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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've increased my riding lately and now I have a sore knee...not bad. Going down stairs is painful and my knee doesn't want to hold my weight. Should I not ride at all or should I spin on my road bike?
 

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Advil....

Try some Advil. I just got back from Fruita and Moab and got the same thing. I'm use to 8-10 mile rides and started it off with a "quick" 18 mile ride. My knee really hurt. I didn't think I was going to be able to ride in Moab for the next 3 days but after a few Advil's at the end of the ride and a few more in the morning........I was ready to go. Even if it did hurt, I was still going to ride.
If you have the luxury, give it a rest for a day or so. I didn't have that option. Had a blast!
 

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Map Maker
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trailhead31 said:
I've increased my riding lately and now I have a sore knee...not bad. Going down stairs is painful and my knee doesn't want to hold my weight. Should I not ride at all or should I spin on my road bike?
after the advill make sure your bike fits right. You might need to adjust your saddle or your
postion. Are you using clipless pedals? make sure the cleats are adjusted right so the don't bind up your knees.

make sure you give yourself enough time to recover and heal.
 

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"El Whatever"
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trailhead31 said:
I've increased my riding lately and now I have a sore knee...not bad. Going down stairs is painful and my knee doesn't want to hold my weight. Should I not ride at all or should I spin on my road bike?
So I'm not alone!!!

But I accept we should visit a doctor....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys - Advil, ice, and fit I'll do them all

I just don't want to stop riding. The fit is a good point - I'm using egg-beaters on my mountain bike and Look's on my road bike so I have lots of float, but now that I think about it, my right knee (the one with the pain) is tending to go wide and I've been conciously forcing it back in to the top bar.....hmmmm, maybe I should get fit professionally. Same problem on both bikes.
 

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could be an overuse injury. increasing mileage or training intensity too quickly could explain it. i ran a half-marathon the other weekend, then went for a long road ride monday and experienced a good pain on the superomedial part of my patella (top inside knee cap). going down steps was especially painful. luckily it subsided on its own. i'm convinced it was due to my run, and the lack of sufficient training for it. anti-inflammatories like advil should probably help, but i would back off on the mileage if the pain continues.
 

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"El Whatever"
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jlang002 said:
could be an overuse injury. increasing mileage or training intensity too quickly could explain it. i ran a half-marathon the other weekend, then went for a long road ride monday and experienced a good pain on the superomedial part of my patella (top inside knee cap). going down steps was especially painful. luckily it subsided on its own. i'm convinced it was due to my run, and the lack of sufficient training for it. anti-inflammatories like advil should probably help, but i would back off on the mileage if the pain continues.
Take good care of it.... About 3-4 years ago, I pedaled 1-2 hours 3-4 times a week. I had a nice aerobic performance. I started jogging some 4km as X-training the non-bike days.

One fine day I extended my 20 min jog to 1 hour... and my knees starting aching the way they still do now. Correct fit and proper cleat positioning had helped, but the injury is there and comes back when I stress my knees a bit.

The aches I get are somewhere in the sides of the knee. Moving my heel towards my butt while resting on my side is especially painful when this happens. I also feel the need for cover my aching knee at nights... otherwise it hurts more. I can predict when bad weather is coming :D
 

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Let's ride
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Where is the knee pain? I noticed that i have pain on the back side of my knee; a medium to sharp pain. Seems due to use, and takes 1-2 weeks of much less use to disappear.
My cleats seem fine and saddle height is not too high (reasonable knee bend).

I do agree about checking your cleat position, it is very important, as this is the quickest way to ruin your knees short of smacking them into a rock.
 

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Have any of you with knee pain tried using free floating clip in pedals? Reason I ask is the frogs I just got are suppose to be great for reducing knee pain and are recommended for people who have problems with their knees.
 

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Always Learning
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trailhead31 said:
I've increased my riding lately and now I have a sore knee...not bad. Going down stairs is painful and my knee doesn't want to hold my weight. Should I not ride at all or should I spin on my road bike?
My advice: "Take it friggin' seriously and make sure you are not overusing your knees." You are going to have to take a rest day or two per week as well as make sure your fit and your rpm's are absolutely as knee friendly as it can get.

