Knee Pain

MikeF
Posts: 3950
Joined: 11 Nov 2012, 9:24am
Location: On the borders of the four South East Counties

Re: Knee Pain

Postby MikeF » 28 Oct 2019, 10:15pm

531colin wrote:
Paulatic wrote:Is your saddle rammed forward?
Moving it back will engage the hamstrings. …….

Where does this come from, please?
Here https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=131678 I have come to the conclusion that moving the saddle back will un-load my quads, which must be just about the same as your "engaging the hamstrings", but I would be interested in any authoritative writings which you might have seen?
I have had knee problems from time to time. In fact my right one has been painful for sometime, but seems to becoming better now. One thing I note is that the farther forward the saddle is the more downward pressure (and more pain) there is on my knees. The Spa Tourer has a nice 72 degree seat angle (thanks Colin :D) and I can sit back on the saddle and pedal without pain. Therefore my conclusions are that having a laid back saddle reduces knee pain, but I wouldn't don't know the biological reasons why. Also leg exercise by cycling seems to strengthen the knees.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

Polisman
Posts: 644
Joined: 9 May 2019, 2:23pm

Re: Knee Pain

Postby Polisman » 29 Oct 2019, 4:25pm

MikeF wrote:
531colin wrote:
Paulatic wrote:Is your saddle rammed forward?
Moving it back will engage the hamstrings. …….

Where does this come from, please?
Here https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=131678 I have come to the conclusion that moving the saddle back will un-load my quads, which must be just about the same as your "engaging the hamstrings", but I would be interested in any authoritative writings which you might have seen?
I have had knee problems from time to time. In fact my right one has been painful for sometime, but seems to becoming better now. One thing I note is that the farther forward the saddle is the more downward pressure (and more pain) there is on my knees. The Spa Tourer has a nice 72 degree seat angle (thanks Colin :D) and I can sit back on the saddle and pedal without pain. Therefore my conclusions are that having a laid back saddle reduces knee pain, but I wouldn't don't know the biological reasons why. Also leg exercise by cycling seems to strengthen the knees.


You could try ditching your clip in pedals for 6 weeks in favour of flats. The freedom of movement flats gives its hugely beneficial to repairing knee damage. Best advice I ever got for bad knees, worked wonders for me.

MikeF
Posts: 3950
Joined: 11 Nov 2012, 9:24am
Location: On the borders of the four South East Counties

Re: Knee Pain

Postby MikeF » 29 Oct 2019, 7:52pm

Polisman wrote:
MikeF wrote:
531colin wrote:Where does this come from, please?
Here https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=131678 I have come to the conclusion that moving the saddle back will un-load my quads, which must be just about the same as your "engaging the hamstrings", but I would be interested in any authoritative writings which you might have seen?
I have had knee problems from time to time. In fact my right one has been painful for sometime, but seems to becoming better now. One thing I note is that the farther forward the saddle is the more downward pressure (and more pain) there is on my knees. The Spa Tourer has a nice 72 degree seat angle (thanks Colin :D) and I can sit back on the saddle and pedal without pain. Therefore my conclusions are that having a laid back saddle reduces knee pain, but I wouldn't don't know the biological reasons why. Also leg exercise by cycling seems to strengthen the knees.


You could try ditching your clip in pedals for 6 weeks in favour of flats. The freedom of movement flats gives its hugely beneficial to repairing knee damage. Best advice I ever got for bad knees, worked wonders for me.
My feet aren't clipped in. I use toe clips but when the strap broke on the left one I didn't replace it and I found I didn't need the strap. Having ridden without that strap for ages I decided to remove the one on the right. Cycling isn't what causes my knee pain.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

Polisman
Posts: 644
Joined: 9 May 2019, 2:23pm

Re: Knee Pain

Postby Polisman » 29 Oct 2019, 9:12pm

MikeF wrote:
Polisman wrote:
MikeF wrote:I have had knee problems from time to time. In fact my right one has been painful for sometime, but seems to becoming better now. One thing I note is that the farther forward the saddle is the more downward pressure (and more pain) there is on my knees. The Spa Tourer has a nice 72 degree seat angle (thanks Colin :D) and I can sit back on the saddle and pedal without pain. Therefore my conclusions are that having a laid back saddle reduces knee pain, but I wouldn't don't know the biological reasons why. Also leg exercise by cycling seems to strengthen the knees.


You could try ditching your clip in pedals for 6 weeks in favour of flats. The freedom of movement flats gives its hugely beneficial to repairing knee damage. Best advice I ever got for bad knees, worked wonders for me.
My feet aren't clipped in. I use toe clips but when the strap broke on the left one I didn't replace it and I found I didn't need the strap. Having ridden without that strap for ages I decided to remove the one on the right. Cycling isn't what causes my knee pain.


