Author Topic: Knee injury  (Read 10610 times)

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Offline runech

Knee injury
« on: October 06, 2004, 08:33:56 pm »
Does anyone have experience with knee pain as a result of the seat being too high (or low)? I have only little experience with long distances, but I did 1000 kms from Norway to Denmark this summer. I realized too late that my seat was adjusted all wrong, and now I'm struggling with knee pain. I'm afraid they won't get better in time for longer rides next year. Any advice?

rc, Norway


  • Guest
Knee injury
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2004, 12:01:41 pm »
There is a little bit at Search with Google for cycling knee pain and view each result with the skepticism due its source.


Offline scott.laughlin

Knee injury
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2004, 08:29:39 pm »
My wife injured her knee while cycling stoker position.  A retired Air Force doctor recommended Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSN, and Vitamin C.  It's available over the counter.  Ask you drugest where to find it. It works.  It's expensive, but after three years she is as good as new.  There is a piece here in Adventure Cyclist from several years back that touches on this condition.  

Offline debudebu

Knee injury
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2005, 08:47:08 pm »
I have also struggled with various knee injuries.  Most of them heal themselves with lots of time.  I also injured my knee this summer by pushing myself too hard at the begining of a tour.  pedaling with extra weight on the bike is much harder on the knees, especially when pedaling against the wind.  Anyway, my knee is just starting to feel better when i get on the bike.  My other knee is permanently injured and makes a cracking noise when i climb stairs.  If I ride slowly and build up extra muscle I can still tour and have fun.
Give your knee more time and see a doctor if you can.  You might need surgery to repair tendons or ligaments.

Offline dombrosk

Knee injury
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2005, 12:35:12 am »
I had near-crippling knee pain about 10 years ago, and was advised to try a cross-country ski machine to strengthen the muscles holding my kneecap in place.  After a few weeks of that exercise, my knees came back into shape again.

Now, when I tour, I intentionally push very little for the first 5 or 10 miles of each day's ride.  That and varying my seat height during the day (easier if you have a quick release seat post) have kept my knees going.

Because your situation is unique to you, I'd suggest getting some advice from a physical therapist.  Some (NOT all) MD's can be a little quick to suggest surgery, while PT's have been very helpful for me.
Good luck!

Offline OmahaNeb

Knee injury
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2005, 03:23:55 am »
Spin lower gears at a higher cadence.  To get in the habit,  use a bike computer with a cadence display.  Try to stay no lower than mid 80s RPM.  This way you will get in practice at spinning lower gears and it will become more natural.  If you are using clip-less pedals and bike cleats, this also could part of the problem.  You want a pedal that has a lot of float if you have knee problems.  I use Speed-Play Frogs.  One last thing.  I am not trying to be too personal, but are both of your legs the same length.  If one leg is longer than the other leg, this could be problematic in your seat adjustment.  Finally try a neoprene knee warmer during cool temperatures.  

The best way to stabilize the knee for off bike activities is to keep your quads strong.  I do this by biking.  Avoid gym leg machines that put undo pressure on the knees.

Offline Pool_Idor

Knee injury
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2005, 10:28:15 am »
I agree, pushing an easier gear usually takes care of the strains and often I cycle through it and it gets much better.

I do ice my knees, which have been battered from a icehockey career, after rides!

Ibuprofen, tylanol on a daily basis to take care of imflamations

Offline MikeJuvrud

Knee injury
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2005, 03:05:49 am »
You might want to try a neoprene, sports knee brace that you can find at any drug store. My knee used to act up once in a while and that would usually help a lot.

Offline danhicks

Knee injury
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2005, 06:10:26 pm »
Usually having the seat too low is more likely to cause knee problems than having it too high.  (Though too high can cause problems in some cases.)  But being in too high a gear and pedaling too slow is more often the major problem.  As a rule, even when cycling casually you should maintain a cadence of at least 60 RPM, and when touring somewhere in the 70-90 range.  Adjust the gears, not your cadence, as the terrain gets easier and harder.

What you're probably suffering from is "patello-femeral pain", a condition where the area between the kneecap and the knee bone becomes inflammed, often at least in part because the muscles pulling on the kneecap are pulling off-center.

A visit to a sports rehabilitation therapist is probably in order, but there are a few simple exercises that usually help.  The simplest of these is to lay on your back, keep the knee perfectly straight (odd as that may seem) and do leg lifts, lifting your foot 6-8 inches off the ground.  Work up to about 100 of these a day, on each leg (even if both aren't bothering you).

There are other exercises, but they need to be taught by the sports rehab guy.

This isn't usually a serious problem, but tending to it right away can get you back in the saddle faster.

Dan Hicks
Dan Hicks

Offline driftlessregion

Knee injury
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2005, 05:42:07 pm »
"Andy Pruitt's Medical Guide for Cyclists" is an excellent resource. I think it is only available at
After I went to the pro racers shop and paid for the bike fit, i.e., all the possible adjustments of stem, saddle height and fore and aft, and cleats, I haven't had any more problems with my knees. Pruitt does a pretty good job of explaining this too, but there is nothing like having someone knowledgeable watch your particular body on the bike to get the best fit.  I highly recommend it even for us non-racers.

Offline jeek

Knee injury
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2005, 05:55:21 am »
Runech, I see you posted this half a year ago so my advice may be coming too late to do any good. There is a lot of advice available from riders and many have had knee pain and can tell you what worked for them, but I suggest you only use the advice of a professional that has examined you. Don’t be your own doctor, and don’t expect any dietary supplements, particular exercise or corrective devices to do you any good (don’t go out and get a knee brace!!!!) unless they are indicated by a pro that knows what’s wrong with you.

The good news is that the great majority of cycling knee injuries can be treated and fixed, and the diagnostic powers and rehabilitative methods in use currently are quite advanced and effective (It’s a great time to have a knee injury). While it’s possible that you may have “damaged” something by doing 1000 Km with a bad fit, it’s not likely. Surgery? Almost never indicated in cycling related knee pain. Biking just isn’t associated with traumatic injuries in the way that running and other impact sports are.

Seek a professional who SPECIALIZES IN SPORTS INJURIES, AND SPECIFICALLY CYCLING if you can find one. Don’t waste your time or money on one who doesn’t specialize. This would be a physical therapist, medical doctor, certified trainer, or similar professional with expertise on cycling. Again, the more specific to biking he/she is the more value you will get. If this person isn’t also a bike fitting specialist, find one and get an exacting fit based on his detailed analysis of your body and bike.

Should get you all fixed up and riding in no time.