The November 2003 issue of Bicycling had an article on page 60 entitled "Special Report: Stop Knee Pain Now" written by Lisa Davis. I'm not sure you can get ahold of that article or issue, but I have multiple copies because I was one of the knee "subjects" outlined in the 6 page story. I required surgery due to a torn meniscus after years of cycling, running and finally tore it in a weekly basketball game when I turned upcourt to pass the ball. Perhaps you can find a local library with the back issue in their archive. If so, the 6 page article is a must read to have and to own. Lots of discussion on proper gear selection, cadence, cleats, pedals, fit, medical advice, hills, etc... that can help you, the rider, avoid knee pain and injury.

Popping Advils is "not the way to go" to cure the problem. It may temper immediate pain for a short duration, but avoiding the causes of the pain will eventually catch up to you. My suggestion is to target the cause of the pain and make adjustments to prevent it. Be it overuse, fit, improper gearing, improper cadence - or most likely a combination of more than one (if not all) of these issues. Singlespeed for my knees? No friggin' way. Been there, done that as a kid and I estimate a lot of SS's will end up in the Doc's office eventually with overuse injuries or torn "parts" as age and use catches up to them.

By the way, following surgery in the fall of 2001, I went through rehab and having been cycling ever since. But I listen to my knees, always stretch, pedal at a higher cadence, alternate standing and sitting and do not push big gears. And yes - I have a rear cassette with the bail out 34 tooth rear cog and a 22 tooth front granny. Sure, some of those steeps take me time to climb in such a granny - but I'm watching my knees and want to ride for many years to come.

Let me post a few portions of the article.

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Consider the following...

In a 5,000 mile riding season, you flex your knees about 1.5 million times.

How to bury the pain of wounded knee.

1. Ice your knee no more than 20 minutes at a time.
2. To remedy pain in front of your knee, raise the saddle 2-3mm. For pain in the rear, lower your seat 2-3mm.
3. Ride gears or routes that let you pedal at least 80 rpm.
4. On long climbs, alternate sitting and standing to distribute the work.

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Before reading the following from the article, keep in mind that mountain bike cycling has the knee as the primary shock absorber. Unlike road cycling, this puts an additional weight bearing stress on the knees that you have to consider when mapping out your off road riding and on the bike riding schedule. Rest and recovery is needed and should be planned for the knees when riding off road more scrupulously than road riding.

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Cycling is famously easy on the knees, because the joint never has to bear your full weight, no matter how big a gear you're in or how steep a hill you're climbing. Nevertheless, Brown's situation isn't unusual. Many avid cyclists have serious knee problems, says Andy Pruitt, Ed.D., director of the Center for Sports Medicine in Boulder, Colorado, and a pioneer in sports medicine for cyclists. In part, says Pruitt, many cyclists have knee problems because the sport is so joint-friendly. After all, cycling is where runners go when the creaking in their knees drowns out the thudding of their feet.

But pedaling has its own problems. The knee is one of the most common sites of overuse injuries for cyclists, says Morris Mellion, M.D., who edited a medical text on cycling injuries a few years ago. Knees share the top spots on biking's aches-and-pains list with sore necks, tingly fingers and numb butts.

And that gives cyclists a special perspective on a major problem. America is in the midst of a knee crisis, says Brian Halpern, M.D., a sports-injury specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. As we've gotten more active, the number of pains and sprains and tears and fractures of the joint has skyrocketed. The knee held the number-one spot in a dubious top-10 list in 2002 and 2003, when it beat out every other body part for the greatest number of sports injuries in a survey of more than 15,000 households. Knee pain sparks 11 million doctor visits each year, and you can count on that number to grow, given that the number of knee injuries reported yearly inthe U.S. has doubled since 1985.

