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  1. #1
    Bikecurious
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    another knee pain thread....

    Hi guys,
    So here's my deal: about 12 years ago I broke my tibia (shinebone) near the top, where the two parts of the bone meet just below the knee. It was due to hitting the backside of a gap jump snowboarding. So they put three big-ass screws in it, pain killers, PT, etc. I just got back into riding last year after a loooong time off, so I know my muscles are still growing and adjusting, but I've been getting a lot of pain just below my kneecap. Its kind of a weird area but I'm thinking its muscle pain. Both of my knees tend to hurt after long rides, mostly joint pain, but this one is more localized. Anyone else have similar pain? Is this something that may go away as the muscles strengthen, or will it likely get worse? I've been trying glucosamine chondroitin with MSM, but not sure if that's helping or not. Part of my problem may be that I spend 8 hours a day walking on a concrete floor. I've tried various insoles and a few different kinds of shoes, but my knees are still taking a beating and my feet KILL at the end of the day, so any suggestions there would be appreciated too. Basically I'm wondering if this is the kind of thing that will get better as I get stronger, or if it will get worse and I need to take preventative measures? Guess it might be time to go see the good 'ol Ortho. Thanks

  2. #2
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    By any chance, you riding single speed? Pain where you're talking about is common with beginners, if they try to stay seated in the saddle and grind low RPM's, instead of standing up and pumping. Spin, spin, spin at higher RPM's until those knees adjust. And see your ortho.

  3. #3
    Bikecurious
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    Nope, no single speed. Don't have nearly the endurance for that. I have been riding in my granny gear waaay too much and end up just spinning my ass off, but have recently started trying to climb in harder gears (sooooo much more effective). I do try to stay seated as much as possible as well since I've got a FS. Not sure if that's better for my knees or not.

  4. #4
    mind taking
    Reputation: MichiganMat's Avatar
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    How is your setup on the bike?

    I had my seat too high and too far forward. It was killing my knees. Dropped the seat back down to where my heel touches the pedal at the bottom of the stroke and put on a shorter stem and I've been fine ever since.

  5. #5
    Bikecurious
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    Hmmm, thanks for mentioning the setup thing. I try to ride with my seat pretty high, so that I get about 90-95% extension with my legs. I seem to recall seeing something that told you proper setup/geometry for your bike. Was that possibly a thread on here? I do feel like I'm a bit stretched out at times, so that could be leading to other positioning problems I suppose.

  6. #6
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    I had some major knee issues a few years back. Took my bike to the shop to check set-up and the shop said everything looked prefect. The shop owner then asked if I stretched after rides. I told him that I did limited stretching. He suggested that I complete a full routine of stretches following each ride, especially one that focused on the hamstring muscles. I politely said, OK and left the shop thinking there was no way that increasing my stretching would resolve the pain. A few days later I spoke with a pro-mountain biker about my knee pain. She suggested stretching. Then I spoke with a trainer about my knee pain. He suggested that I wasn't stretching enough.

    After being told by three people that I was not stretching enough, I started a full stretching routine, focusing on the hamstrings and lower back. I preformed about a half hour of stretching everyday (even on days when I didn't ride) for about two weeks and the knee pain completely resolved. I also noticed the occasional lower back pain I had after long rides resolved too. After the pain went away I reduced my stretching routine to preforming it only after rides and the pain has not returned.

    Here are a few graphics of the stretching exercises I used:

    http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/images/stretch.1.gif

    The one where you put your leg up on a table (or the bumper or a car, or ....) and lean forward and pull back on your toes was the most effective for hitting the hamstrings and reducing knee pains.

  7. #7
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    I warm up and stretch (sometimes by just riding easy for a short time), and then also stretch after I'm done riding and before my muscles cool down. I've found that stretching both before and after makes all the difference.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by g-bus
    Hi guys,
    ... I just got back into riding last year after a loooong time off, so I know my muscles are still growing and adjusting, but I've been getting a lot of pain just below my kneecap. Its kind of a weird area but I'm thinking its muscle pain. Both of my knees tend to hurt after long rides, mostly joint pain, but this one is more localized. Anyone else have similar pain? Is this something that may go away as the muscles strengthen, or will it likely get worse?
    ...
    Basically I'm wondering if this is the kind of thing that will get better as I get stronger, or if it will get worse and I need to take preventative measures? Guess it might be time to go see the good 'ol Ortho. Thanks
    First off, I would say yes, go see a good ortho doc. But to me, it sounds like it might be 'jumper's knee', a form of tendonitis. Right below your kneecap is your tendon. Be careful with this. I made the mistake of thinking it would get better, but it didn't, it got worse. Stretching may be enough, but take a look at how much you are riding and how fast you have been increasing your riding time/intensity. Even if you have been riding for months now, if you took that much time off, your legs are going to take quite a while to get built back up to where they were, maybe a couple years.

    Anyway, once they determined there wasn't anything structurally wrong with the bones/cartilege etc. I had PT for a few months to stregthen some of the muscles around the tendon. It sounds like mine was a worse condition than yours, but I remember when I had the pain like you describe. And I just kept biking and running harder and longer. I would say you might want to cut back some on frequency and/or duration, but don't stop altogether. This condition actually heals much better if you keep active. But the tendons need more time to heal than they are getting, and that's the cause of the pain.

  9. #9
    Bikecurious
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    Thanks for the input. I do stretch before and after rides, but pretty basic stretches. I'll try doing a more intense, structured routine and see if that helps. Danomyte, you're scaring me a bit. I have had some tendonitis in my shoulder, and that sucks. The last thing I want to do is cut back on riding, but if all else fails that may be the route I need to take. My last few rides haven't been too bad, but they haven't involved a lot of sustained climbing. I do think a lot of my problem is from walking on concrete all day. I really need to find some good, squishy shoes. Would getting a trainer for my bike and just spinning my ass off regularly at a consistant resistance be a good idea? I guess visiting the doc would be my next best step, just kind of a pain because he's 2 hours away. Thanks again.

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