Knee pain.

Discussion in 'Training, Fitness and Health' started by Absinthe Minded, 26 Mar 2008.

  1. Hi all,

    I hope some of you guys can help me here.

    I started cycling about ten years ago but had a few years of (relative), inactivity due to having kids, moving farther away from work, etc - but I've been making a real effort to get back on the bike REGULARLY of late.

    All is usually good but I sometimes get a pain in my left knee, right in the side of the joint at the outside of my leg. If I cycle on it, it gets worse and worse until I can't cycle any more as the pain trevels around the knee and down my leg (it actually forced me onto the train for the second half of my journey home from work today, and I was not happy).

    If I wait a day or two, it seems to go away but there's no telling when it will resurface.

    My friends say I cycle too far but I don't agree, I do 60 miles a day but it's usually only two or three times a week. Some suggest I take up swimming but I don't want to and I doubt it's much lighter on my joints than cycling is.

    Have you any ideas what it might be?

  2. mangaman

    mangaman Guest

    Hi Absinthe

    Obviously it's difficult to be sure but it sounds as if it could be ileotibial band syndrome

    (linky -

    A friend who's a marathon runner had it - very similar symptoms
    The good news was that it responded very well to physio - hers disappeared after some physio and stretches etc

    I guess you ought to see your GP or a sports physio to get a proper opinion though
  3. Frazer

    Frazer New Member

    yea it could be ITBS (illiotibial band syndrome). I had this, i forget the exact cause but its down to a ligament 'rubbing' against a bone, causing irritation of the ligament on the outside of the knee.

    Go and see a physio and they can confirm it and give stretches or exercises to help. But you're gonna have to reduce your workload for a while, maybe only do shorter rides of 20-30 miles once or twice a week for now.

    I don't like to put a downer on it, but with me it got so bad I just had to stop cycling completely for a few months and then gradually build up again. Hope this doesnt happen to you!
  4. Yeah it sounds similar to ITBS, I had it last year, a few visits to the physio and excercises sorted it out. The cause of it in me was that my right leg is more bulky than my left. My left therefore trying to compensate had become taught and pulled the ligament out of alignment, so it then rubbed against the bone.
  5. OP
    Absinthe Minded

    Absinthe Minded Guest

    mangaman, Frazer, HLaB,

    Thanks so much for your advice and the link.
    Looks like that could be my problem so I'll be heading off to get an opinion on it.

    Once again, thanks very much and all the best,
  6. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Guru

    Also, invest in a foam roller and a gym ball.

    You can use the foam roller to massage your ITB. Lie down sidewards on it with your thigh on the roller, supporting yourself on your elbow. Then roll yourself along it. If your ITB is too tight then it should really hurt.

    You can stretch your ITB slightly by leaning over a table or bench with one leg crossed behind the other so that the back foot resting side-on to the floor, and then placing your weight on your back leg.

    Someone told me that pain in the knee region tends to turn some off some of your muscles on your inner thighs. They stop counteracting the muscles on your outer thighs, which pulls your kneecap out of track. There are some gym ball exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles in your inner thighs. Place the gym ball between your back and the wall. Roll the ball down so that your knees are bent. Move your bad knee outwards for ten seconds, trying to keep the knee from rolling. Then move it back in and roll the ball back up. Repeat ten times. There is another exercise where you just stand on one leg, bend it for ten seconds, then stand up again.

    I get ITB problems a lot, and have been to the physio many times about it. If you do not have health insurance then expect to pay at least £200 before it's fixed.

    Otherwise, you can invest in a sports massage every month or so. These usually hurt very much, especially if your muscles are too tight. They tend to cost about £25 a session.
  7. cannondale boy

    cannondale boy Über Member

    somewhere in fife
    I too have knee problems. Both my knees are sore, even when i am not doing any physical activity. About six months ago i went on a hill run which lasted about an hour, after this hill run i've not been 100%.

    The pain seems to happen when i go down stairs or a steep hill. I manage going upstairs not an problem or walking for a long distance. The more i walk the more the pain seems to disappear, which is strange. I've been on and off the bike for the past 6 months and wish i could do more miles. I am only 28 not over weight and hope this is not arthritis. Another thing to mention is that my right knee cracks alot, and sometimes my left knee cracks also.

    Any help or advice would be great, thanks in advance.
  8. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

  9. Frazer

    Frazer New Member

    yenrod, you are suggesting spd pedals as a solution to ITBS?

    I'm not saying that's a bad idea, but it's interesting because mine only developed shortly after i got spd pedals which I think in hindsight were badly set up. But do you have any reason to suggest they would help with this kind of problem?
  10. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    Frazer what I'm saying is with A Time pedal you get

  11. OP
    Absinthe Minded

    Absinthe Minded Guest

    Thanks, Yellow Fang - lots of interesting stuff in your post, much obliged.

  12. OP
    Absinthe Minded

    Absinthe Minded Guest

    I don't get what you mean. You get a ribbon, shaped like a foot? Don't see how that'll help.
  13. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    if it's itbs then cool

    but for 60 miles rides I'd want the bike to be set up just right, clipless would help that, if they're set up right, ditto seat, simple mechanical thing first init?
  14. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Golly this is a useful thread as I've got ITB issues due to over excitement at being back on the bike. Am iceing and stretching and taking a few days's very annoying. I'll try some of the advice on this thread as well....thanks everyone.
  15. Joe

    Joe Über Member

    Itbs is a nightmare, don't try and ride through it whatever you do! I suffered with it and ended up off the bike for a couple of months. I had a fitting and now religiously stretch/massage it and *touch wood* I seem to have cured it. I'd definitely recommend a foam roller, it can be AGONY to use though!
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