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Old 11-15-03, 11:53 AM   #1
markman
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Pain on inside back of leg, any ideas

Over the past few weeks I have noticed that my right leg, behind the knee near the top of the calf on the inside gets sore/stiff during and after riding. It's not really the knee but more like the tendon on the back inside of it. Only the right leg hurts and a few days after riding it goes away. I have been taking ibuprofen (1 tablet 4x/day). I have tried lowering the seat a little bit but it has had no effect yet. I am wondering if it might be the cleat position. If it is, should I move the cleat forward or back to relieve pressure on that area?

Any other ideas? I'd like to try a couple of other things before seeing the doctor.

Mark
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Old 11-15-03, 12:05 PM   #2
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sounds like you rather than the bike

eitherfrom my perspective)
you are :
A) having pain from some othe r part of the leg or hip, or maybe back influence you r riding stuyle
B) simple (relatively) tiredness victim who needs cross training like swimming

Jacob
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Old 11-16-03, 05:53 AM   #3
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I have some swelling on the back of both knees, and it's due to osteoarthritis. The rubbing of the bones together causes inflamation. There is a sack of liquid surrounding the knee, and when there's bone rubbing it causes more liquid to be generated. I am presently using glucosamine, a supplement you can get at any drug store. This serves as a joint lubricant, and it has made a significant difference.
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Old 11-16-03, 06:48 AM   #4
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I had the same thing happen and it turned out I was grinding too high a gear. I put my regular cadence over 90-100 and it got better. You have to slowly ease into pushing higher gears since connective tissue takes a long time to adapt to changes.
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Old 11-16-03, 07:21 AM   #5
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I like to use the high gears mostly, since I have much stronger thigh than calf muscles.

Jacob
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Old 11-16-03, 08:51 AM   #6
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Try and figure out whether it is bone, muscle or tendon.

Is it the upper calf? Can you flex your calf hard without it hurting?

Play around with your knee cap and under it. Does it hurt?

Press on the bones, is there pain?

Basically, have a good poke around and find exactly where the pain is coming from, what sort of pain it is etc. The more specific you are, the more we can help and the less time you will eventually spend at the doctors.
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Old 11-16-03, 10:50 AM   #7
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Croak:

It is definitely not the kneecap or knee joint at all. It's more at the back of the knee and it feels like more of a tendon/muscle thing not bone. The best way to describe it is that after I ride it is difficult to fully extend the leg without having a feeling of tightness at the back of the leg, right behind the knee (but not in it). The stiffness seems to be more on the inside part, around the tendons. I can fully extend the leg but it hurts a little to do it. The calf itself is not sore at all, neither is the hamstring. It's basically that 6 inches or so that that connects the two together. Hope that helps.

Mark
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Old 11-16-03, 08:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markman
Croak:

It is definitely not the kneecap or knee joint at all. It's more at the back of the knee and it feels like more of a tendon/muscle thing not bone. The best way to describe it is that after I ride it is difficult to fully extend the leg without having a feeling of tightness at the back of the leg, right behind the knee (but not in it). The stiffness seems to be more on the inside part, around the tendons. I can fully extend the leg but it hurts a little to do it. The calf itself is not sore at all, neither is the hamstring. It's basically that 6 inches or so that that connects the two together. Hope that helps.

Mark
Understanding how hard it is to diagnose over the net, my guess is it is inflammation due to hyperextension of the knee joint.

Try taking a mild anti-inflamm (over the counter type, even try one of the gels) and lowering your seat position a little.

Also, ice it after riding.
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Old 11-16-03, 08:50 PM   #9
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Thanks Croak,

I'll try to adjust the seat a bit lower and see what happens. With the no daylight savings and colder weather I'll be lucky if I can ride outside more than a few times yet this year. These Chicago winters can be nasty and cooooold!! I'll update you after I have a chance to ride with the lower seat.

By the way, what is the "best" anti-inflamatory? I've got Ibuprofen is there something better for this type of injury?
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Old 11-16-03, 09:20 PM   #10
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Ibuprofin would be fine for inflammation.

By the way, have you figured out what caused the symptom? How do you ride?

Pain in the front of the kneecap is sometimes indicative of having your seat too low and/or working in too high of a gear. Pain in the back of the leg, especially where the tendon meets bone is indicative that you're perhaps riding with your seat too high. In that case, you'll need to lower your seat a little.