Being 'strapped in' over a long period of time could certainly have contributed to your current problems. In my experience, there's more movement, side to side and slight vertical plane in clip in pedals than with your toe clips and straps. I first suffered knee pain 30 years ago while track riding, which miraculous disappeared as soon as I stopped using double strap toe clips and went back to bog standard Look Pedals.

Modern pedals do seem to have more 'float' than vintage offerings, but my advice remains the same to anyone suffering persistent knee pain - try flats with no incumberence for 6 weeks and you'll be amazed at the difference in your knees. Has solved my own knee injuries several times over.

MikeF
Posts: 3950
Joined: 11 Nov 2012, 9:24am
Location: On the borders of the four South East Counties

Re: Knee Pain

Postby MikeF » 30 Oct 2019, 5:35pm

Polisman wrote:
MikeF wrote:
Polisman wrote:
You could try ditching your clip in pedals for 6 weeks in favour of flats. The freedom of movement flats gives its hugely beneficial to repairing knee damage. Best advice I ever got for bad knees, worked wonders for me.
My feet aren't clipped in. I use toe clips but when the strap broke on the left one I didn't replace it and I found I didn't need the strap. Having ridden without that strap for ages I decided to remove the one on the right. Cycling isn't what causes my knee pain.


Being 'strapped in' over a long period of time could certainly have contributed to your current problems. In my experience, there's more movement, side to side and slight vertical plane in clip in pedals than with your toe clips and straps. I first suffered knee pain 30 years ago while track riding, which miraculous disappeared as soon as I stopped using double strap toe clips and went back to bog standard Look Pedals.

Modern pedals do seem to have more 'float' than vintage offerings, but my advice remains the same to anyone suffering persistent knee pain - try flats with no incumberence for 6 weeks and you'll be amazed at the difference in your knees. Has solved my own knee injuries several times over.
As I said above cycling is not the cause of my knee pain. Cycling actually improves them. My feet have never been tightly strapped in.The pedals on that bike are double sided to they are easily flipped over. The problem with not having a toe clip is that you can't lift the pedal when stationary.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

User avatar
531colin
Posts: 13191
Joined: 4 Dec 2009, 6:56pm
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Knee Pain

Postby 531colin » 31 Oct 2019, 10:20am

Paulatic wrote:………..
Here is a bike fitter saying the same https://neillsbikefit.com.au/?page_id=364 go to section 4....


Thanks for that, I hadn't come across him.
I haven't read the whole website, but the bits I have looked at are very straightforward and easy to read and understand.
It amused me that he refers constantly to Steve Hogg....I do that as well, but I'm not expecting people to pay me for bike fits! But Steve's website is a much harder read.
A minor irritation (and its a usual one) is that I wish people would stop reproducing that "Catherine wheel" illustration he wheels out in that section 4 you referred me to. It says the hamstrings are only recruited to lift the foot, but you only have to rest a hand on your leg as you cycle to demonstrate this is false. I think this comes from somebody reading an over-simplified anatomy text which says something like the hamstrings flex the knee.
But the hamstrings (and the quads) are muscle groups, not single muscles, and in both groups some muscles work across both the hip and knee joint.
So when you press the pedal down, some muscles in the hamstring group contract to pull the knee down (extend the hip) and some muscles in the quadriceps group contract to extend the knee.
I think he describes the situation much better in his own section on "preferential fatigue"

VpMonty
Posts: 2
Joined: 27 Oct 2019, 5:50am

Re: Knee Pain

Postby VpMonty » 31 Oct 2019, 3:26pm

Thanks all for your replies. When I sit down I usually put one leg over the other, I have reduced the amount of time doing that and the knee pain seems to have eased.

mattsccm
Posts: 3514
Joined: 28 Nov 2009, 9:44pm

Re: Knee Pain

Postby mattsccm » 19 Nov 2019, 8:37pm

Play with your position. You may find a sweet spot. My full suss MTB killed my knees, my road bike doesn't and my TT bike with a " virtual" 76 degree angle is brilliant. On the MTB I was too far behind the crank, scooping at the pedals.
Many people suggest pedaling a smaller gear. Makes it worse for me. I need more resistance.
Ultimately my knees at buggered. Too many years running off mountains with bulging sacks of climbing gear. Keep riding maybe. A couple of days of the bike and my knees are awful . Back on it and as day later they improve.

briansnail
Posts: 39
Joined: 1 Sep 2019, 3:07pm

Re: Knee Pain

Postby briansnail » 23 Nov 2019, 2:20pm

Increase your intake of seeds and nuts. Lots and lots of oily fish (not white fish like cod) and olive oil.

