Another possibility, if only one knee hurts, is that you are not sitting square on your seat, under hard work-load, and the weakest link is the side that hurts. Possibly one leg is a bit shorter then the other and/or in need of shim or a wedge. Most of us are not 100% symmetrical and the bicycle is. The mismatched often show up as injuries or reduced performance.

    I would post your question on www.cyclingnews.com fitness page and see if Steve Hogg has something to say on this. His advice really helped me.

    Also check out Andy Pruitt's book called Complete Medical Guide for Cyclists. Well worth a read.

    Stay Upright.

  7. #7
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acid_rider
    ...that your on-bike position is not quite right, which shows under a "hard ride" conditions.
    That's the first thing I'd check. In general:

    1. saddle too-low and/or too far back = knee pain in front of the knee, above or below the knee cap. Saddle-height should be set so that when you pedal backwards with your heel on the pedal, you should have full leg-extension. This keeps the angle of the bend in the knee minimally small to prevent stresses and rubbing.

    2. saddle too-high and/or too far forward = causes knee pain behind the knee. Actually not even the knee itself, but ligaments and tendons behind the knee.


    By far the most common problem that causes most knee-pain is #1.

  8. #8
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    That's the first thing I'd check. In general:

    1. saddle too-low and/or too far back = knee pain in front of the knee, above or below the knee cap. Saddle-height should be set so that when you pedal backwards with your heel on the pedal, you should have full leg-extension. This keeps the angle of the bend in the knee minimally small to prevent stresses and rubbing.

    2. saddle too-high and/or too far forward = causes knee pain behind the knee. Actually not even the knee itself, but ligaments and tendons behind the knee.


    By far the most common problem that causes most knee-pain is #1.
    What causes inner thigh groin area pain???

  9. #9
    Acquiring new target.... carlfreddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    That's the first thing I'd check. In general:

    1. saddle too-low and/or too far back = knee pain in front of the knee, above or below the knee cap. Saddle-height should be set so that when you pedal backwards with your heel on the pedal, you should have full leg-extension. This keeps the angle of the bend in the knee minimally small to prevent stresses and rubbing.

    2. saddle too-high and/or too far forward = causes knee pain behind the knee. Actually not even the knee itself, but ligaments and tendons behind the knee.


    By far the most common problem that causes most knee-pain is #1.
    Hrmm, neither 1 nor 2 describe where the pain is.

    Definitely don't have any pain on the front of my knee around the knee cap (above or below), and no pain in the back of the knee.

    You guys might be on to something about my fit on the bike. While I got it fitted right when I bought it, prior to this bike I haven't seriously ridden in years. Maybe I'll head back to my LBS and get a fit adjustment.

    The IT-band stretches found on wikipedia help (actually noticed some immediate relief).

  10. #10
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    Get it adjusted. I had pain right where you describe and it mostly went away after a fitting. I think I tweaked my knee again later on while jogging so it still returns occasionally if I'm really mashing in a high gear.

  11. #11
    Senior Member tbdean's Avatar
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    I'm having the same pain, on the side not in front or behind so I don't think it's a saddle height thing. I switched to Speedplay Frogs and that helped a lot.

    It seems to come and go. I did a century on Saturday with no knee problems at all. But for some reason after yesterday's 16 mile ride my left knee was in a lot of pain. This morning it's my right knee. I don't know what's going on. I'll start doing the stretches.

  12. #12
    Acquiring new target.... carlfreddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbdean
    I switched to Speedplay Frogs and that helped a lot.
    I'm sorry, I'm relatively new to cycling, what are Speedplay Frogs?

    I'm going to assume they are pedals?

  13. #13
    Senior Member tbdean's Avatar
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    Yes, pedals. I'm pigeon toed and I think that was causing a lot of my pain. The frogs don't auto-center - if my feet want to stay in an off-center position (which they do) the Frogs are okay with that. After I switched the pain went away for a while. It's just recently come back.

    Speedplay Frogs:

    http://www.speedplay.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.frog

    The Frogs aren't perfect for a few different reasons. I'm thinking about giving Bebops a try:

    http://www.bebop.com/

  14. #14
    Faster but still slow slowandsteady's Avatar
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    Like everybody else said. Fit, fit, fit! I used to get vicious knee pain with my MTB. My seatpost was too short to adjust it properly. It was only about a cm off, but it was enough to have me limping for days. Now that I have a road bike and a proper leg extension I have ZERO pain.
    "Ride lots." -- Eddy Merckx

  15. #15
    Senior Member tbdean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowandsteady
    I used to get vicious knee pain
    But on the front or back, right?

  16. #16
    I like beans eippo1's Avatar
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    IT band pain is something else though and may be completely unrelated to bike fit (but I wouldn't completely rule it out). Try to do some strengthing exercises for your upper thigh and hips like the hip rotator. Also do some cleans and leg pushes b/c that will help. Make sure you do some hamstring workouts b/c muscle imbalance will put extra strain on the it band and the ligaments as well. Also stretch a lot and lastly maybe pick up a "pillar of pain." These are large, cylindical foam thingys that you lie on your side with and roll up and down on it. It works wonders for ITS and helps you make those awesome painful grunting noises that'll turn on women. If it doens't get better within a couple weeks (and after checking your position on the bike and backing off your training regimen) go see a doc and they'll set you up with some PT.
    You got it buddy: the large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

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  17. #17
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvoid
    What causes inner thigh groin area pain???
    Not lubing the gloves before using???

    Quote Originally Posted by carlfreddy
    Hrmm, neither 1 nor 2 describe where the pain is.

    Definitely don't have any pain on the front of my knee around the knee cap (above or below), and no pain in the back of the knee.
    Ok, re-read your original post and you say the pain is [i]"right on the side of my knee just below knee-cap level."[i]

    This sounds like a cleat-rotation issue. Your heel is too far outwards. Adjust your cleat so that you pull your heel inwards more. Some people can't pull their heel inward far enough because they hit the crankarm with their ankles. In such cases, there are pedal-axle extenders which pushes your pedal outwards a little bit more to give ankle clearance.

  18. #18
    R.E.Member brians647's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    That's the first thing I'd check. In general:

    1. saddle too-low and/or too far back = knee pain in front of the knee, above or below the knee cap. Saddle-height should be set so that when you pedal backwards with your heel on the pedal, you should have full leg-extension. This keeps the angle of the bend in the knee minimally small to prevent stresses and rubbing.

    2. saddle too-high and/or too far forward = causes knee pain behind the knee. Actually not even the knee itself, but ligaments and tendons behind the knee.


    By far the most common problem that causes most knee-pain is #1.
    Danno...

    This is a great thread largely due to your input, but I'm curious - how do you know if problem #1 is seat too far back or/vs. saddle too high? I just had my LBS adjust my fitment, and now I have pain in my right knee to the right and top of the knee cap, and lower back. Don't know if they're related. The LBS moved my seat down AND back due to my long femur.

    Hate to make you the forum doctor, but I am trying to read up as much as I can to figure out what's going on and how to fix it. This thread is well-timed - I hope I'm expanding it's usefullness and not hijacking it!

  19. #19
    Senior Member tbdean's Avatar
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    Yes Danno, thank you very much.

    I'll have to try pulling me heels in to see if that helps with the pain.

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