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Pain on the outside of the knees...HELP!(7 posts)

Pain on the outside of the knees...HELP!manuel rodriguez
Jul 31, 2001 10:19 PM
Has anybody had this problem and been able to deal with it succesfully? I haven't been able to ride my bike since mid January. I had this same problem in 1987 and simply quit riding, sold everything, just couldn't shake it off. I've gone to the chiropractor, done all kinds of stretches, even took a whole month totally off, and as soon as I got back on the bike the right knee started bothering me. Both knees bother me but the right one is worse. The reason I got the injury was from doing too much too soon. I have read every book and article I have been able to find about this problem but nothing seems to help. Has anybody on this forum had this problem and gotten rid of it? What is the key to this? Even more rest? I also went to a Dr. and I got anti-inflammatories to no avail. I have been trying to be patient but I'm starting to get tired of this. If you have had experience with this please let me know how you dealt with it. From what I have read this is an injury to the IT band. Thanks for your responses.
re: Pain on the outside of the knees...HELP!BianchiBoy
Aug 1, 2001 5:13 AM
Here are the possible causes. Your Knees at the 3:00 position should line up with the middle of you pedal spindles which is addressed by both saddle position and crank length. If you ride with clipless pedals, your cleats should be aligned with the natural angle of your stance. If your feet go either out or in, I wouldn't use toe clips as they force your feet into an unatural position. When you ride don't be a grinder. In other words, pedal faster in a lower gear, especially when climbing steep ascents. Of course you should also stretch and warm up by pedaling easily for 10-15 minutes before riding hard.
re: Pain on the outside of the knees...HELP!DanO
Aug 1, 2001 5:15 AM
If you've been diagnosed with illiotibial band friction, there are many stretches you can do to help with that. My personal favorite is to sit on the floor, place the affected knee directly in front of you and then bend your body over until your face nears the floor. Take it slow and you'll be o.k. I whacked out my IT about 4 years ago but Im great now. I just finished Ragbrai (540 miles) and I feel better than ever. But it took me a long time to get confident pushing my leg hard again. Taking it slow is the key.
In what direction?JL
Aug 1, 2001 5:35 AM
You say to "bend your body over until your face nears the floor". Bend over in what direction? Is the knee bent "directly in front of you"? Please clarify.

Happy riding & Thanks.

re: Pain on the outside of the knees...HELP!DCP
Aug 1, 2001 5:30 AM
Don't overlook the simple stuff. I had a pain on the outside of a knee when I first starting riding more than 30 miles, but it did not fit the description of IT band problems. I saw a reference to a book called something like Bicycling Medicine which suggested that pain on the outside of the knee indicated that possibly my foot was too close to the crank. I adjusted the cleat so that my foot was further out and have been pain free since. It's worth a try.
re: Pain on the outside of the knees...HELP!Jon Billheimer
Aug 1, 2001 8:20 AM

Go to and e-mail him with a detailed description of your problem. He may be able to offer you some unique insights and suggestions to rehab your injury. Kevin is an expert in biomechanics and is quite helpful. Just for your info. he's a USCF certified coach, works on Chris Carmichael's staff, and is a health and wellness consultant to General Motors and the UAW. Hope this helps.
My crazy IT band diagnosisTypeOne
Aug 1, 2001 5:53 PM
I am still a little skeptical, but here is what a sports medicine doc and physical therapist determined: my IT band pain was a result of my pelvis being misaligned and my hamstrings too tight. So they gave me some stretches and correction exercises for the pelvis. Basically, they said my left side was twisted downward in the back a little, causing me to overcompensate somehow and hurt my left knee/IT band. I didn't believe it until they did some strength tests on right vs. left side. I have no clue how I did this, unless it was that crash a few months ago...
I don't know if this is a possibility for anyone else, but it might be worth having someone look into.
The worst part of all this is that like you, I have to take time off the bike. Good luck.