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Pain behind my right knee(15 posts)

Pain behind my right kneeBQ
Jul 12, 2001 11:29 AM
I've been inching up the mileage on my daily rides -- nothing too exotic, no more than a 10-20% increase in a week. Last week my daily ride was 25 miles. This week, as I've begun 30 milers, the back of my right knee starts to hurt around the 25th mile or so. Actually, it's not the knee, but the back of the leg where the knee is. My left knee/leg are fine. If I stay off the bike, the pain goes away in a couple of days.

One book I have said that if my saddle is too high it could cause exactly these kinds of symptoms. I was wondering if perhaps I've been on the threshold of feeling this and the increase in miles now demands a lower seat position. Or perhaps a 5 mile jump on the daily ride was too much too soon.

Has this happened to any of you? If so, how did you solve the problem? Am I on the right track thinking about lowering the saddle a bit?

Any suggestions would be welcomed. I'm tired of the pain and I want to keep riding!
re: Pain behind my right kneeLC
Jul 12, 2001 11:40 AM
Lower the saddle!
re: Pain behind my right kneejschrotz
Jul 12, 2001 11:52 AM
Lower the saddle, but do so gradually. Don't make any drastic changes in height. Lower it just a couple of millimeters before going out on your next ride, and see if the pain returns. If not, you're probably ok. If it does, lower it another few millimeters before the next ride.
why gradually?Jiggy
Jul 12, 2001 1:29 PM
It seems to me that you can have a too low saddle with minimal problems, but too high is too high (and painful in this case, if that is indeed the culprit). I'd lower by a cm or so, then if that was OK I'd start raising it gradually until the pain returned and then go back to previous pain-free height. By keeping it too high (again, assuming this is the culprit) it may take weeks to get rid of the pain, especially since he needs some recovery time between rides. Just remember that by lowering the saddle you are also moving it forward, so a slight nudge back on the rails may be required.
For sure...BQ
Jul 12, 2001 5:41 PM
I'm gonna try lowering the seat. And thanks for the tip about moving the saddle further back on the rails. Hadn't thought of that. I hope you're wrong about this taking weeks for recovery. It would really stink to have to kick back for recovery purposes. Still, pain is a message from your body saying "Hey, cut it out!" I'll hit the road at a more leisurely pace until I figure this out.
re: why gradually?jschrotz
Jul 12, 2001 6:45 PM
Actually you can injure your knee just as easily by having your saddle too low. I don't think his current position is too far off if he's only been experiencing pain after a certain amount of mileage. When your saddle is too low the pain is experienced on the front of the knee, whereas if the saddle is too high, the pain is in the back of the knee as in this case. As a general rule, you should never make drastic changes in your position if you've been riding in that position for an extended period of time.
Same exact problem.Mabero
Jul 12, 2001 11:56 AM
I had the same exact problem. For me it didn't hurt but was uncomfortable and became sore after rides. For me it was a combination of doing longer rides on a bike that was fitting me correctly. To have a general idea, I was riding on a 58cm bike and I now ride on a 63cm.

For me it isn't so much the saddle height but it becomes the saddle to stem difference as it rises. On my old Bianchi it was close to 6.5 inches! This makes your body look like an upside down 'V'. Therefore (chain reaction) it stretches the tendons and muscles behind the knee. It made my knee have a slight snapping sensation. But once I got on a better bike that was sized for me it has greatly minimized.

Also what has helped me is the difference from riding in spd pedals to finally having (and loving) a pair LOOKs. Better float, better pedal, and comfortable.

Try raising the stem so that the difference is less. I now have about a 2 inch difference (just by looking though) and this I think has really helped me.

If it didn't go away for me with the new bike I was going to see a PT or an Orthopedist.

Also another thing to consider is if you are cranking your gears at a low RPM. If you are then you could be just killing your legs/knees by smashing gears...especially uphills. That would be interesting to find out. Just bring a stopwatch and you can calculate it on the fly.

Hope this helps...if turns out it isn't you then it's definately a dog biting you!

