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I have to sort this out before it gets too painful to ride.

Old 10-02-09, 06:05 PM
  #1  
enfilade
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I have to sort this out before it gets too painful to ride.

my knees have been giving me hell recently. i'm only 21 so i don't expect it to cripple me in the next few years but i'd be devastated if i had to give up cycling.

i saw the doctor about it today but he couldn't find anything wrong, i wasn't in pain when he did the standard tests, like moving my legs around, whilst i was lying on my back. he said i should keep exercising and keep the knee mobile.

at the moment i can cycle, but it's a real struggle drying off the frame and drivetrain after a wet ride. i can't sit cross-legged anymore, and most positions which bring me closer to the floor give me some sort of pain in my knees.

its always in the same place, and on both knees, (although recently the left has been worse than the right) it's on the inside of the knee, a few inches from the centre of the knee cap. and it's more of an ache than a pain, and i can control how much pain i'll be in by how much and where i move my legs.


a few bits of info..
-im flat footed
-i never used to warm up or stretch
-i used to do basketball, tennis, football (soccer ), and running, none of them with the proper footwear

do the knees heal over time with good care/good diet, or is it just a case of minimizing and putting up with the damage that may already have been done?

please help me out here.

thanks!
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Old 10-02-09, 06:22 PM
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https://www.cptips.com/knee.htm
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Old 10-02-09, 06:43 PM
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enfilade
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thanks for that Machka!
i've not had much luck finding cycle specific stuff before, will give it a read now :]
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Old 10-03-09, 05:39 AM
  #4  
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My knees are prone to problems. Pedals that allow a large amount of float have helped me quite a bit.
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Old 10-03-09, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by enfilade View Post
-i never used to warm up or stretch
Thats most likely your problem, i try to stretch before, during and after i ride my bike (my legs, back, arms the whole shabang). A highly mineralized diet full of stuff like sunflower and broccoli sprouts along with proper stretching techniques should do wonders for you. Avoid overly acid foods if you can, soda, vinegar, marina sauce, processed junk etc.
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Old 10-03-09, 09:03 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by enfilade View Post
a few bits of info..
-im flat footed
-i never used to warm up or stretch
I'm 50 and never stretch before during or after rides. I've had knee pain in the past and was always able to fix it by adjusting saddle height. I don't have any knee pain now and ride 250-400km/wk. I would recommend getting fit by a professional and seeing a doctor to make sure your knee is healthy.
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Old 10-03-09, 07:28 PM
  #7  
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My inside and outside knee pain has a tendency to be cleat positioning issues. The link Machka posted helped me fix mine. When I had issues I had to make small changes until it went away. Unfortunately, that led to more pain until it was fixed. Patience is not my strong suite. Now my knee is very sensitive to bad fits.
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Old 10-03-09, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by hemprider View Post
Thats most likely your problem, i try to stretch before, during and after i ride my bike (my legs, back, arms the whole shabang). A highly mineralized diet full of stuff like sunflower and broccoli sprouts along with proper stretching techniques should do wonders for you. Avoid overly acid foods if you can, soda, vinegar, marina sauce, processed junk etc.
This probably isn't a flexibility issue. Flexibility also goes both ways; too much joint flexibility is just laxity, and the knee isn't a place where you want that because it would compromise stability. Stretches are much more useful for the musculotendinous unit than for ligaments, as well. Is there anyone here who thinks it's common to stretch for knee flexibility? The muscles that cross the knee, sure, but not your MCL.

OP: I would suggest that your problem is from either your cleat position (not adjusted to use the float properly) or your flat feet. Have you noticed your knee deviating toward the top tube on the downstroke? You may need shims to keep your knee tracking properly.

Also, the foods that tend to acidify the body are actually not, generally, acidic. I believe the effect you're alluding to has to do specifically with nitrogen balance. Supporters of these ideas hold grains to be some of the worst offenders, along with cheeses and some meats.

Last edited by tadawdy; 10-03-09 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 10-04-09, 04:50 AM
  #9  
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I'm also flat footed. I've ridden for 40+ years and never stretched before/after rides. I sometimes stretch just before bed if I remember.

I always tell people to avoid running or any other high impact sport for the benefit of their knees and joints. Stick to cycling, swimming or a cross trainer.

Hopefully it is indeed bad positioning on the bike that might be giving you trouble. I do have the cleats that allow sideways movement so that I'm not locked into a position. I did spend some time ensuring that the cleats and my legs were in a good position that did not cause me any pain or subsequent aches.
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Old 10-04-09, 07:51 AM
  #10  
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well it's a lot worse today, even walking from one room to another gives me pain.. a different type of pain, a shaper stabbing pain, but in the same place (inner knees).

im not sure if i should carry on cycling, hoping that somehow my knee might adjust or adapt to the pain. is this likely to damage it further.

also.. is the cold weather likely to exacerbate the condition? yesterday's ride (20 miles) was done in 30-40mph winds, on the moors, and with the winter approaching it gets quite cold up there, and i was wearing shorts. does the cold weather stiffen the joints?

my doctor sais to keep exercising, other people say give it some rest, i've heard about Trigger Point Therapy (does anyone know anything about that?) it sounds quite promising.. and i've just read that stretching tight muscles is sometimes the cause of pain.

i dont know much at all about anatomy, so i have nothing.. the more people i talk to the more confused i get.

i think my doctor should've referred me to a specialist.. i'm going to go back there on tuesday and ask him to do that.

in the meantime if you have any ideas..

thanks

p.s. i've adjusted my saddle height by a few mm
p.p.s what are cleats?