Try and have a bike fit if you can- take your bike in and tell the folks at the bike shop what kind of pain you're having and let them give you a proper bike fitting.

Yes, and also, a lot of people tend to feel pain and so they heat up the area where they feel sore- that's not what you need- you do need to ice the area carefully and allow the swelling to go down. And that ibuprofin will do you just fine.

Koffee

P.S. Yeah, Chicago winters DO suck.
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Old 11-17-03, 02:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by markman
By the way, what is the "best" anti-inflamatory? I've got Ibuprofen is there something better for this type of injury?
I'm not a big fan of ibuprofen, but that is getting a little subjective. I'm not up with brandings in the States, so you would be better to seek advice from someone else in this case.

In any case, get some ice on it.

Also, keep an eye on your ankle position when your foot hits 6 o'clock, or just before. This is where you will be hyperextending, if at all.
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Old 11-17-03, 03:40 AM   #12
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cleat adjustments can also affect kneecap pain.... I went from black(no float) to red (plenty of float) cleats and my pain went away. less pain on a 100km hill race than on a 30kmsustained effort ride. How much bend is in your leg anyway, when at the bottom of the stroke? how high was your saddle to begin with? Do you hips rock as you pedal at about 95rpm?

Ta
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Old 11-18-03, 09:07 PM   #13
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Well I double checked the suggested seat height by visiting wrenchscience.com and found that it is probably too high by about a 1/2 inch or so. I lowered it to 30.5" (ceter of BB to top of seat) which they recommend based on my inseam ect. I haven't had a chance to try it out yet but by looking at it my ankle should be more "level" at 6 o'clock which I'm assuming is better overall than having a "pointing down" orientation. I now have some definite room at the bottom of the pedal stroke. I'll let you all know how it feels after I ride next. Thanks for the insight and suggestions.
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Old 11-18-03, 11:01 PM   #14
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Oh gosh, glad you got that.

I see that tippy toe riding, and boy is that bad pedal stroke!

You are so right- if you look at Ed Burke's book called "Serious Cycling", you'll see a diagram of the perfect pedal stroke (or the ideal pedal stroke) that you should be aiming for. In fact, it may be a good idea to get that book anyway. He goes a little bit through bike fit, and he really goes into pedal stroke form and technique. It's a fascinating read.

Koffee
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Old 11-19-03, 03:35 AM   #15
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Sounds like you have found your problem. Half an inch is a huge change!

Now, just be careful to not dive back in to the cycling without letting the injury heal. Go slowly, build it up and look after yourself.
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Old 11-19-03, 08:36 AM   #16
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One thing not mentioned, do you stretch before/after riding? You should do a light stretch before you head out and a good session of stretching after. But do not start until the pain goes away.

Quote:
By the way, what is the "best" anti-inflamatory?
If you can get some, Viox is a very good anti-inflamatory. It does come with the usual side effects. So talk with you Dr. before taking it.

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Old 11-19-03, 12:04 PM   #17
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I ahd the same problem about a year ago... seat was too high... I ended up lowering it aboput 1/2" as well... took a couple weeks off... did a lot of stretching (not sure if this really helped at all), and slowly eased back into it... no problems whatsoever after that...

Jeff
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Old 11-19-03, 05:36 PM   #18
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Koffee, Thanks for the headsup on the book, I'm going to put it on my list to Santa

I have been doing stretching before and after rides but probably not enough. As far as waiting a couple of weeks to start up again that's going to be tough. This coming weekend looks to be warm (for November) so I might have to go out for a little bit, it could be my last outdoor ride for a while. My leg is pain free right now so maybe if I stretch the next few days I'll be ready to go this weekend. I'm going to take it easy though 'cause I definitely don't heal as well at 39 as 19!
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Old 12-02-03, 10:10 PM   #19
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hey everyone, just an update on my leg pain. It's been two weeks since I adjusted my seat and the pain in the leg has virtually gone away. It is still a little stiff, but there is no distinct pain, so I think I'll be OK. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions, hopefully it won't happen again
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Old 12-02-03, 11:15 PM   #20
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Cool! Keep up with the stretches and give us another update in mid-January.

Koffee
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