Matt
Float of SPD vs Lookbw17
Jul 12, 2001 1:55 PM
Question about the float of SPD vs Look. My understanding is
that SPD's have 8 degrees of float, and Looks have up to 9
degrees. Doesn't seem like much difference to me. Or is there
more to it than the numbers would indicate?
Float of SPD vs LookMabero
Jul 13, 2001 4:35 AM
I didn't have any float on the SPD's that I had...I have Ritchey Logic. So going from 0 degrees to 9 degrees on the Look was fantastic. Even more so the biggest difference for me really is the feel of the pedal under my foot...it has a better platform than my Ritcheys so that makes it more comfortable on my foot onto my ankle, etc...
How to fix the pain after fixing the problem is . . .Grinder
Jul 12, 2001 12:47 PM
I've had many knee problems including two scopes and just general pain I've learned a few things.

The first is that knee problems feed on themselves. They normally don't just go away unless you wait a very long time (over winter a lot of times). The knee just irritates itself when it's injured so you have to take measures to fix it. The easiest way (as Sara Doctor - on of my sports injury therapists) is to take an anti-inflammatory until you ears ring. Which means every 3-4 hours take Tylenol even if the pain is not there. Only ate the pain stops can the knee really start to heal.

Also keep the leg straight as often as you can. Blood does not really flow to the knee when it's bent.

It sounds like some tendons were overused at some point and then it just steamrolls to a major pain.

I'm not a Doctor but like to pretend I know what I'm talking about through experience. But remember, your getting advice from a guy that says his knee operations were some of the funniest times in his life

Rod "More Valium please" .
re: Pain behind my right kneeLone Gunman
Jul 12, 2001 4:46 PM
Just a wild guess and question. Does the pain reduce if you try and stretch on the bike by having the sore leg extended in the 6:00 position and then try and touch the heal of your foot to the pavement and hold for say 10 seconds? Another possibility is that your hamstrings are tight, after all that is where they connect, at the back of the knee. I had that problem last year and concluded that it was a stretching thing with the hams.
I don't really knowBQ
Jul 12, 2001 5:35 PM
I tried to stretch it out on the bike, but it didn't really help. Wound up doing most of the real work with my left leg while trying to give the one with pain a break. Would it tighten up on just one leg? In any case, I'll do some extra hamstring stretches and see if that helps. Thanks for the suggestion.
re: Pain behind my right kneeTsculler
Jul 12, 2001 6:42 PM
I also had bad pain behind my knee when I bought my road bike last year. I thought it was because I was getting back in shape... but it persisted. So I moved around the seat as suggested by many sources... but the pain persisited and was getting worse. I finally went to my LBS and it was my cleat that needed adjustment on my right shoe. When walking, my left foot seems centered but my right foot is pointed a few degrees off with every step. But my cleats were centered too... fine for the left foot but not good with the right foot because even the float didn't allow me to get to a natural pedaling position for my body. The LBS put my bike on a stationary machine and had me pedal with a bunch of straw deals sticking out of the pedals... it helped them align the cleat to the natural position of my foot angle. Voila... no more pain! The original pain was very sharp... it hurt to pedal with the leg after about 5miles and if I tried to ignore the pain it would get to the point where I couldn't put any pressure... it was like my knee was getting torqued and the tendons were protesting. Now I can go for hours and just keep getting stronger. I'm sure your LBS will be able to help if your case is similar... they told me I should have come in much sooner because that's why they're there... to help with the unknown. I think I use the SPD system, I have wellgo pedals on a 2000 Bianchi Brava.

Good Luck, Tom.
re: Pain behind my right kneeBQ
Jul 13, 2001 6:08 AM
Thanks, Tom. That's another good suggestion. I have SpeedPlay/X2's, which seem to have plenty of float,but as you say, perhaps the cleat should be moved a bit one way or another.
re: Pain behind my right kneeKevin MD
Jul 13, 2001 6:45 AM
Well,

I had the very same problem. Saddle height was good. I then got checked out at my LBS and my saddle was _way_ too far back. We moved it forward 3 cm and presto, pain is gone. In your case I would bet that the saddle is too far up/back/forward.

Later,

Kevin