Last edited by enfilade; 10-04-09 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 10-04-09, 07:56 AM
  #11  
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ive just noticed my first post might have been misleading... the pain isn't inside my knee. its generally on the outside, but on the inside side, if that makes it any clearer :S its a very bony area of the knee
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Old 10-04-09, 07:58 AM
  #12  
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cleats = cycling shoes?

at the moment i just use outdoor shoes or skate shoes
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Old 10-04-09, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by enfilade View Post

-im flat footed
Start with a good innersole. A bike shop will a few. Do you wear your shoes more on one side of the sole or the other? That can also cause a problem.

But you definitely need some arch support. Superfeet, Sole, Conform'ables, too many to list. Superfeet are relatively cheap and good.

If you wear your shoes more on one sode of the foot, then the Specialized innersoles
are the ones to try. They come with wedges.
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Old 10-04-09, 10:20 AM
  #14  
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would soles make a difference when cycling though?

my shoes are always laced up pretty tight so there isn't much room for movement. i think i have the same amount of wear on each foot


ive just given myself an upper leg massage and made some knee warmers out of some wooley socks and an old t-shirt

should help untill i can see a physiotherapist
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Old 10-04-09, 10:24 AM
  #15  
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Have your feet been bothering you at all? If so, your feet may be the cause of your knee pain and foot beds with better arch support might help...both for cycling and walking.

My knees and feet started bothering me bad this year, after many years of no problems. While I did make some tweaks to my cleat position, the root cause turned out to be a lack of arch support for my flat feet.
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Old 10-04-09, 10:36 AM
  #16  
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i've never thought about the position of my feet on the bike, i just presume my bike is a good fit for me. i dont use cleats. i just put my feet on the pedal where they feel about right and set off.

do knees vary much in appearance and anatomy? my lower legs seem to be further apart from each other than other people's. i've probably set you up for some inuendo there, but im starting to think mine just aren't designed for cycling
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Old 10-05-09, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by tadawdy View Post

Also, the foods that tend to acidify the body are actually not, generally, acidic. I believe the effect you're alluding to has to do specifically with nitrogen balance. Supporters of these ideas hold grains to be some of the worst offenders, along with cheeses and some meats.
The only food i can name off hand that isn't acidic but is acidic in the body is meat, everything i listed is acidic and will be acidic in your body. What foods are not acidic but acidic in your body?

@OP take my advice and get lots of sprouts asap, you'll notice results within days

Last edited by hemprider; 10-05-09 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 10-05-09, 11:42 AM
  #18  
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Cleats would matter if you were locking your feet into the pedals.
Obviously you don't do that - which is likely good for your feet/knees.
If you are in a lot of pain then that doesn't sound good. I'd trying staying off the bike for a bit to see if that makes a difference.
When I saw a doctor about possible knee trouble and cycling she said to carry on cycling as it is good for the knees (compared to walking/running).
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Old 10-05-09, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by hemprider View Post
The only food i can name off hand that isn't acidic but is acidic in the body is meat, everything i listed is acidic and will be acidic in your body. What foods are not acidic but acidic in your body?

@OP take my advice and get lots of sprouts asap, you'll notice results within days
I was just trying to make the point that acidic foods don't necessarily have a detrimental effect on nitrogen balance. An important counterexample are fruits, which are acidic but beneficial to blood acid load. Also, meats and grains would seem to be basically neutral, but they are detrimental, as well. This isn't to say you shouldn't eat these foods (they are good for other reasonsd), but is just another reason for eating plenty of fruits and veggies.

Yes, vinegar is acidic, but it isn't pure acid (3% or so). How much of it do you have to eat for it to be a significant source of body acidifation? No one's drinking gallons of glacial acetic acid.
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Old 10-05-09, 12:42 PM
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In my years of coaching soccer, I saw a lot of guys your age with knee pain. If RICE (rest-ice-compression-elevation) didn't bring relief within a week, we would get them into the local sports physio clinic (we are luck to have an olympics class facility here)

In most cases, the problem seemed to be growth related, that is, the athlete had a muscle imbalance which was causing the pain. The standard long term treatment could be summarized as a combination of exercises for strengthening of the muscles around the knee, plus ITB massage.
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Old 10-05-09, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by hemprider View Post
The only food i can name off hand that isn't acidic but is acidic in the body is meat, everything i listed is acidic and will be acidic in your body. What foods are not acidic but acidic in your body?

