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  1. #1
    Senior Member Buzzatronic's Avatar
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    First 4 months, knees felt great. Took a month off now my left knee is killing me

    Here's the summary:

    From Jan to mid April I put in some good weekly miles, averaging about 180mi, ~12,000' a week via commuting, group rides and a few event rides. Took 3 weeks off starting mid April for wedding/honeymoon (did a lot of walking on honeymoon). Get back in mid May and am sick so had to take another week off the bike.

    So last day on the bike was April 21st before time off and first day back on the bike was May 20th.

    Here's how things shaped up when I got back:

    May 20th: 13mi, ~1000' elevation. Everything felt fine
    May 21st: 21mi commuting, ~1100'. Knee ached on both rides
    May 22nd: 26mi commuting, ~1600'. Knee ached a little more on both rides
    May 23rd: 24mi commuting on the rain bike, ~1200'. Knee felt a bit better but still ached a bit
    May 24th: No ride
    May 25th: 21mi pre-event ride, ~1500'. Knee actually felt great as did the rest of my body
    May 26th: 71mi event ride on rain bike, ~5000'. Knee hurt pretty bad by mile 30 or so and ached much of the rest of the ride

    The pain I'm having is the front of my left knee and only reproduces on the bike. Walking and climbing stairs feels fine with no issues. My right knee has no issues at all.

    Nothing has changed about my bike fit (confirmed seatpost hasn't moved on either bike, I mark them with a sharpie) and I'm wearing the same shoes as I always do and I checked the cleats and they do not appear to have moved at all.

    Any ideas why just one knee would be feeling so badly and why 2 out of the 6 rides had no pain at all? Also any tips on care off the bike (ice or heat?).

  2. #2
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
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    Pittsburgh, PA
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    2012 Trek DS 8.5 all weather hybrid, 2008 LeMond Poprad cyclocross, 1992 Cannondale R500 roadbike
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzatronic View Post
    Here's the summary:

    From Jan to mid April I put in some good weekly miles, averaging about 180mi, ~12,000' a week via commuting, group rides and a few event rides. Took 3 weeks off starting mid April for wedding/honeymoon (did a lot of walking on honeymoon). Get back in mid May and am sick so had to take another week off the bike.

    So last day on the bike was April 21st before time off and first day back on the bike was May 20th.

    Here's how things shaped up when I got back:

    May 20th: 13mi, ~1000' elevation. Everything felt fine
    May 21st: 21mi commuting, ~1100'. Knee ached on both rides
    May 22nd: 26mi commuting, ~1600'. Knee ached a little more on both rides
    May 23rd: 24mi commuting on the rain bike, ~1200'. Knee felt a bit better but still ached a bit
    May 24th: No ride
    May 25th: 21mi pre-event ride, ~1500'. Knee actually felt great as did the rest of my body
    May 26th: 71mi event ride on rain bike, ~5000'. Knee hurt pretty bad by mile 30 or so and ached much of the rest of the ride

    The pain I'm having is the front of my left knee and only reproduces on the bike. Walking and climbing stairs feels fine with no issues. My right knee has no issues at all.

    Nothing has changed about my bike fit (confirmed seatpost hasn't moved on either bike, I mark them with a sharpie) and I'm wearing the same shoes as I always do and I checked the cleats and they do not appear to have moved at all.

    Any ideas why just one knee would be feeling so badly and why 2 out of the 6 rides had no pain at all? Also any tips on care off the bike (ice or heat?).
    I would bet, without any way of knowing for sure that you are dealing with a muscle/tendon issue rather than a joint issue. But the only way to know for sure are XRays and MRI...

    If it is muscle/tendon, it could have been caused by pushing too hard after a month off -- and its deconditioning.

    As for ice or heat: ice will help keep a new injury from becoming inflamed while heat will tend to help an inflamed body part decrease its inflammation. You probably need heat at this point. Plus the various NSAIDs will help decrease any inflammation as well.

    So, I would try heat and NSAIDs for awhile and see if you see any improvement. If not, then see an orthopedist who can do a real diagnosis.

    And, once it is resolved, think about some cross training to strengthen the muscles in the knee to prevent it from happening again.
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  3. #3
    Senior Member hermanchauw's Avatar
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    May 2014
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    GT Zone, 90's Diamondback model unknown
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzatronic View Post
    May 20th: 13mi, ~1000' elevation. Everything felt fine
    May 21st: 21mi commuting, ~1100'. Knee ached on both rides
    May 22nd: 26mi commuting, ~1600'. Knee ached a little more on both rides
    May 23rd: 24mi commuting on the rain bike, ~1200'. Knee felt a bit better but still ached a bit
    May 24th: No ride
    May 25th: 21mi pre-event ride, ~1500'. Knee actually felt great as did the rest of my body
    May 26th: 71mi event ride on rain bike, ~5000'. Knee hurt pretty bad by mile 30 or so and ached much of the rest of the ride
    You are underrecovered. You know that the first day after a no-ride, your knee felt fine. It's the second consecutive day onward that the pain started.

    I recommend starting with every other day first then to two-day-on-one-day-off and so on.

    Herman Chauw
    Movement coach, strength and conditioning coach, rehab therapist

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