These problems potentially have crippling repercussions through the rest of a person's life. It's not just the number of injuries that has shot up; so have statistics for osteoarthritis, the wear-and-tear from of the disease, and the number of total knee replacements - in people younger than ever. (The number of people who had total knee replacements each year more than doubled from 1994 to 2001).

All this makes biker's knee a good kind of pain to have. Because in this sport, your knee problems are almost always your own fault, and that means they're just about entirely avoidable.
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All the best with dialing in the diagnosis of what is causing your pain. You should probably lay off for a couple or more days from riding. Then, focus in your fit, cleat adjustment, cadence, gear selection and avoid hammering up hills in too high of a gear. Monitor your knee's reaction to all of this and "ride smart". The knees will love you and you will get many more years of riding out of the adjustments.

BB
 

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Careful with too much float. I tore one of my knees up pretty bad when I was a kid skateboarding and too much float makes it ache. Also check out the le wedge for your cleats. If you're supinating your foot it'll help straighten it out and help knee pain. I had to have my cleats tilted 4 deg to even mine up, and that's after wearing the specialized BG shoes with an already tilted footbed.

I get pain in my left knee upper/behind the kneecap occasionally when I am walking up a hill or stairs, it feels like it wants to give out. It doesn't happen all the time, and I climbed mt elbert 2 years in a row and it didn't bother me the whole time. I saw a doc about it and he couldn't find anything wrong from the outside and I resist letting someone into my knee to check it out. I dunno what the point of telling you that was except 'my knee hurts too'. :)
 

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If you just started riding again (beginning of season) and you are pushing it pretty hard, one thing that happens to me is that my quads get tight. Sometimes as a muscle grows it will shorten in length. What this will do on your quads is pull up on your knee cap and cause knee pain. The simple solution is to make sure you keep stretching them out real well. This takes care of my early season knee pain.
 

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Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements? I've been taking the glucosamine.. I think it helps anyway:) sometimes believing something helps...helps.
 

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Since the original poster mentioned pain specifically when going down stairs, you might look into whether you are having a problem with your illiotibial band. Do a google search on it for more on sympton and treatment. It is more common with runners, but can happen from cycling too. But pain when going down stairs or hills, especially located on the outside of your knee, is indicative of ITB syndrome.

Basically, the tendon that runs from your hip to your knee (kind of in the indent on the outer side of your leg between the quad and hamstring) gets tight from not being used much, then you start to use it a lot again, it rubs on your knee, gets inflamed, hurts like hell, then feels better when you stop, until you walk down stairs or walk down hill, in which case it hurts like hell again. The cure is basic R.I.C.E. and lots of stretching (yoga in particular is great for it). It will go away once you can get the swelling down and get the tendon stretched enough so it is not rubbing on your knee. Mine only bothered me running, but once it was diagnosed and I started properly warming up and stretching, I was able to get back in the game within a week. Now it hardly ever bothers me, but if it starts to twinge, I do a couple of stretches, and it goes away.

Good luck!
 

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triscuit said:
Since the original poster mentioned pain specifically when going down stairs, you might look into whether you are having a problem with your illiotibial band....
Best to see a sports medical doctor for a correct diagnosis rather than accept anything over the internet as any sort of a diagnosis.

Trust me, knee pain can be felt doing a variety of activities - going up stairs, going down stairs, getting in and out of a car, walking, riding, running, jumping, gardening, sitting with the feet up on a coffee table - you name it, pain can hit the knees. And all that pain may be caused by different injuries in the knee from one person to the next.

The main thing is to narrow it down as to what is causing the pain, correct the cause and adjust training/riding to prevent the pain. It would probably be interesting if "Trailhead31" would report back to us his riding habits, cadence, gear choice, weekly schedule, rest and recovery periods, pictures of him mounted on his bike, etc... to get a broader scope at what may or may not be creating the pain. Most of it boils down to overuse and hammering too hard of a gear for too long and not taking the requisite recovery rides and rest days. Training in the 5 zones as one prepares to race usually finds everyone spending way too much time in exactly the one zone they shouldn't spend all that time training in - zone 3. But, I digress...

BB
 
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