Lateral knee pain: causes?

Discussion in 'Training, Fitness and Health' started by Shut Up Legs, 17 Jul 2017.

  1. Shut Up Legs

    Shut Up Legs Down Under Member

    I have some lateral knee pain at the moment. I think it probably started after days 2 and 3 of my recent cycling trip, these 2 days being in the Italian Alps, and both days very challenging, so I suspect the cause of the pain is that I simply overdid the cycling. Although I managed 75% of the distance and 75% of the climbing during the 2 weeks of cycling over there, which I'm pretty happy with, it could have been more had the knee pain not made me skip some of the climbs.

    The problem is, I don't know how I caused this pain. Some internet reading tells me that misaligned cleats can cause it, e.g. on these 2 pages:
    On this trip, I brought my own SPD pedals and matching shoes, so used the exact same pedal + cleat configuration I've used for years on my 180 mile per week commute. I was also careful to set the saddle height on the hire road bike to what I normally use, but obviously the geometry of the hire bike didn't exactly match my own road bike at home, or my commuter bike.

    It's also slow to heal: I did no cycling the week I returned from the trip, and now after resuming my work commute yesterday, I was woken up the middle of last night by the pain, and had to try to find a more comfortable sleeping position which didn't stress that area too much.

    Thoughts, anyone?

    Regards & thanks,
    --- Victor.
  2. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    Overuse as you say...patellofemoral syndrome possibly? Pain around the kneecaps?

    Get it under control asap...can take months and months of proper rest to heal potentially

    Maybe see a physio if it doesn't settle
    Shut Up Legs likes this.
  3. Crackle

    Crackle Pah

    If your position is good and you haven't done anything serious, like a meniscal tear, or a ligament, then a lot of knee pain is referred from muscle groups under tension and a lot of them attach around the knee.Try stretching your hamstrings, as a starter. I know my own knee pain was caused by three muscles, hamstring, adductors and sartorious. Stretching and rolling them eventually got rid of it but it took some time to work out what the cause was and what to do. In my case physio didn't help but not all physios are equal and sometimes a sports therapist and a good soigneur type massage is enough.
    raleighnut and Shut Up Legs like this.
  4. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    Old age setting in. :ohmy:
    classic33 likes this.
  5. albion

    albion Veteran

    South Tyneside
    I am not going to say I went through the exact same things as you, even going as far as saying I was woken by amazing knee pain on a back to cycling ride.

    What I do know is that if I had had a (crazy) low enough gear and spun more it/they certainly would not have happened. Spinning I also need to take care, the low gear allowing for too uncontrolled rotation making more focus needed.
    Shut Up Legs likes this.
  6. This.
    Although usually the problem with hamstrings is that they are lax and too weak, not too tight. (YMMV.) Tight quads are the usual culprit for tension to the knees, for cyclists. Quads bulk up very easily so if there's enough tension in there to be pulling the tendons at the insertion points (common cause for knee pain), stretching may not be enough -- foam roller will be your new best friend.
    Shut Up Legs and Crackle like this.
  7. mjr

    mjr Wanting to Keep My EU Citizenship

    obviously the geometry of the hire bike didn't exactly match your own road bike at home, so I suspect it could be as simple as a different BB width, seat tube angle or crank length has put you over some limit into injury territory. I feel this is more likely when your feet are constrained and you set bikes up by measurement rather than feel.

    Others know recovery better than me. I've only once messed up my knee and then not seriously. Still took weeks to recover fully, although I still did short rides.
    Shut Up Legs likes this.
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