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Knee Pain...Ahhh

Old 01-12-06, 11:55 AM
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Danny Boy
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Knee Pain...Ahhh

Hi There,

On my last few commutes I've been getting some really painful knee pain. I ride a MTB to work with clipless pedals. I've checked my cleats and they are fine. I've recently changed my stock saddle to a Selle Italia SLR and I think my saddle or seat post are the culprit.

The pain is in both knees right in the centre. I've also noticed if I lower my saddle say a couple of inches the pain goes away but I then don't get as good pedal stroke. Lastly I've also noticed I can get this knee pain when climbing. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm now going to get a warm bath to try and soothe my knees!

Cheers,

Danny
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Old 01-12-06, 12:10 PM
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Try making smaller adjustments to your saddle height. Two inches is a lot. Try 1/4" adjustments down. It could also be your saddle fore-aft position relative to your bottom bracket. You might want to head down to your LBS and see if they have suggestions.

If this is just a recent, sudden pain, and you haven't crashed or injured yourself off the bike, you might want to consult with a specialist.
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Old 01-12-06, 12:13 PM
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BF is not a good place to get medical advice. You could have strained your knees, you may have damaged them and have bits floating around in them, and a number of other things could be causing the problem.

If lowering the saddle helps, I wonder if you're not hyperextending your knees or if there's something about your stroke that is torquing them in some strange way. On the other hand, a couple inches is a huge adjustment. It's probably worth studying your stroke and see what you're doing and seeing exactly what causes pain and what doesn't.

I'm suspicious of the saddle theory because unless you've changed your seating position, I can't see how that would affect your knees.

In any case, don't just tough it out. Otherwise, you could really screw things up and be off your bike for awhile.
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Old 01-12-06, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek
BF is not a good place to get medical advice. You could have strained your knees, you may have damaged them and have bits floating around in them, and a number of other things could be causing the problem.

If lowering the saddle helps, I wonder if you're not hyperextending your knees or if there's something about your stroke that is torquing them in some strange way. On the other hand, a couple inches is a huge adjustment. It's probably worth studying your stroke and see what you're doing and seeing exactly what causes pain and what doesn't.

I'm suspicious of the saddle theory because unless you've changed your seating position, I can't see how that would affect your knees.

In any case, don't just tough it out. Otherwise, you could really screw things up and be off your bike for awhile.
Hi,

I'm only 20 so I hope my knees are still in good shape . I play football and lots of other sports and dont get this knee pain, so thats what makes me think its the bike and not my actual knees. In terms of where my saddle should be postioned (on the rails) where should it be inrelation to my bottom bracket? I'll try lowering the saddle tiny adjustments and see what happens.

Danny
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Old 01-12-06, 12:36 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Danny Boy
Hi,

I'm only 20 so I hope my knees are still in good shape . I play football and lots of other sports and dont get this knee pain, so thats what makes me think its the bike and not my actual knees. In terms of where my saddle should be postioned (on the rails) where should it be inrelation to my bottom bracket? I'll try lowering the saddle tiny adjustments and see what happens.
Don't forget that the saddle moves backwards/forwards and tilts as well. Carry a tool with you, make small adjustments, and pay close attention to how it feels. It will probably take a number of rides to get it to the sweet spot. Out of curiosity, how much float do you have in your pedals? Some SPD's have only 4 degrees. If you need a bit more float than you have, that could also cause a lot of pain.
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Old 01-12-06, 01:01 PM
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banerjek is right, please don't rely on our diagnosis here in the forum...

You mentioned your knee pain is in the middle. So, is that middle of the knee cap, or is it the tendon that goes from the kneecap to the tibia? If you don't get this playing football, it is more likely to be the seat height/position. I would take your bike into a shop and get them to double-check your position. Knees are not something to be trifled with. If you get set up at a reputable local shop and you're still having problems, stop riding and see a physician.
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Old 01-12-06, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek
Don't forget that the saddle moves backwards/forwards and tilts as well. Carry a tool with you, make small adjustments, and pay close attention to how it feels. It will probably take a number of rides to get it to the sweet spot. Out of curiosity, how much float do you have in your pedals? Some SPD's have only 4 degrees. If you need a bit more float than you have, that could also cause a lot of pain.
I've got Shimano M540 clipless pedals. I'm not sure how much float there have but it feels plenty. I didnt know my saddle could tilt. How do I tilt it down as from close inspection just now it seems to be tilting quite alot back. I'm going to play about with the saddle and see if I can sort it. If that doesnt work I'll get in contact with my LBS or even my Doctor.

Danny
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Old 01-12-06, 01:31 PM
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I had knee pains last Friday. I put on my neoprene knee support (bought at a local drug store) and the pain went away. It may have just been the cold temperature.
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Old 01-12-06, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Danny Boy
I've got Shimano M540 clipless pedals. I'm not sure how much float there have but it feels plenty. I didnt know my saddle could tilt. How do I tilt it down as from close inspection just now it seems to be tilting quite alot back. I'm going to play about with the saddle and see if I can sort it. If that doesnt work I'll get in contact with my LBS or even my Doctor.
The method for adjusting the saddle varies a bit with the seatpost clamp. The LBS route might be a good way to go. If you pop your bike on a trainer, they could help you find any obvious problems with your adjustments. A properly adjusted bike can be the difference between agony and pleasure.