peetee
Posts: 2594
Joined: 4 May 2010, 10:20pm
Location: Cornwall

Re: Knee Pain

Postby peetee » 25 Nov 2019, 4:17pm

Stretch, stretch, stretch.
If that doesn't work then I would seek professional help. Everyone has a unique pedalling style. It could be that you are putting too much demand on one particular muscle and this is straining the tendon where it's attached to the knee. I do the same, it's all quads on the downstroke - I can't feel the backs of my legs doing anything.
Driving murders my right knee. On a long journey my leg flops over to the right and holding my foot at a particular angle plays havoc with the upper right part of my knee.
Winter had arrived in the land of Kernow. Along with it came wet roads and cool winds.
“Oh, my wheels and coupling rods!” Peetee exclaimed.

xjs
Posts: 21
Joined: 29 May 2015, 11:47pm

Re: Knee Pain

Postby xjs » 2 Dec 2019, 1:38pm

This book (recommended elsewhere on these pages - thanks to whoever made it known) is great:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Sports-Injur ... SwWktdz~HA

Has lots of exercises for the knees - in my case, the problem is being helped by doing simple strengthening exercises with my leg fully straightened (and stretches with the leg fully bent). There are different exercises for different knee problems. I've been riding out of the saddle more, just to vary my leg position a bit too.

LittleGreyCat
Posts: 822
Joined: 7 Aug 2013, 8:31pm

Re: Knee Pain

Postby LittleGreyCat » 6 Dec 2019, 10:08pm

Different strokes for different folks.

At the moment if I only do cycling, sitting and walking on the flat then I seem to have trouble climbing stairs.
I assume that this is due to under used muscle groups.

For the last week I have been making a point of including flights of steps in the walk and this has made a noticeable difference.

In my case I find that cycling has strengthened my knees but doesn't address all the muscles in my legs.

PaulS
Posts: 69
Joined: 26 Jan 2012, 6:45am
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Knee Pain

Postby PaulS » 1 Sep 2020, 11:21am

Polisman wrote:No need for doctors or soul searching. The best advice I ever got for knee pain is ditch your clip in pedals and ride on flats for 6 weeks. Has worked for me, twice. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.


Good call. Did you make any changes to the bike, e.g. seat height? or did you just go back to normal once your knee healed?

I'm suffering from a bad knee after a couple of heavy weekends. I need to wait for the swelling & pain to go, then I'll try the flats for a few weeks.

Gearoidmuar
Posts: 2235
Joined: 29 Sep 2007, 7:35pm
Location: Cork, Ireland. Corcaigh, Éire má tá Gaeilge agat.

Re: Knee Pain

Postby Gearoidmuar » 4 Sep 2020, 10:06am

I've another post on this on this section, but what fixed my knee pain, so for for 9 months, is ditching clip ins which I'd used for many years and going to flats with my foot in a mid-sole over pedal axle position. Tried the longer Catalyst pedals which gave me this instant cure and I'd recommend them, but using any ordinary flat pedal with the same position works.
I went from having night pain in both knees (had had torn meniscus on right) to zero pain, night or day, walking or cycling, in about three days.

PaulS
Posts: 69
Joined: 26 Jan 2012, 6:45am
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Knee Pain

Postby PaulS » 4 Sep 2020, 8:55pm

Thanks Gearoidmuar, I checked that thread - very informative. Looks like flats are a good idea for a few weeks, once I can get back on a bike again. At the moment I'm struggling to stand or walk, never mind ride. 2 weeks ago my knees ached a bit after a 100km ride, so I took a few days rest. Last Saturday they ached again, but instead of taking a rest day on Sunday I did another 100km with a friend. Knees sore a bit to start, but I went anyway. (Isn't hindsight wonderful?!) My left knee hurt a lot, and was worse the next day. I am still struggling a few days later. The pain is on and above the knee cap. The knee cap was quite swollen and hot. It is getting better with rest.

My first thought was that my saddle is too high. But this article suggests my saddle is too low (Area 1: Anterior knee pain) :
https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/fitnes ... lem-areas/

Paul Hewitt did a bike fit for me last year, so saddle height, etc. should be good (he raised the saddle 32mm).

Flats might be the answer for a few weeks, or maybe I should go to flats permanently. Shame, I quite like SPD pedals, used them for about 15 years, used clips & straps before that. I've always ridden about 100m a week. But this year I've been doing 100km (and sometimes 100m) rides a couple of times a week, maybe the longer rides are flushing out the smaller problems.

So, next steps.
- Saddle higher.
- Saddle lower.
- Flats for a while.
- Flats forever.
- Move cleats back.
- Move saddle back.

Haha. Or maybe I'm just getting old - 52. Any other ideas gratefully received. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed, and don't really know where to start.