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Knee pain when using the bike.

Hey there,
I was just curious:
I'm 21 and I run regularly, I'm not too intense about it but I'll run around the park at my own pace a few times a week to free my mind and help with my weightloss efforts. And I've never experienced any knee pain when doing so, or even when using a treadmill at the gym at a faster pace. But every time I try to use the stationary bike it KILLS my knees. They feel like they tense up and I have to stop. Has anyone else experienced this or know what could cause it? I stretch before and after my workouts to try to prevent this but the pain only occurs while I'm using the machine not afterwards. Do I just have weak knees?


Tue. Oct 24, 6:46pm

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You should see a Dr. about it you don't necessarily have weak knees but you may have an injury or arthritis that should be looked at. I've been in physical therapy for my knees before and one of the exercises they have us do is work on the stationary bike. Although, I didn't have pain with the stationary bike I did have pain with one or two of the other exercises and my PT had me stop immediately the exercise that was painful because it could have caused more damage than good.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 7:24 PM

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Yes, I have had knee pain with any kind of bicycling for almost my whole life, even though I was very active at everything else. a couple of years ago, it stopped. No idea why. Sorry if this isn't helpful, but at least I know it's not some horrible arthritis problem.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 7:56 PM

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Definitely consider a physical therapist or sports therapist. They see stuff like this all the time. It could be something as minor as a muscle imbalance or more serious like a bone spur. They would be able to diagnose the issue quickly and recommend a course of treatment. My husband is a runner and had knee problems. Turns out it was from running on hills and the front part of his legs were actually getting too strong and pulling his knees out of alignment. It only took one visit and he got some strengthening exercises (that he does 2x a week) to balance his muscles and has been fine ever since. OTOH my sister was having knee problems and it turned out there was a spur under her kneecap that had to be surgically removed. It mainly bothered her during exercise since thats when it went through it's fullest range of motion. Good luck to you!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 11:55 PM

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The 7:24 poster said just what i was thinking. Often, stationary bike is used for therapy for knees..it worked for me. You should definitely see someone about it and stop using the bike until you get the all clear. Good luck.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006, 7:59 AM

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perhaps your seat isn't adjusted correctly? try adjusting the seat closer/further away from the pedals. i know w/ regular biking a lot of knee pain comes from improper alignment-so this could be your problem on the stationary. Ask someone at the gym to help you get in proper form.

and lower the resistance while your knees heal! be gentle!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006, 9:09 AM

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Try a spin bike

You can fine-tune the fit better.

For the most part, a bike should be easiest on the knee joints, provided the fit is right. But like others have said, good to talk to a doc or PT first as you don't want to do any further damage.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006, 10:46 AM

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I also had knee pain when I started biking (also none when running until after I began biking), and I started taking glucosamine and it has helped immensely.

Thursday, October 26, 2006, 12:36 PM

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Most people have no idea how to properly set up a bike, and most stationery bikes aren't set up for the kind of micro-adjustment you really want to get yourself set up right.

here's some bike-specific advice- just substitute "bike shoes and shorts" with "workout gear"...

To adjust the seat height, wear your biking shoes and riding shorts and place your heels on the pedals. As you pedal backwards, your knees should fully extend in the down position. If your hips rock side to side the seat is too high. Now when you move your foot into the proper pedaling position, with the balls of your feet over the pedal, you'll have a slight bend in your knees.

You can also adjust the seat forward and backward. With your feet on the pedals so the crank arms are parallel with the ground, the proper position will put your forward knee directly over the pedal axle.

Knee pain is usually associated with a seat position that is too high or low or far forward or back. Improper bike shoe or cleat position can also cause knee pain.

* A seat that is too high will cause pain in the back of the knee.
* A seat too high will also cause your hips to rock side to side, which may cause discomfort.
* A seat that is too low or too far forward may cause pain in the front of the knee.
* Improper foot position on the pedal (or improper cleat alignment) can cause pain on the inside or outside of your knees.

Individual anatomy may also result in knee pain. Cyclists with slight differences in leg length may have knee pain because the seat height is only adjusted for one side. Shoe inserts or orthotics can help correct this problem.

Another cause of knee pain is using too high a gear. Try to use a gear that allows you to pedal quickly, from 70 to 100 strokes per minute.

hope this helps!

Thursday, October 26, 2006, 5:03 PM

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