Monday, 14 April 2008

Knee pain

I would welcome any thoughts on a recurrent knee problem. In the Easter weekend entry, I mentioned I had picked up a problem with my left hip, which I guessed as ITBS (Iliotibial Band Syndrome). This is fine now and has not re-occurred. Over the last two weekends though, I started to feel some minor pain on the outside of my left knee. It feels like the pain is towards the end of the tendon that joins the top of the tibia on the outside of the knee. Having looking in Wikipedia, the symptoms do seem consistent. On both rides, I could still have kept going, but was worried about more damage. Having applied Ibuprofen gel to the area and started ITBS recommended stretches, the pain has gone away, in the first case after 3 days (and a 67 mile ride) and second time, after 2 days (after a 45 mile ride). Has anyone else had a similar condition? What was the diagnosis and what did you do about it, any feedback would be welcomed. I really don’t want to stop training if I can. Here are the web references on ITBS I have found helpful:

Paul, kindly responded in email, which I have added to this point. Thanks also to the Datameister for his sagely advice, of the 4 Ss: Stretch, stretch, stretch, and just in case you haven't done enough, stretch again.

The article below gives some useful insight into cycling specific knee pains and how to cure them. I took a few points from this and other sites that seemeed to have a similar message being:

(1) What gives you extra leverage also puts additional strain on the patella so decrease the leverage by:
- I have gone back to the 172.5 cranks that I am used to and not the 175s my bike came with
- I have added a sram 11-28 cassette so I can have an easier granny gear to do a higher cadence
- Raised the saddle and moved it back
- Tried to stay at higher cadence lower gears and steady on the climbs
(2) Changed the cleats to point the toes out a bit more
(3) Stretched the quads when we stop for puncture breaks/ waiting to re-group

Seems to have made a difference as I felt OK on Saturday's 106 mile / 2,700 metres of climbing epic and could even run out for the Harpenden Arms on the Sunday

1 comment:

Datameister said...

Haven't had symptoms that severe, but I have had severe tightening of the ITB to the point of pain after long rides.

The only solution seems to be stretches, stretches and more stretches, but they do work.

Additionally, don't stop stretching when the problem has disappeared. Continuing them when OK will slow re-occurence even if it doesn't prevent it.