knee pain and touring

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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531colin
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby 531colin » 9 Sep 2014, 7:06pm

I'm just trying to give a bit of balance.
By my count there are 4 people on this one thread banging on about how flat pedals are better than cleats, yet the huge majority of cycling enthusiasts use cleats.
Have a look at some of the tracks I ride (on drop bars) ............https://www.flickr.com/photos/52358536@N06/collections/..............and then tell me I must fall off all the time with cleats.

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mjr
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby mjr » 9 Sep 2014, 7:53pm

A tiny minority of cyclists use cleats. A majority of enthusiasts? Depends how you define enthusiast. The racers seem to love them but they're the target market really, willing to sacrifice some efficiency for speed. Tourists seem a bit more divided, maybe slight majority clipped in, which I admit makes little sense to me, except for recumbent.

Flickr doesn't work for me any more but the troublesome time with clips seems to be traffic which I doubt you're making photo galleries about ;-)
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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skicat
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby skicat » 9 Sep 2014, 8:42pm

Psamathe wrote:I'd suggest seeing a physio. Privately they can often fit you in pretty quickly (given your timescales) and they don't cost much (the ones I see occasionally cost around £35 for appointment). Whenever I've had to see a physio they have seen me next day; and given your 2 weeks timescale I suspect they could fit you in pretty quickly.

Ok, sounds like a good plan. I only have one experience of visiting a physio, and that was after spannering my lower back lifting paving slabs ( :roll: , I know, I know...) I was supposed to be getting on a plane to Canada the next day and could hardly walk. The physio got me up and about in the space of an hour, well enough for the flight, so I do have a bit of faith in their craft. I'll make some enquiries tomorrow.
The hurrier I go, the behinder I get

skicat
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby skicat » 9 Sep 2014, 8:51pm

531colin wrote:"skicat"...
Straight-leg isometric quads. exercises will tone up the Vastus Medialis very quickly, this would be my preferred option over taping, and can do no harm at all.

I don't know what 'Straight-leg isometric quads' are. Googling brings up a number of articles/Youtube vids, none of which seem to agree with each other. Do you have a link to what you have in mind?

531colin wrote:I find stretching beneficial.....stretching after exercise means I am less stiff next morning, but you should relax into the stretch, not use it as (another) form of competition, eg see how low you can go. God alone knows what extreme form of stretching would damage the Achilles tendon.....ever watched a high-jumper? that tendon is the thing that launches them.
If riding alone, I would stop, stretch, and self-massage as soon as the knee started hurting.....with the leg straight and the muscles relaxed, just gently move the knee-cap around....practice on the un-injured leg.

Ok, I can do that.

531colin wrote:I rode for maybe 40 years with clips and straps, and I wouldn't give up my SPDs for anybody. Despite what the SPD-haters say, there is more float in SPDs (etc) than in flat pedals, and it really is FREE float. Random ridges on rubber soled shoes will hold your foot at a "wrong" angle, set SPD cleats precisely so the "right" foot angle is "in the middle" of the float and the system is much better. In the old days of nail-on shoe plates http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/components/shoeplates-components.html I had to file out the slot like a trumpet-mouth so my foot could move.
Set your saddle as this thread http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=74985, use low gears, also short cranks if you are short-legged.

I don't use cleats or clips. I tried some non-strapped clips a few months ago but found they gave me pins and needles in the toes so took them off again. I have rat-trap type pedals and wear stiff outdoor shoes which have quite a pronounced tread. This means my feet don't slide about on the pedals but I agree that it may also mean I may not be able to get my feet into exactly the right position in the first place. Having said that, the ball of my foot is over the pedal centre and aside from the knee, I don't notice any other discomfort.

We addressed the bike-fit question in this thread.
The hurrier I go, the behinder I get

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531colin
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby 531colin » 9 Sep 2014, 10:04pm

Isometric quads. exercises....https://www.google.co.uk/search?sourceid=ie7&q=isometric+quads+strengthening&rls=com.microsoft:en-GB:IE-SearchBox&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&rlz=1I7SUNC_enGB402&gfe_rd=cr&ei=a2UPVITyA4GX-Ab61oCgDg&gws_rd=ssl.....the first one up is a bit academic, 2,3 & 4 seem OK.
If your foot is held at the "wrong" angle (by cleats, random features of shoes/pedals) you will get knee discomfort.....you will also get knee discomfort if problems with either the ankle or the hip joints (or over-pronation, etc.) mean that the knee is forced to do anything other than a straight hinge motion, or if you habitually pedal with your knees sticking out to the sides.

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531colin
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby 531colin » 10 Sep 2014, 7:04pm

mjr wrote:............. the troublesome time with clips seems to be traffic which I doubt you're making photo galleries about ;-)


The tracks I ride can be composed of loose stones the size of your fist, mud with tractor ruts, peat, and steps up to or down from exposed rock, to name just a few. I think I know as much about unplanned stops and dismounts as somebody who rides in traffic.
A bicycle of any sort is not much use at all if you can't ride it, I wonder how many of the people who deny the benefits of cleats have ever taken the time to get to use them properly.
I can understand if you are elderly or badly co-ordinated then the fear of injury from toppling-over during the learning phase could be enough to put you off, I suppose I was about fifty when I started with cleats.