@OP take my advice and get lots of sprouts asap, you'll notice results within days
I was just trying to make the point that acidic foods don't necessarily have a detrimental effect on nitrogen balance. An important counterexample are fruits, which are acidic but generally beneficial to blood acid load. Also, meats and grains would seem to be basically neutral, but they are detrimental, as well. This isn't to say you shouldn't eat these foods (they are good for plenty of other reasons), but is just another reason for eating plenty of fruits and veggies.

As for the acidic foods you mention, I don't know whether they have that effect on the body, as I haven't seen them studied (though soda probably is due to its phosphate content). Just because a food is acidic doesn't mean it's acidifying to the body. Some people would disagree with your assessment of vinegar.

The pH of a food is entirely irrelevant to this discussion, not to mention that table vinegar is roughly a 4% solution of a weak acid. Unless, of course, you're like me and want your salads really tart, and have been drenching them in glacial acetic acid. Food reaches the stomach and is acidified. Of course, if you dumped stomach acid directly into your duodenum every day of your life without buffering it, you would have some problems. Conveniently, pancreatic secretions buffer acid. Thus, food acidity basically comes out in the wash. Evolution, the flying spaghetti monster, or intelligent design if you're of that dubious persuasion...let's not talk about religion over dinner here...anyway, we can eat a lot of things and live a pretty long time in apparently good health.

Eating veggies, including the beloved broccoli sprout, is great for your health for more obvious reasons. The leading killers in the developed world are heart disease and cancers. More veggies certainly wouldn't hurt in these areas, either. First it was vitamins, then various phytochemicals, now it's alkalinity. Whatever, they're good for you. Eat them.

Last edited by tadawdy; 10-05-09 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 10-05-09, 08:03 PM
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You need to find the best local bikefitter around and get some advice. Ideally this person will also be a physical therapist.

Don't mess with this - I know a few guys who ignored this sort of thing and ended up with knee replacements when they were 50...
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Old 10-06-09, 02:28 AM
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This can sometimes be caused by diet. In laymen's terms, the intake of too many carbohydrates and simple sugars can cause a ketogenic acidization of the blood that will cause your kidneys to work harder then needed. The additional strain removes protein at the knee and shovels it off to the kidneys for helping break down the extra carbs.

A quick and easy test for this is to stick your finger into you pee stream and then taste it. If it tastes too sweet and sugary then this is most likely the culrpit. if it tastes bitter or salty then you are fine and should look at fit issues and cleat placement.
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Old 10-06-09, 06:51 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by tadawdy View Post

Eating veggies, including the beloved broccoli sprout, is great for your health for more obvious reasons. The leading killers in the developed world are heart disease and cancers. More veggies certainly wouldn't hurt in these areas, either. First it was vitamins, then various phytochemicals, now it's alkalinity. Whatever, they're good for you. Eat them.
I didn't recommend broccoli sprouts because of there alkalinity, i recommend them because sprouts are the most mineral packed foods you can eat (often 30-100 times the content of standard greens).

If what you say about acidity is true and it has no merit then why is acidosis one of the biggest problems in america?? When your body is overly acid it will leech calcium and other nutrients too bring itself back to alkalinity, its alot easier then you think to make your body overly acid. Especially when the typical american eats mostly acidic food...

edit: also alittle fyi alot of fruits are alkaline, if your looking at a list of alkaline/acid foods its most likley off. I've seen about 10 different online charts and they all show different things

Last edited by hemprider; 10-06-09 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 10-06-09, 12:11 PM
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I didn't recommend broccoli sprouts because of there alkalinity, i recommend them because sprouts are the most mineral packed foods you can eat (often 30-100 times the content of standard greens).
I'm with you here on this. Alkalinity is an interesting topic, especially for those with poor renal function. I just get fed up with arguments over nutrition. For almost everyone, the advice "Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much," would suffice to give them much better health (Michael Pollan). For example, the obese? Restrict calories. How? Cut back on animal fats and sugars = eat plants. CVD? Cut back on saturated and trans fats and sugars, boost MUFA's and PUFA's = eat plants. Worried about maintaining nitrogen and calcium balance? Eat plants. We are omnivores, and do gain quite a bit from eating animal products. The American diet, however, has not only a great surfeit of calories, but specifically ones of animal protein, animal fat, and added sugar origin.

If what you say about acidity is true and it has no merit then why is acidosis one of the biggest problems in america?? When your body is overly acid it will leech calcium and other nutrients too bring itself back to alkalinity, its alot easier then you think to make your body overly acid. Especially when the typical american eats mostly acidic food...
Jesus...I said pH has no bearing on this, not that body alkalinity isn't a valid argument. If you had been following, I said:
The pH of a food is entirely irrelevant to this discussion
and it is. You can't just look at a raw food's pH and say whether it has an acidic or alkaline nature after digestion. You're not just dumping the food into your blood circulation. It has to do with the types of groups the food contains, such as phosphates, sulfates and carbonates. The food is acidified in the stomach, and then pancreatic secretions (which contain bicarbonate) are used to bring the chyme back to a tolerable pH.
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