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advice--knee pain(10 posts)

advice--knee painHectolyte
Nov 6, 2001 9:39 AM
hey guys-- I am experiencing some bad knee pain. My knee started hurting a little bit this past summer, but it was something I ignored because sometimes things hurt, then they stop. It continued without getting any worse until about three weeks ago on a ride when the pace picked up and my knee became very painful and I coundn't finish the ride. I haven't ridden since then, and some activities like climbing stairs hurt a lot. It's not front of knee, side of knee, back of knee pain--it's the whole thing. Is this something anybody else has experienced? what do you recommend I do? Take the winter completely off? See a doctor, see a specialist? I'm reluctant to go to the free student health clinic at school, because they will probably just give me advil and bad advice. Help me out guys.
re: advice--knee painPhysiologist
Nov 6, 2001 9:47 AM
Go to a specialist if you can. Hopefully you live somewhere that there are sports Drs that can help you out and be familiar with bicycling. IF you don't want to see a specialist or a doctor, take a break until spring and see how things are then. But if your knee hurts when you are walking up stairs you might want to strongly consider seeing a specialist.

stay away from the student health center, they have no clue
re: advice--knee painharper
Nov 6, 2001 10:11 AM
I'm not a doctor, but I can give you some advice based upon what you have described and my personal experience. First of all, go too Poke around, and you will find a great article on knee pain. Sounds to me like you have chrondolamcia (not spelled right), which is irritation of the tissue under your kneecap. This has been described as a general ache of the whole knee. My ortho told me to stretch, do strength training, and take Advil. Good luck.
re: advice--knee painsprockets
Nov 6, 2001 10:35 AM
I have been through several cycles of knee pain from a variety of activities, the most recent being cycling. The issues usually come down to (no surprise) alignment/motion issues, and/or overuse. There are many reasons that you could be having knee pain: alignment/motion issues with the pedal/crank/stroke; overtraining; inherently bad knee (born with it); injuries to your knee in the past; mashing too hard instead of spinning; any combo of these and probably several others.

I would start with the seat position (fore and aft), and the height to make sure that it is appropriate, then look at the pedal and make sure that you are not being forced to point your toes too far in or out. I like lots of lateral play so that I don't get locked into a position that is not good for me. Watch your leg as you ride and see if it is doing anything weird.

Make sure that you are spinning and not mashing huge gears with reckless abandon. You must train up to doing that, you just can't jump on it and be guaranteed of success.

Good luck.
excellent advice, Sprocket!guido
Nov 6, 2001 11:31 AM
I got knee pain from lifting weights I'm told is torn cartiledge, repairable only through surgery. But I've been riding almost 20 years on this "bad knee." I rehabbed knee by spinning in easy gears. Haven't had any problems since.

Ya just gotta go with Lance's spin philosophy, and refrain from the temptation to mash down on big gears. Once you get to the point you can turn circles, stay "on top of the gear," your knee problems will very probably go away. They did for me.

Saddle height and fore-aft, cleat alignment, is important to get right, for sure. A mis-aligned cleat can really screw up your knee.
Nov 6, 2001 10:42 AM
I recently did a 625 mile tour from San Fran to San Diego. I trained a lot, but after two days my right knee hurt a lot. Not a sharp pain, just an all around dull pain. It felt like it was coming from inside the knee joint.

To make the ride more enjoyable, I took two advil each morning. I was surprised how well it worked. Maybe not the smartest thing to do cause I knew the pain was still there.

Another cyclist also advised me to raise my seat about 1/2 and inch. I was reluctant cause I was comfy as is, but I did. By the end of the ride my knee was fine without advil.

I can conclude a few things. Either the pain worked itself out; or the raise in seat helped. Perhaps a bit of both. It was also rather chilly the first few days of the ride, wet and foggy in the 50's. By the end it was sunny and warm in the 70's.

Who is John Galt?
Who is John Galt? Why do you ask?Brian C.
Nov 6, 2001 11:23 AM
There was a John Galt who helped settle Southern Ontario in the early 19th century.
Specifically, Guelph, Ont.
Who is John Galt? Why do you ask?UncleMoe
Nov 6, 2001 11:28 AM
Its from "Altas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. It is sort of rhetorical question that characters in the book use when the answers they seek seem to be hiding. Since I'm really not sure why my knee pain went away, I was sort of saying "Who knows? Your guess is as good as mine".
Nice metaphor. You're on a higher plane than I. (nm)Brian C.
Nov 6, 2001 11:32 AM
be advised- knee painfiltersweep
Nov 6, 2001 3:27 PM
I started cycling BECAUSE I have knee problems, and the no-impact nature of biking suits my knees just fine- of course your mileage may vary.

I had knee pain during college after playing a pick-up game. My knee swelled up to the size of a football and I could barely walk. After going to a doctor, then a specialist, I was referred for "surgery" using the 'scope. Basically I had bone chips floating all over, torn cartilege, the works. (While playing sports in high school, I was in constant knee pain, but I always assumed everyone was in such pain... especially in football where the attitude was if you could move something it wasn't broken and you could play, and no one dared even suggest they were in pain or discomfort for fear of being labeled a "wuss").

Anyway, the day of surgery, when I finally met the surgeon and after I was prepped, he handed me the release to sign. Granted I'd already been briefed on what the "surgery" was all about, but this primadonna dropped this release on me that allowed him to take a look around and if necessary go beyond merely scraping and sucking the junk out- that he could open my hip, pull out some bone, pin the bone in my knee, put me in a cast for 6-8 weeks, then open me back up, pull the pins out, and put me back in a cast. I argued with him about this, but he wouldn't budge. I refused to sign, hobbled out, and just stayed off it for awhile and it was better. I'm half convinced all those specialists twisting, turning, testing the mobility, etc. were making matters worse!

A friend of mine who had similar problems "went under the knife" and ended up with a bone marrow infection- from the same doc!

Over the years I've been "careful" with this knee and done a bunch of leg work to strengthen the muscles around the knee, but I've had no surgery and no other major problems.

My point is that docs are pretty quick to jump to this relatively unintrusive knee surgery, but I'm not entirely convinced it is the be-all/end-all solution.

I'd take a look at what might be causing this, and give your knee a rest before going to the doc. There's already been a bunch of good advise. I don't think cycling is damaging to knees unless cleats are way out of whack, or your seat is out of control (unless you are really mashing). My knees will hurt on the bike if I've done squats or leg extentions within a few days of a ride, but that's about it. If my knees are sore from basketball, they will be sore on the bike. But I don't think surgery is the answer for everything knee-related and I've done fine without it.