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Old 10-23-2007, 05:37 PM   #1
Matt Harris
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Bicyclist/ CrossFit Newbie Knee Problem

After cycling regularly for three years, I discovered CrossFit with a buddy. Last winter we did modified workouts while continuing to bike on a trainer. We both saw huge increases in strength -- no surprise there -- but also, in all honesty, I've never felt better. I came back to CrossFit about six weeks ago. And I've decided to cut back on bicycling. I'm sold on the overall philosophy of what it means to be fit. I've been putting on pounds and getting stronger. I'm 5'11", was 155 - 145 lbs, end of bike season. Now, I'm 165lbs, mostly muscle gain.

But here's the problem. I've developed a chronic pain in my right knee. I first felt it after a day of squatting. I've been using "Starting Strength" as a guide, and watching every video I can get my hands on for proper form, and to eliminate "butt wink." Doing lots of stretches, too.

Now, I feel minor pain in pretty much any lateral move I put on my right foot, and my right leg from the knee down feels sore. I don't want to lay off the exercise, but I also don't want to see this get worse. It's been going on three weeks now and seems to be getting worse.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Thanks,
Matt
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:53 PM   #2
Aileen Reid
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Re: Bicyclist/ CrossFit Newbie Knee Problem

Some sort of kneecap pain? The muscles and tendons around your knee will tighten up in an effort to keep the strain off your knee so that may be where that soreness is coming from.
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Old 10-24-2007, 03:42 AM   #3
Steve York
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Re: Bicyclist/ CrossFit Newbie Knee Problem

Where exactly is the knee pain? Does it radiate down your leg from the knee downwards? If so, what course does it take?

If you were to use a tennis ball on the floor and rolled your right illiotibial band (from knee to hip) over it as you were side lying, would this myofascial massage technique be tolerable?

Maybe patellofemoral pain syndrome caused by vastus medialis obliquus muscle weakness, lateral tracking of the patella, or tight ITB.

Describe the knee pain and let me know whether you can squat, single leg squats, kneel or stand up from a seated position on the floor.
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Old 10-24-2007, 06:49 AM   #4
Matt Harris
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Re: Bicyclist/ CrossFit Newbie Knee Problem

Thanks for the replies.

I can squat, kneel, stand. The pain is below the kneecap, primarily, but all the tissue around my knee feels sore after squatting, especially if I'm in a low squat position.

Massaging the ITB just above the knee feels very good throughout entire aching area.
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:43 PM   #5
Steve York
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Re: Bicyclist/ CrossFit Newbie Knee Problem

If there's is no pain, crepitis or tenderness under your kneecap, maybe you're looking at patella tendinopathy.

The latest research suggests that eccentric squats is a good treatment practice. I've attached an article to look at.
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Old 10-24-2007, 02:39 PM   #6
Billy Norwood
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Re: Bicyclist/ CrossFit Newbie Knee Problem

ive been having some back soreness that i thought was from doing deadlifts...ive also been following the SS program. so i shelled out some cash and saw a personal trainer, he was a former competing powerlifter, and he said my deads were great but my squat formed sucked cause I was sliding forward, which i couldnt tell in the mirror. so i guess im saying you might want to get someone who knows to watch your form or even post a video up here to get feedback. its hard starting alone, at least ive had quite a time with it. felt good til i got heavy.
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Old 10-24-2007, 03:28 PM   #7
Matt Harris
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Re: Bicyclist/ CrossFit Newbie Knee Problem

Thanks, Steve. I'll check it out.

Billy, a CrossFit gym recently opened about forty minutes from me. It's a little far to make my permanent gym, but I'm thinking it's worth checking out to have someone look at my squats, etc.
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Old 10-24-2007, 03:41 PM   #8
Wade Smith
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Re: Bicyclist/ CrossFit Newbie Knee Problem

Steve York, you mentioned VMO weakness. Does anyone know specific VMO strengthening exercises. I come from a cycling background as well and have experienced similar slightly-below-kneecap issues too (for me; patellar tendinitis).

My 2 cents: Lots of ice massage and deep stretching have been helpful to me.
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Old 10-24-2007, 04:45 PM   #9
Steve York
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Re: Bicyclist/ CrossFit Newbie Knee Problem

VMO strengthening:

LEVEL 1: Sit on the edge of a chair. Bend one knee back
in under the chair. Stretch one leg in front of
you with your knee straight. Now place your
fingertips on the thigh muscle just above the
inside of your knee and the other hand on the
thigh muscle just below the outside of your hip.
Contract your thigh muscle so that the inside
tightens first and the outside is as relaxed as
possible. Hold 5 seconds. Relax and repeat.
When this becomes easy, move on to level 2.

LEVEL 2: Repeat level 1 but with your knee bent. Now
place your fingertips on the thigh muscle just
above the inside of your knee and the other
hand on the thigh muscle just below the
outside of your hip. Contract your thigh muscle
so that the inside tightens first and the outside
is as relaxed as possible. Hold 5 seconds.
Relax and repeat.

Or try wallsquats with squeezing a ball between your legs.
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Old 10-24-2007, 05:33 PM   #10
Wade Smith
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Re: Bicyclist/ CrossFit Newbie Knee Problem

Thanks, Steve. My PT has me doing your #2, but I will also try some wall squats with squeezing ball between legs as you suggest. Appreciate the info.
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