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megilleland
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby megilleland » 19 Sep 2014, 6:53pm

I have had problems with my right knee which was causing pain at the end of January 2014. I put the problem down to being a postman, in and out of a van up to 150 times a day in a rural situation, six days a week - five straight weeks on and then one week off. I cycle a short distance to work and use my bike for leisure purposes very regularly. I have been cycling for 15 years and I am 64.

I thought the pain would wear off, but throughout the following three months it persisted and I had to cancel a cycle tour to northern Spain planned for May. My visit to the doctor resulted in pain killers and later an X-ray which on inspection, the doctor said revealed nothing abnormal. Physiotherapy was recommended and I undertook several sessions which helped slightly. The pain subsided, but came back with a vengence late June and a return to the doctor. It was decided to send me for an MRI scan and the result was sent to my doctor. While at work delivering the post in rural Herefordshire I had a call fom my doctor to say that I was to return to the surgery immediately to pick up a pair of crutches and told to keep weight off the leg for 12 weeks. From the consultant's report I had got a condition called spontaneous osteonecrosis (SPONK) together with a hairline fracture of the knee cap. The article mirrored my complaints exactly.

When I had real pain in my knee with severe swelling of the leg in May, I found using the bike helpful for moving around, the only problem being that when you stopped you didn't put want to put the affected leg down! However as cycling has now been banned by the doctor I have been at home sitting down too much whilst watching the Tour de France and La Vuelta.

I am having another MRI scan to see if the condition is healing or getting worse. I will know the outcome in October. There is little pain in the knee now, which could have been down to the fracture. The year has been a bummer - no cycling, no gardening and all the odd jobs piling up. You don't realise how much you rely on your knees, and I never thought I would be in this position just before retiring and cycling into the sunset. I will let you know the outcome and whether I get a new knee.

Psamathe
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby Psamathe » 19 Sep 2014, 8:27pm

megilleland wrote:I have had problems with my right knee which was causing pain at the end of January 2014. I put the problem down to being a postman, in and out of a van up to 150 times a day in a rural situation, six days a week - five straight weeks on and then one week off. I cycle a short distance to work and use my bike for leisure purposes very regularly. I have been cycling for 15 years and I am 64.

I thought the pain would wear off, but throughout the following three months it persisted and I had to cancel a cycle tour to northern Spain planned for May. My visit to the doctor resulted in pain killers and later an X-ray which on inspection, the doctor said revealed nothing abnormal. Physiotherapy was recommended and I undertook several sessions which helped slightly. The pain subsided, but came back with a vengence late June and a return to the doctor. It was decided to send me for an MRI scan and the result was sent to my doctor. While at work delivering the post in rural Herefordshire I had a call fom my doctor to say that I was to return to the surgery immediately to pick up a pair of crutches and told to keep weight off the leg for 12 weeks. From the consultant's report I had got a condition called spontaneous osteonecrosis (SPONK) together with a hairline fracture of the knee cap. The article mirrored my complaints exactly.

When I had real pain in my knee with severe swelling of the leg in May, I found using the bike helpful for moving around, the only problem being that when you stopped you didn't put want to put the affected leg down! However as cycling has now been banned by the doctor I have been at home sitting down too much whilst watching the Tour de France and La Vuelta.

I am having another MRI scan to see if the condition is healing or getting worse. I will know the outcome in October. There is little pain in the knee now, which could have been down to the fracture. The year has been a bummer - no cycling, no gardening and all the odd jobs piling up. You don't realise how much you rely on your knees, and I never thought I would be in this position just before retiring and cycling into the sunset. I will let you know the outcome and whether I get a new knee.

Have you (or your medical people) any idea what might have caused your issues ?

And hope recovery is going well.

Ian

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megilleland
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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby megilleland » 19 Sep 2014, 9:01pm

The consultant said it may be down to some trauma, but although we postmen walk into things, trip, miss our footing, go up and down steps/slopes I can't really identify a cause. Repetitive actions could be a cause. As someone has said here maybe we should warm up the joints before rushing out and getting stuck in. I have even fallen off my bike several times, but had no knee or leg injuries - just broken arms and wrists! He said there was a problem of blood supply renewing the damaged/crumbling bone area.

I see the consultant again early October and will get his report then.

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Re: knee pain and touring

Postby megilleland » 25 Oct 2014, 5:59pm

Saw the consultant 9th October who told me there is a slight improvement in my knee, although there are three bits of bone on the outside of my knee which he is conerned about. I am booked in for another MRI scan at the end of November (the third since July) so I will see what he has got to say after that. My knee does not ache and feels normal, although I suppose it's what is happening underneath that counts. I asked him if I could get back on my bike and he aid yes, but go carefully. If everything fails it will be a new knee cap.