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Old 05-10-07, 08:01 AM   #1
Coppi51
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Left leg cramp...I guess???

Not really expecting an answer here...but perhaps there are some opinions or places to start looking concerning a problem I have.

Stats:
26 year old racer
Cat 4 (racing since August '06)
6'1, 160 lbs


Pic below...in the blue/yellow:


Problem:
Numbness/strain/cramp (?) in my left leg during certain situations/efforts while training...

Last August (around the time I began racing) I started to notice a slight sensation on the inside of my left quad. I keep referring to it as a "cramp"...but it feels more of a "strained" or "stretched" sensation. It usually comes towards the beginning of a training ride, as if I have not warmed up enough. But, it has also appeared during a ride after an hour...

Most of the time it does seem to relate to a harder effort...but even an easier tempo ride will yield this sensation. Sometimes it hangs around for a few minutes and I can spin it out...and other times it sticks around for longer. But when it is present...my left leg feels so strained that it cannot really emit any strength...so I have to back off and just spin. The thing is...it ONLY happens to my left quad...and almost never happens during a race. And there seems to be no bearing on hot/cold temps, hydration, etc...

This leads me to believe that it has something to do with my position...as it would appear I am favoring a certain leg. That, or the fact that one leg may be longer than the other...or perhaps lack of bloodflow to that area. Curious if anyone has dealt with a situation like this...and if there were certain signs to look for?


In my head I keep going over certain options:
1) Setback / fore/aft position needs to be changed

2) My Aspide Saddle is pinching a nerve leading to that area of the quad

3) Perhaps the 175mm cranks are too long (although I've used these since I was 17)

4) Natural body makeup (longer leg)

5) I just plain suck...

If anyone has an input let me know. I should really see someone about my position...and hopefully I can soon. TIA...
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Old 05-10-07, 10:31 AM   #2
cyclezen
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like you pointed out, it could be any of a myriad of things.

if its consistent to one 'result'/issue, a muscle, as you state. The 'Quad' is some big real estate. You might start by better defining which muscle it actually is. Each muscle will point to a specific 'function'/movement it creates. Go to an anatomy chart and try to pinpoint which muscle it is. Some work in 'unison' with others, whereas others like the tensor facia, do very specific things.
Might help to point to a more specific area of positioning, pedal stroke, leg development, whatever...

BTW #2 - pinching saddle - 1st thing I'd fix ASAP - as a possible real cause. Also if you already have some pinchind 'damage', it coud take some time (a week or 2 or 3) before you experience relief...

had a similar problem back in the late 70s that took almost a month to recover from (since I'd didn;t stop riding, recovery was very slow progress).

don;t buy saddles on 'looks' if you plan to do some serious mileage - maybe try a more traditional style - maybe get yourself measured on the Speecialized Butt-O-meter to determine a good width for your sitzbones...
just sayin...

Last edited by cyclezen; 05-10-07 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 05-10-07, 04:00 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response...

I was also instructed to look at my cleat position...moving the cleat inward and therefore moving the foot away from the midline...

Gonna give that a shot...
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Old 05-11-07, 01:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coppi51
Thanks for the response...
I was also instructed to look at my cleat position...moving the cleat inward and therefore moving the foot away from the midline...
Gonna give that a shot...
yeah, cleat rotation might also be worth looking to at the same time.
leg length diffs...
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Old 05-12-07, 05:47 AM   #5
klondike300
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Look into getting a pelvic/hip alignment check. I was cramping in only my right calf for quite a while and did some various checks like you're doing with no luck. Went to a physical therapist and found out my hip is still out of whack from a 20 year old high school sports injury. Causes some sciatic nerve problems that can lead to cramping in various spots. Never heard of that connecting before but she said it is rather common.
The hip bones connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bones connected to the knee bones.......
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