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  1. #1
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    muscle/tendon pain behind knee

    I have recently developed a muscle pain behind my right knee area. It feels like a muscle that has been pulled or over strained - In my estimation it is not a knee issue, but most likely a muscle in the very upper lower leg thru calf area. I use clipless pedals and it only is apparent on the upstroke. I also can notice it walking up stairs, the lifting motion of the leg to the next step.

    Background: I have ridden 900mi in the past 3mo - 9mi twice a workday with never a muscle problem. I ride at 110rmp cadence. The pain came suddenly on 7/19. That was my last day riding for 10days as I had to travel - I thought this was good as it would give it a rest. I did ride on a trainer one day at the hotel with no clips and there was no pain (no upstroke) The whole 10days I felt no pain. Then yesterday 7/26 the pain was still there after the first 9mi ride. I generally try to keep an even smooth cadence (no pushing or pulling) However if I focus on just pushing down on pedal I can avoid the upstroke pain.

    Any thoughts/advice on treating it? Do I need to take time off? Could switching to platform pedals give the rest needed?

    Al

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    I have recently developed a muscle pain behind my right knee area. It feels like a muscle that has been pulled or over strained - In my estimation it is not a knee issue, but most likely a muscle in the very upper lower leg thru calf area. I use clipless pedals and it only is apparent on the upstroke. I also can notice it walking up stairs, the lifting motion of the leg to the next step.

    Background: I have ridden 900mi in the past 3mo - 9mi twice a workday with never a muscle problem. I ride at 110rmp cadence. The pain came suddenly on 7/19. That was my last day riding for 10days as I had to travel - I thought this was good as it would give it a rest. I did ride on a trainer one day at the hotel with no clips and there was no pain (no upstroke) The whole 10days I felt no pain. Then yesterday 7/26 the pain was still there after the first 9mi ride. I generally try to keep an even smooth cadence (no pushing or pulling) However if I focus on just pushing down on pedal I can avoid the upstroke pain.

    Any thoughts/advice on treating it? Do I need to take time off? Could switching to platform pedals give the rest needed?

    Al
    I had what sounds like the same pain and I started stretching differently and it seems to have helped. I do a standing hamstring stretch where I put my straightened leg in the seat of a high stool (I do these at work a lot) and bend at the hips. I can feel the stretch along the entire back of my leg. I hold the stretch and repeat several times throughout the night. It took a couple weeks before I noticed the pain was gone while riding! Before that I had tried putting toe clips back on my bike but that didn't help. I had also done hamstring stretches before but I had never felt the stretch the entire leg until I did the standing ones at work.

    I wonder if lowing your seat would help? I fiddled with seat height at first also and got inconsistant results. Other recent changes I've made were getting road pedals and shoes (I had been using MTB spd ones) and moving the cleat further back.

    That's all I can think of that worked for me. It might just be coincedence though, sometimes it's hard to tell. I think my muscles/tendons had shortened and the stretching loosened them up because when I did the stretch that particular way I felt it in the same place I got the pain.

  3. #3
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice in bike fit adjustment and stretching.

    I am familar with the standing hamstring stretch and others - I come from a track&field, x-country run & swimming background. What I find difficult is that no matter what stretch I do I can't seem to 'find' this muscle. But I still will continue stretching my hamstrings and other leg muscles, something I hadn't done as much as I should have.

    As to bike adjustment, what is odd is that I am very comfortable with my adjustments as they are and as I mentioned had 900mi with the same adjustments - the pain came suddenly one day. Of course that doesn't mean that adjustments are not the problem, only that there is not some recent change that triggered the pain.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by noisebeam
    Thanks for the advice in bike fit adjustment and stretching.

    I am familar with the standing hamstring stretch and others - I come from a track&field, x-country run & swimming background. What I find difficult is that no matter what stretch I do I can't seem to 'find' this muscle. But I still will continue stretching my hamstrings and other leg muscles, something I hadn't done as much as I should have.

    As to bike adjustment, what is odd is that I am very comfortable with my adjustments as they are and as I mentioned had 900mi with the same adjustments - the pain came suddenly one day. Of course that doesn't mean that adjustments are not the problem, only that there is not some recent change that triggered the pain.
    I've noticed that when I have knee pain it usually happens when I've made some change (shoes, seat, pedals) and rode out of adjusment while tweaking the bike back in. Once it's damaged it may take a couple weeks for the pain to completey go away which is confusing because I can't always tell why something hurts and how to make it go away.

  5. #5
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Well, good news. This morning on my ride there was no pain at all. Its like it went away overnight. On 7/19 it came on so bad it was hard to ride. On 7/26 after the 10 day break it was still there and I avoided all upstroke pull because it hurt so much. 7/27, the same. 7/28 I didn't ride. Today 7/29 I felt nothing at all. Maybe it was like a muscle spasm - something I get in my back - debilitating pain that goes away as quick as it comes.

    Al

  6. #6
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    noisebeam >> my personal experience came from overstretching before riding. i was trying to be extra diligent in my training and it let to that. took 10 days to resolve, like you >>now i'm more careful NOT to stretch as much before rides.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

  7. #7
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    I have had the same pain. I think it came from driving the leg down too straight, especially when you are out of the saddle.

    I treated it like a mild case of tendonitis. Ice, heat and ibuprophen. I rode through it, but I was cognizant not to drop my heel during the pedal stroke until it got better, which it did in about 5 days.

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