Cycling: All about knees

The compiles a bunch of useful info on a discussion about my knees!

My problem:

Yesterday I rode my mountain bike for about 45K and my left knee was in serious trouble. I had sharp shooting pains down the inside of my left knee and I was concerned I tore something. I eventually had to WALK my bike home because I couldn't ride. While walking I couldn't even tell I was injured but cycling was impossible.

It surely has something to do with my bike set-up (the MTB seat is lower than my road bike and the angle of my body is moe upright than on the road bike). I had no problems on the 950K ride on my road bike.

The pain is on the inside of my left knee

According to this picture it's either starting at the "Retinacula from VASTUS MEDIALIS (VM)" or the "Capsular Ligament". My bursa is inflamed there now but otherwise I have no discomfort. The pain shot up from this spot and ran about 10cm up my leg (suggesting it's the VM muscle but who knows). I would only get the pain cycling at the point I applied pressure to the pedal while the knee was somewhat bent.

I've alway known I had a muscle imbalance from having a weak VM (this has resulted in my knee cap being a bit out of place - I had surgery for this on the outside of my knee to correct the imbalance one but I don't think it worked.. in any case my VM juscle is stronger than it's ever been thanks to gym work and cycling) but I've NEVER had this kind of shooting pain on the inside of my knee so I'm sure I've got my bike set up wrong seing as during the whole Malaysia trip I was fine.

Links Suggested by Rufflers:

Just thought I'd follow up on this. Had to see the doc for a jab today and asked him abuot my knee. He knew what it was immediately:

Chrondromalacia Patella

This is indeed caused by not straitening the knee enough while pedalling ie the seat being too low.

Apparently this is a problem experienced more by women than men. The symptoms are sharp shooting pains on the INSIDE of the knee. The pedalling position highlights a msucle imbalance which aggravates improper movement of the knee-cap.

If you have this you should NOT do a quad stretch (you know the one where you pull your ankle up to your bumb?) nor should you do squats. Just do light excercises to strengthen the Vastus Medialis muscle.

He said it's not serious: will heal soon. Can use knee brace with knee cap holder in meantime.

From Mr. Calves

was just checking under the "K" section for knees in my "900 all time best tips on bicycling" today and look at what i found......

on page 79 -"if you suffer from chrondromalacia (a degeneration of cartilage under the kneecap), cycling should help, not hurt, as long as you 1) adjust the saddle so your knee remains only slightly bent at the boom of the pedal stroke, and 2) avoid big gears and long, steady seated climbs. the key is to spin in moderate gears and stand for at least part of each hill". that means no genting climbs for you missy.

also, if thats not enough,

on page 81 - "the patella tendon which aaches the kneecap to the shinbone is cricial for pedaling because the entire force of the quadriceps contraction is dependent on its strength. therapy includes ice massage, anti-inflammatory medication, and quadriceps exercises such as straight leg raises in multiple directions (hey refer to my yoga tips a few weeks back) to recover fully, you need to avoid squaing kneeling, going up and down stairs and exercising on knee extension machines. on the bike raise your saddle slightly and spin against low resistance."

and last but not least..

page 85, "the sound of your sore knees make may provide a clue to the problem. popping indicates osteoarthritis, whereas a noise like hook-and-loop material pulling apart suggests rheumatoid arthritis. a healthy knee sounds like a well-oiled see saw"