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Author Topic: Cycling  (Read 1404 times)

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Offline FJ

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« on: January 06, 2008, 06:38:36 PM »

Recently, I've taken to cycling.   I am nt doing any other form of CV exercise as running / cross training made my knees worse.  I've noticed a massive improvement in the left knee.

The right knee, however is really painful. 
I have had an MRI on my right which showed mild body degenerative changes, thinning of the posterior horn of the medial meniscus, minor joint effusion, possible bone bruising in the lateral fermal.  Nothing, 'serious' (I was told) nothing more than wear or tear.

I thought that cycling would strengthen my knee, but it appears weaker than ever.  The pain is under the knee cap, a tickling, tingling, twitching pain, that runs from knee cap to calf and shin, mostly on the inner medial side.

Any idea's what might be doing it?  I've raised my saddle height considerably recently as I heard that might be a cause.

Please help.  Seven years of knee pain, and I'm at the end of the tether.

plica syndrome
athroscopy left knee plica removal
meniscus degeneration
osteo arthritis

Offline maryc

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Re: Cycling
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2008, 06:48:03 PM »
I use a recumbant bike and aquaeorbics and they work for me. I wish I could help but just sending you healing rays. 
8/4/07 fell
8/5 diagnosed TPF
8/6 surgery plate and 6 screws
8/12 out of hospital NWM
8/21 staples removed
9/18 OS appt - WBAT with crutches
10/10 - WBAT with cane
10/27 - back to work w/cane
12/26 - no cane, slight limp when tired
1/25/08 - released from PT, no limp
2/3/09 - Released by OS

Offline DeborahinNC

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Re: Cycling
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2008, 07:51:23 PM »
Hi there,

I was also going to suggest maybe a recument bike or water exercises.  I have taken to my own version of water arobics and really find the water a great place to work out.  I do know on my bike it is sometimes the amount of bend in the rotations that bothers me.  I'm short but also will put the seat up so that I still get the muscle workout but do not have such a sharp bend in the movement. 

I hope you can get a comfortable workout.  Sorry no real answer here.

Be well,

Offline UK Girl !

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Re: Cycling
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2008, 08:48:27 PM »
I love cycling but found that I too was having troubles - I actually went back to physio for a bit and it seems to have resolved the problem - except I won't cycle in the dark - too scary on country lanes!
1978 - ruptured acl and all cartalidge removed.
several debridements over years
TKR 10TH JULY 2006  Aug 07 patellar maltracking - more physio! Still pain - but so much better !
BIOMET AGC  TKR  (with 10 yr warranty !)

Offline kathat

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Re: Cycling
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2008, 09:42:46 PM »
I wish I could help you. I was told cycling would be good, and got an exercise bike, but I have found I only last 5 minutes on it before my right knee starts aching. My left knee has a click that starts up when the right knee stops doing its fair share of work, and the clicking irritates the joint and it aches badly later. I was told swimming/aquatic exercises was the only milder form of exercise than stationary cycling (as far as knee loading goes), so I am supposed to do that instead. Do plenty of straight leg raises to strengthen your quads and you may find you are able to cycle comfortably again if you can build up more muscle and if you give things a chance to settle down by not cycling for a while. Good luck!!


Offline jathib

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  • ACL recon, lateral menisectomy, lateral PKR
Re: Cycling
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2008, 07:18:37 PM »
If you have bad knees then a properly fitted bike is essential. You might also try moving your seat backward or forward if raising the seat hasn't helped. Good bike shops have people that can help with a correct fit. It can be a lot of trial and error trying to get it just right.

Offline martine

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Re: Cycling
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2008, 08:46:11 PM »
Hi there,
Firstly, it sounds like you need to get that checked out as it may be a nerve getting irritated.  It may just be getting irritated through poor alignment though.

Cycling can be good or bad for your knees depending on the set-up of the bike.  Raising the saddle could even make it much worse.  Really you need an expert to see how your alignment is as everyone is different but here are a few suggestions in order of importance:

1) Foot position.  Are you clipped into the peddles?  If you are you may need to make adjustments so that you maintain a good alignment.  As you look down at your feet, are your knees evenly tracking over them?  Try to observe how your hips work left and right, see if there is any difference.  Try to be symmetric and keep the knee joint moving as a hinge.  It is not designed to twist.  Without clips, keep the ball of the foot over the peddle spindle and the mechanics should look after themselves.

2) Saddle height.  If your saddle is too high it can cause your hips to rock when cycling, this uneven motion translates straight down to your knees.  If the saddle is too low you are putting too much force through a too bent knee.  Measure your inside leg.  Then make the distance between the lowest peddle (bottom of peddle stroke) and the saddle 0.883 times your inside leg.  This is a rough guide.  Never have your knee locking out when cycling.

3)  Gears.  How many revolutions per minute?  If you are in a gear that is too high (big) you are putting too much force on the knees.  Ideally peddle with a minimum of 80 revs per minute. You need to be SPINNING easily with little force.  Most people peddle in the wrong gear (way too slow).  You must use your gears well on hills, make sure you don't change up too quickly.  KEEP EASY SPINNING.

A good point to make here is for those with problem knees is that cycling should be looked at more as an aid to maintain aerobic health than as a strengthener.  It will strengthen but think of it as more light repetitions, less force.  If you want to strengthen legs, try some pilates with a good teacher.  You might want to check out some pilates reformer work.  Also, you may need to stretch some muscles to keep your knees aligned properly. Most people neglect lengthening in favour of strengthening, but if there is imbalance then strengthening can make matters worse (eg. tighten gluteals which could exacerbate some knee probelms)  I would recommend visiting a sports massage practitioner.  (Make sure they are a member of a governing body and have lots of experience).

Hope this helps some,

Good Luck,