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Muscle pain above the knee

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Muscle pain above the knee

Old 06-15-11, 01:03 PM
  #1  
Runner 1
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Muscle pain above the knee

Lately, I've been getting some pain in a muscle above my knee on the outside of it (lateral side).

I don't know who's knee this is, but thanks for letting me use the photo:



The arrow indicates where the pain occurs. The pain isn't in the knee itself -- it's in the muscle above and to the outside of it. I guess it's the quad -- it's definitely not the IT band though.

Anyway, I feel this pain after long rides. At first I thought it was overuse, so I took three weeks off of the bike until I felt no more pain. Then I went for an easy 23 miles yesterday, and I felt the pain come back, so I think it's more of a positioning issue.

I thought it might be a cleat positioning issue (Speedplay Zeros) so I ordered the platform covers and rode in regular shoes, but I still felt the issue.

Now I'm thinking that my seat might be too high. I got a fit at the LBS recently, but I feel a slight pain in the ligaments at the top of my calves as well (which matches "seat is too high" pain) and also when I extend my legs out straight, my heels don't reach the pedals unless I tilt my hips significantly.

So I'm taking today off and I'll give a lower seat a try tomorrow, but if any of you have experienced pain in this location, I would be glad for the help.

Thanks!
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Old 06-15-11, 01:21 PM
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I used to get pain right above my knees where you point. It was combination of two things. Crank arms were too long and the saddle was too high.
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Old 06-15-11, 01:24 PM
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pfft, htfu...
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Old 06-15-11, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Runner 1
Lately, I've been getting some pain in a muscle above my knee on the outside of it (lateral side).

I don't know who's knee this is, but thanks for letting me use the photo:



The arrow indicates where the pain occurs. The pain isn't in the knee itself -- it's in the muscle above and to the outside of it. I guess it's the quad -- it's definitely not the IT band though.

Anyway, I feel this pain after long rides. At first I thought it was overuse, so I took three weeks off of the bike until I felt no more pain. Then I went for an easy 23 miles yesterday, and I felt the pain come back, so I think it's more of a positioning issue.

I thought it might be a cleat positioning issue (Speedplay Zeros) so I ordered the platform covers and rode in regular shoes, but I still felt the issue.

Now I'm thinking that my seat might be too high. I got a fit at the LBS recently, but I feel a slight pain in the ligaments at the top of my calves as well (which matches "seat is too high" pain) and also when I extend my legs out straight, my heels don't reach the pedals unless I tilt my hips significantly.
So I'm taking today off and I'll give a lower seat a try tomorrow, but if any of you have experienced pain in this location, I would be glad for the help.
Thanks!
if the pain is where the arrow is, that is tendon and underlying ligament, no muscle until you get much higher up the thigh, to the Vastus L.

changes in position should really not be done on a large scale (more than 5mm in seat height, 3-4 mm in seat foreaft), so if the new fit was a large change then you might want to go back and move in smaller increments over a longer time span,,, I usually take 5-6 rides at one setting before the next change/adjustment.
Even if the 'new' position/fit may ultimately be 'better', doing a large change can cause real injury.
The guy who fit you should be able to give you the saddle position he is aiming for...
That aside, it does sound as though you might have gone too high.

It also sounds like the recurring onset of pain may point to a bit more than temporary pain. It might be worthwhile to see a physician/PT/or Kinesio expert if pain persists.
In any case I'd be ridin real small gears and spinning easy, on the flat, until you have it sortted and the pain starts subsidding noticeably.
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Old 06-19-11, 09:04 PM
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Hi, so I went for a ride today, and the pain went from being pretty much gone to coming back strong.

I'm getting tired of this -- take 2 weeks off, ride 2 days and repeat -- routine.

I've varied everything I can think of: seat height, fore/aft position, cleat position, platforms instead of clipless.

I'm starting to wonder if maybe it is the IT band. It's difficult to locate the pain because it just feels like one giant throb.

I already have very strong quad muscles, hamstrings, and glutes due to all of the months of physical therapy for my other (running) knee injury.

So I'm running out of ideas, and now I can't run OR cycle and I think I'm about to jump out of the window next to me.

I used to be the one that NEVER got injured, and now it seems like everything wants to hit me all at once. I even injured my freaking hand from playing piano too much.
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Old 06-19-11, 09:31 PM
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I'm sorry about your situation. I would be bummed too if it were me.

However, you gotta listen to your body. If cycling is giving you pain and it gets inflamed, then you need to stop.
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Old 06-19-11, 09:32 PM
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The only time in my life when I had knee problems is when I was far from my bike (overseas) and started running. First I began having knee problems and then I collapsed a lung. The lung healed, the knees got better ....started running and collapsed the other lung.
I ride like an addict but I won't run....it's destructive.
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Old 06-19-11, 11:12 PM
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cleat shims worked for me but it was a non muscular knee joint piercing sort of pain like where the arrow points in the picture.

once I switched from SAFER! floating cleats to solid I started getting all sorts of issues untill I got the shims which angle your shoe. Some shoes are made to have an angle in them already and don't need shims.

Since the angle of the foot bed is affected by the toe angle of your shoe and vice versa it becomes a very complicated procedure which most would say is best left to a pro-fitter especially with low float cleats.

I have been dicking around with this since march and my left leg is perfect with no protest from knee, foot, quad, or hammy (like not wearing a rubber) still trying to figure out my right side but that is the joy of cycling for me anyway. Plus Im cheap.

After all that then you get the people who have one leg longer than the other. Which I am suspecting of myself since I played soccer.
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Old 06-20-11, 12:01 AM
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Overuse injuries are tough to figure, sometimes. This site can be helpful to begin narrowing things down a bit: https://www.cptips.com/knee.htm

Given your history, however, I'd get pro help with this one.
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Old 06-20-11, 05:45 AM
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Do you have lateral knee movement at the top of the pedal stroke? Take a ride, don't think about it, just check your natural stroke...you might be surprised.

If you do, cleat shims will most likely fix the problem.
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Old 06-20-11, 06:11 AM
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Do your knees move sideways as you pedal, its very hard to tell where pain is comming from in that area but the fact it stops when you stop riding suggests bike issues. Id try adjusting the sideways position of the cleat. If your knees tend to push outwards on the down stroke move the cleat to the inside of the shoe to increase your stance width or the other way if your knees move inwards. Bike fitters tend to just put the cleat central which is hopeless if they moved it from its previous position. You want to feel the pedal force right through the centre of your knee.

It may be worth experimenting with varus wedges also.
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Old 06-20-11, 06:46 AM
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I can tell you it's not IT band. that's on the outside of the leg. not hamstring either, that's is behind and above the knee. I thought above knee discomfort had something to do with the saddle being too far forward.
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