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Author Topic: Strengthening muscles around the kneecap  (Read 717 times)

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Offline sarahdavis

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Strengthening muscles around the kneecap
« on: May 02, 2007, 04:55:56 PM »
Through poor technique whilst cycling, I managed a year ago to get myself a knee injury. I have been to physio and now understand what it is exactly. Whilst cycling, my knee would tilt inwards toward my bike, and therefore disengaging the muscle on the inner side of my right knee. This has caused the kneecap to not be kept central when I bend my knee, and led to an area of irritation to the left of the kneecap (as someone else looks at it). The pain I was getting was on the inner side of the kneecap and the consultant suspected it was torn cartilage. However, post MRI, it turned out it wasn't cartilage at all, just this irritation. The physio then investigated and found out the muscle(s) on the inner side of the kneecap were very weak. The exercises I was given have started the strengthening off but I want to continue it so the irritation doesn't come back in the future. I'm very sporty, and am a dancer, so this would be pretty catastrophic for me. Could anyone suggest some exercises for me? The physio told me to get a firm ball and place it between my knees pressing them together, putting the ball between my feet and lifting my leg to straight whilst squeezing the ball and engaging my inner thigh by doing 'tendu' style exercises raising my leg for 12 seconds and upping that as it gets easier. I am back to cycling, but making very sure that I don't lean my knee in toward the bike anymore, which presumably should help the muscle. Any further exercises would be great!!

Sarah Davis.

Offline maile433

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Re: Strengthening muscles around the kneecap
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2007, 05:19:09 PM »

Based on your description, it sound like the irritation is caused from your IT band rubbing over the lateral femoral condyle, which is a pretty common overuse injury in cyclists, particularly those who pull their knees in, almost hugging the top tube of your bike (I do the same thing!).  A tight IT band will pull the kneecap more towards that side and require your VMO (the inner quad muscle just above the kneecap) to work harder to compensate.  One thing that would probably help, aside from quad strengthening, would be rolling on a foam roller - lie on your right side with the outer leg on the roller, support your upper body on your hands, and roll up and down from your knee to your hip.  This should help loosen up the IT band (it will also hurt like crazy at first, but it's worth it).

Other good exercises...

-Wall sits - sit back like you were sitting in a chair, leaning into the wall (but there's no chair).  You can put a ball between your knees and squeeze for a little harder burn, or lift your toes up so the weight is on your heels.

-Add weight to your leg raises

-Squats on your toes - rise up on your toes, then do a deep squat (staying on your toes), hold to fatigue, 10 sets.

-Walking backwards on a treadmill, uphil - a great burn.

Check with your physio, though, first to make sure these won't further aggrivate your injury.

Also, if you haven't in a while, I'd consider getting a professional bike fitting, but from someone who focuses more on biomechanics rather than performance.  One thing to look at would be the fore-aft position of your saddle - sometimes a saddle that's too far back will lead to these types of overuse injuries.

Best of luck to you!!
Sarah (another one!)
7/03 RK medial meniscus repair & partial lateral meniscectomy
2/04 RK partial medial meniscectomy & microfracture
1/05 RK medial & lateral partial meniscectomy & microfracture
8/06 RK OATS autograft LFC + LR

Offline misshilde

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Re: Strengthening muscles around the kneecap
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2007, 04:09:18 AM »
Have you tried pilates...reformer..great for just about anything...

born with bad knee
83 patella ligament pierced by iceicle
84 50%  hamstring rip
86 lateral meniscus tear
more dance 
99 menisectomy(finally)
more dance
patellar & quad tendontis
05 LR, bonespur removal, general clean out, stage 4 OA
oct 06 illiophoas release( hip ok) but knee still bad...