knee pain and touring

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
andy_scot_uk
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knee pain and touring

Postby andy_scot_uk » 4 Jul 2014, 8:02am

Been tour cycling 40 years and and planning doing Hadrians wall cycleway Thursday next week. Building up my training runs but yesterday suffered bad knee pain after a hilly ride. It's a hybrid bike and I wear jeans not lycra. Never had issues like this before and had my bike for 12 years. Desperate not to miss the trip. Plenty of advice on the internet http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/take-care-of-your-knees-part-2-17445/ and considering going for a bike fit. But that appears to be for guys with cleats and who do lots of cycling. It's also expensive.

My thought is that after a days rest go for easy flat runs. I realise I need to pay more attention to my body now. Advice welcome.

DaleFTW
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby DaleFTW » 4 Jul 2014, 10:43am

Might just be one of those one off things or it might be a bike fit issue. Saddle a touch too high/low maybe?

Psamathe
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby Psamathe » 4 Jul 2014, 10:51am

andy_scot_uk wrote:... considering going for a bike fit. But that appears to be for guys with cleats and who do lots of cycling. It's also expensive.

Or see a physio. Around where I live most charge between £30-£40 for a private consultation and at least then they should be able to tell you what the problem is and what to do about it (though most probably can't tell you about your bike fit, saddle height, etc.).

Ian

LollyKat
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby LollyKat » 4 Jul 2014, 1:23pm

Lots of tips out there on stretches and knee-balancing exercises, which are worth doing. However I wonder if your jeans are part of the problem. If they don't have any stretch in them they may be adding pressure on the kneecap which can cause pain over time. You can get stretch jeans which look just like ordinary ones but would be much kinder to your knees, and probably more comfortable generally for cycling.

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NUKe
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby NUKe » 4 Jul 2014, 2:07pm

Andy It is possible you were tryiing a bit harder than usual and pushing a gear that is slightly too high. If you drop down a gear or two it might relieve the stress.
NUKe
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DaleFTW
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby DaleFTW » 4 Jul 2014, 2:11pm

LollyKat wrote: However I wonder if your jeans are part of the problem. If they don't have any stretch in them they may be adding pressure on the kneecap which can cause pain over time. You can get stretch jeans which look just like ordinary ones but would be much kinder to your knees, and probably more comfortable generally for cycling.


No.

andy_scot_uk
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby andy_scot_uk » 4 Jul 2014, 2:16pm

cheers everyone. Was looking for someone with the same issue and to hear how they dealt with it. Think the saddle height is an issue - bike was in for a service a few months ago and doesn't seem right. Also lack of stretching - never had to do it previously but time to start. And maybe being a little less ambitious when I've not been on the bike for a while.

Gearoidmuar
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby Gearoidmuar » 4 Jul 2014, 2:55pm

andy_scot_uk wrote:cheers everyone. Was looking for someone with the same issue and to hear how they dealt with it. Think the saddle height is an issue - bike was in for a service a few months ago and doesn't seem right. Also lack of stretching - never had to do it previously but time to start. And maybe being a little less ambitious when I've not been on the bike for a while.



Does it hurt walking down the stairs?

I don't think that stretching will do ANY good...

If it hurts walking down the stairs then it's probably a touch of chondormalacia patellae.
To treat that, no big gears and stand while climbing.. no cleats.

LollyKat
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby LollyKat » 4 Jul 2014, 3:10pm

DaleFTW wrote:
LollyKat wrote: However I wonder if your jeans are part of the problem. If they don't have any stretch in them they may be adding pressure on the kneecap which can cause pain over time. You can get stretch jeans which look just like ordinary ones but would be much kinder to your knees, and probably more comfortable generally for cycling.


No.

No what? I get sore knees if I wear non-stretch trousers for cycling. That may not be the reason for the OP's problems but it is one more thing to consider. I myself wouldn't use jeans for touring, but I do sometimes for local rides. If you are going to wear them, stretch ones are IME more comfortable than non-stretch.

andy_scot_uk
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby andy_scot_uk » 4 Jul 2014, 3:50pm

Baggy jeans and I never use cleats. Cotton shirts too. I blame joining the CTC in 1976. However I don't carry a flask of tea. :D

ANTONISH
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby ANTONISH » 4 Jul 2014, 4:11pm

I don't get a lot of knee problems - but I find that when I get the occasional twinge, using Ibuprofen gel definitely helps.
As it happens I got the "pain walking down stairs thing" a couple of days ago. It's definitely better today. I've kept to short 20 mile rides used low gears and avoided hills for the last couple of days.
I don't know about the cycling kit - I know a strong audax rider who never wears any dedicated cycling kit apart from a h***** and a weather proof jacket.

