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Knee pain, quadricep imbalance, high cadence.(3 posts)

Knee pain, quadricep imbalance, high cadence.McBaine
Jul 27, 2003 6:16 AM
Last week I started having knee pain after switching from mountain biking. I wanted to learn how to spin at 90-100 rpm at 70-80% max heart rate. I started counting 45 pedal strokes per 30 seconds. Within two weeks I developed very bad knee pain in both knees. I've been off the bike for a week now. I took my bike to a shop and they said my fit and set up were fine.

I purchased a Vetta 100 HR with wireless cadence and wireless heart rate. I highly recommend this computer it's great! On a short test ride I quickly learned that I must have been miscounting and pushing 120+ rpms which lead to my knee strain! 90 rpm seems very relaxed and easy similar to my mountain bike cadence which I never paid attention to. So be aware that your cadence might not be what you think it is.

In addition, I believe I have mild chondromalacia patellae. Meaning the outside of my quadriceps, the vastus lateralis is over developed from cycling. While the inside of my quadriceps, the vastus medialis is under developed. Can you confirm that I have this correct? Any suggestions on exercises I can perform to correct the imbalance? I'm still off the bike and feeling mild irritation in the front of the knee. I did find the following links which may be useful.
re: Knee pain, quadricep imbalance, high cadence.Kingofbeers
Jul 27, 2003 2:01 PM
Your symptoms sound very familiar. In my case, the imbalance resulted in my patella being pulled diagnally across the end of my femur until it eventually had some deep grooves worn in the underside. About this time, both quads in the leg began visibly wasting. The surgery to smooth out the grooves and cut some outside tendons so the patella could again track properly was fairly unpleasant.

To rebuild my right leg, and keep my left leg healthy, my doctor has me doing 100 leg lifts per day - probably forever, being careful to fully engage the inner quad before beginning to lift the leg. If done properly, the kneecap will be pulled straight up, rather than to the outside. It's hard to get the inner quad to fire first with an overdeveloped outer quad, but the tipoff is in how straight you're able to raise the kneecap.

Good luck -

re: Knee pain, quadricep imbalance, high cadence.SlowPokey
Jul 28, 2003 8:36 PM

My sports orthopedis diagnosed me with underdeveloped vastas medialas.

After some research and advice from my ortho, I found that high cadence STANDING climbing really worked the inner quads. My quads are more even now.

Might give it a try.