On a cleat adjustment issue, make sure you have it adjusted to what your feet actually do rather than what looks right. For example, my left foot points in because of the way my leg works with my hip, but my right leg points out quite a bit. This means that the cleat position is very different on each shoe. Everybody's physiology is a little different.
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Old 01-12-06, 02:27 PM
  #10  
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It sounds like pretty classic patellofemoral pain syndrome... especially if the pain you feel is right behind the kneecap when you are going on stairs.. Best bet is to go to your doc and get a prescription for physical therapy, since theres a bunch of things that could be causing it; and if you must ride for now, keep it in a pain free position not to inflame it any more..
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Old 01-12-06, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek
The method for adjusting the saddle varies a bit with the seatpost clamp. The LBS route might be a good way to go. If you pop your bike on a trainer, they could help you find any obvious problems with your adjustments. A properly adjusted bike can be the difference between agony and pleasure.

On a cleat adjustment issue, make sure you have it adjusted to what your feet actually do rather than what looks right. For example, my left foot points in because of the way my leg works with my hip, but my right leg points out quite a bit. This means that the cleat position is very different on each shoe. Everybody's physiology is a little different.
Sorry for all these questions. But I'm going to give my LBS a call tomorrow and see if they can help me out. As for the cleat adjustment whats the best way to set these up. I've got the cleats postioned right on the balls of my feet? Or shall I leave this to the LBS. Thanks for all the info everyone

Danny
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Old 01-12-06, 05:41 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Danny Boy
Sorry for all these questions. But I'm going to give my LBS a call tomorrow and see if they can help me out. As for the cleat adjustment whats the best way to set these up. I've got the cleats postioned right on the balls of my feet? Or shall I leave this to the LBS. Thanks for all the info everyone
I'd just see what the LBS tells you, but you might want to specifically mention the cleats. If they can't help you ditch the pain, a visit to the doc would be a good idea. You don't want to screw up your knees.
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Old 01-12-06, 06:58 PM
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If the saddle is the only thing you've changed on this bike, look at that. I usually have problems when my saddle is not in the right fore/aft position. Remember - moving your saddle up and down also moves it forward and back since your seat tube is at an angle. Get your height set then try moving the saddle forward and back on the rails until you find the sweet spot. This fore/aft placement of the saddle determines where your knee is relative to the pedal spindle.

Centering cleats over the ball of the foot is pretty standard. It's not the fore/aft positioning of the cleat that is usually the problem. In my experience it's more often having the cleats angled wrong. Have you tried riding without the clipless pedals since the pain started?

If the pain worsens with climbing, maybe you are trying to push too big a gear. You would not be the first. Climbing seated with too big a gear on a saddle that is too low = ouch for most people.
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Old 01-12-06, 07:03 PM
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I recently started getting a twinge in my left knee, not painful, but noticeable. I rotated my cleats on both shoes to pull my heels in a just a wee bit so that when the shoes are clipped in they are as close to parallel with the bike as I can get them. Bada-Bing, no more twinge.

My knees also give me trouble if my seat is too low.

My pedals are Look A5.1 with adjustable float that I keep set on zero.

This worked for me. If you're having pain, and can't get it adjusted out, take it easy on the strenuous rides and see a Doc. Knees are something you don't want to mess up.
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Old 01-12-06, 08:45 PM
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If the source is purely physical, standard sports medicine dictates the RICE formula:

+ rest
+ ice
+ compression
+ elevation

You want ICE on your knees for a good 30+ minutes after painful rides ... this will reduce inflamation.

http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/fact/thr_r...pcategory=Knee
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Old 01-14-06, 10:23 AM
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Thank you for all the replies. I took all your advice and tinkered with my bike this morning. I've now got my bike setup like a dream. My saddle was tilting back to much and my cleats are now more over the balls of my feet. I did all of these adjustments and no more knee pain. I'm going to carry my trsut park tool with me next week just in case I need to do any fine tuning. But hopefully that will be the end of my knee pain.

Danny
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Old 01-14-06, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Danny Boy
Hi,

I'm only 20 so I hope my knees are still in good shape . I play football and lots of other sports and dont get this knee pain, so thats what makes me think its the bike and not my actual knees. In terms of where my saddle should be postioned (on the rails) where should it be inrelation to my bottom bracket? I'll try lowering the saddle tiny adjustments and see what happens.

Danny

Cycling stress's the kness with ROTATIONAL LOADING that other activities do not
have. Since this type of loading is unique to cycling you need to pay attention to
how the bike is set up and ,more importantly, how YOU are riding the bike. If you
are a slam go gettum' rider than your whole lower torso is taking a beating. If you
sit a lot while riding then you have damage issues that NEED a doctors attention .....NOW!!

Either way.......
Get your knees checked ASAP as even a minor knee injury can grow into major crap VERY
quickly. Don't play with it, mate. Get thee to a doctor.
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Old 01-16-06, 11:36 PM
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I use glucosamine chondrotin + MSM in the winter for my bum knees. Its been working pretty good, seems to keep the joints lubed. My bro just tore some cartilage in one knee and instead of getting it scraped out I suggested the gc+msm and he feels little pain now.
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Old 01-17-06, 06:12 AM
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Visit a doc .... quick .... you do not want to aggravate your knees.

I am blessed with healthy knees .... still.
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