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531colin
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby 531colin » 4 Jul 2014, 4:39pm

I can't believe we don't have knee pain in too good to lose........have a search around, theres a thread here....http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=79674&hilit=vastus+medialis

Psamathe
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby Psamathe » 4 Jul 2014, 5:01pm

531colin wrote:I can't believe we don't have knee pain in too good to lose........have a search around, theres a thread here....http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=79674&hilit=vastus+medialis

I have the VMO weakness (Patellofemoral .....). I did not bother to mention it as I had the impression Original poster had been riding for quite some time and thus would have expected the issue to have arisen some time ago.

My own case was probably because I started cycling without particularly strong leg muscles (kayaking being my main activity for several years) and built up my quadricepts (the lateral and outside of the 3) meaning VMO weakness started to mess-up my knee cap ...

The problem was identified by a physio (actually two different physios who both came up with the same diagnosis) and I was given exercises to do. Unfortunately most of the exercises seem to make the pain worse (within 5 mins of doing the exercise) so I've used the internet to find gentler exercises. Had it for over 4 months now and I found taping and a jumpers knee strap the best help. I think it might be gradually starting to get better but it's a slow process.

What I did for my own knees (not providing advice, just recounting what I did)
Re the jumpers knee strap thing some are good some useless. The best one I found was http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mueller-Coloured-Knee-Strap-Black/dp/B00267SFDE but an example of a useless one is http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00IL8B47Q. The main difference was in the size of the tube inside the strap that supports the knee cap. Also the "brace" type things are useless for cycling e.g. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002WS49FA (actually I find that generally useless for my knee).

With the taping some tape is better than others. I use Levotape (reasonable price and normally stays of for a few days). I've not tried KT tape (as it is very expensive). I tried Rock tape and it was useless (came off after a few minutes riding). I do the full knee support as described in http://www.kttape.com/instructions/full-knee-support/ (video) - but don't use their expensive tape. I probably put the tape on with far too much stretch and then leave it on for several days. I have found that hot sweaty rides will encourage the tape to come off a lot sooner (e.g. today 26C and fresh tape on before ride and one bit half off by end of ride, whereas normally it stays of for days).

When I ride I have both tape the knee and use the knee strap below the patella on.

BUT, I am in no position to provide advice and AM NOT repeating what my physio said. So, above is NOT advice but just what I've been doing.

Ian

rualexander
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby rualexander » 4 Jul 2014, 5:33pm

Gearoidmuar wrote:
Does it hurt walking down the stairs?

I don't think that stretching will do ANY good...

If it hurts walking down the stairs then it's probably a touch of chondormalacia patellae.
To treat that, no big gears and stand while climbing.. no cleats.


Probably not a touch of chondromalacia patellae, this is what is sometimes diagnosed by people like GPs who are not experts in sports injuries. I was told this was my problem 24 years ago by a doctor, but reading up on chondromalacia patellae and subsequent visits to physios who do know about sports injuries ruled this out as a diagnosis.

Without knowing more about the OP's knee pain, location, etc. we are just guessing here, so best advice is visit a physio.

My knee pain has recurred several times over the years, most recently last summer, when I was treated by a physio with ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation (ems), and kinesio taping, and stretching, a combination which worked very effectively.
I subsequently bought an ems machine for £20 and use it a couple of times a week to keep my vastus medialis muscle in good shape.

Look up quadriceps stretching exercises too, these were emphasised by my physio as very important.

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531colin
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby 531colin » 4 Jul 2014, 6:23pm

We are indeed just guessing, without even a description of whats hurting.

Even so, the most common problem for cyclists and other sportspeople who never get their knees fully straight (kayakers!) is imbalance in the quadriceps group (Vastus medialis weakness) and patella-femoral syndrome.....so that remains the best guess. :?
Straight-leg isometric quads exercises are most unlikely to do any harm, and will strengthen VM.
Stretching, done properly, ie. by relaxing into the stretch, is relaxing and generally beneficial.