Knee pain - to ride or not to ride

Was doing some MUni yesterday on my 29er with 140 cranks. I was riding happily away and suddenly I started getting a sharp pain in my left knee (ouch) - although I hadn’t twisted it or anything. I thought I better hadn’t continue further but turned round and rode the (mostly downhill) back to my car. Initially when I was riding my knee hurt but it stopped after a while. It is still a bit sore today and I get the sharp pain again when I ride.

Question is: is it better to continue riding or to rest for a while? What d’you think?

rest for 3 days then see

I had a pain like that in my left knee.
I had to quit riding and sell my unicycles.
I hope yours is nothing like that.

Well, as my doctor said about similiar case: knee is a sensitive part
of our body and needs to be nourished well. To be well nourished though,
it has to have good blood circulation which is guaranteed by
keeping a knee in motion :slight_smile: Make sure, however, you avoid too much load
on your knee: do not bend it too much. Avoid stairs if you can.

The best of all exercise is swimming (no kidding: it did wonders when I had a really bad knee
injury few years ago). Any kind of cycling is good provided a knee is not
overloaded: that rules out muni and trials for a while.
But I suppose cokering on the flat surface should be acceptable.

I hope you’ll be ok before BUC, Cathy.
Happy Easter everyone!

make sure you are taking your vitamins too…
and vitamins for your joints…

I used to get pain in my knee when I did lots of riding (particularly with my seat too low). Eventually it used to occur every time I rode - and when it had been irritated by riding it also used to hurt whilst walking. The pain turned out (when I eventually went to the Doctor) to be “patellofemoral syndrome” - this is typically an overuse injury, so not caused by any particular trauma. I suspect it might have been brought on partly by my suddenly starting to do lots of medium distance riding.

I know you’ve been doing lots of riding for quite a while and I’m not saying that this is necessarily what you’re suffering from. But overuse injuries are worth bearing in mind. My knees improved after a period of rest, plus the discipline to only cycle as far as I could without too much discomfort (I had had several rides where it initially hurt and then I kept going until it was extremely painful).

If I were you, I’d take it easy and see how the pain relates to your riding, then take it to the Doctor for advice if you remain concerned. (n.b. in the case of patellofemoral syndrome you should make sure any knee supports you try have a hole to take pressure off the kneecap).

Disclaimer: I’m not medically qualified, so some of all of this could be complete bunk :wink:

It’s a good idea to cut the ride short, take it easy getting back, and don’t irritate the knee. If it is something that is causing inflammation or irritation in the knee just one ride with knee pain can cause several weeks of recovery downtime. Or it could just be something that recovers quickly.

You need to find out why the knee started bothering you so you can address that issue and prevent it from happening again. It could have been a one time thing that is not likely to occur again. Or it could be something that could become a long term reoccurring problem. Seeing a doctor or sports medicine doctor would be an option to figure out the why and what to do.

I have a knee problem (ITBS) that can cause knee pain during a ride. If I ride through the pain and continue the ride as normal I’ll be out for several weeks or more with no riding to recover. But a few special stretching exercises can manage it for me and keep it in check.

A quick search of the internet last night led me to the conclusion that it was the patellofemoral thing. So I’ve been doing some exercises that the page recommended to strengthen other bits of the leg which then ‘support’ the knee.

After some thought, I suspect the pain might have been brought on by not warming up properly before doing some hilly MUni. Usually I ride on the flat and get going slowlyish so that it it’s own warm up. Also the seat of my 29er may be a bit too low.

I have had knee pain on occassion throughout unicycling but only slight aches and especially when I was learning.

oh yeah those fish oil capsuals are great

Do leg extensions and squats, and lay off unicycling for a couple days to treat the patellofemoral injury. If it really is patellofemoral, (and this is the first time you noticed it) don’t worry, it’s hardly an injury, it probably just needs to be realigned. I get it all the time, and this always works within a week or two.

People may tell you to do leg presses, but squats are better because they don’t isolate certain muscles.

Swimming is also really good for getting blood to the knees, but stick to flutter and dolphin kick. Breast kick and unicycling are a bad combination for the knees.

and PS: raise your seat! The best way to get patellofemoral injuries is my unicycling or bicycling with too low a seat.

take a couple ibuprofen and ride.

I agree, you should take some painkillers, then go out and do some smooth riding, nothing too difficult. Try and keep your knee moving to help with circulation.

Sounds like a bicycle curse.

my right knee went crap

About 20 years ago. A fine looking young man I was, with no more then a little gray, as to be expected, for a 30ish guy. Backpacking along, my right knee hurt so much, I was very worried.
Since then, I have grown used to it. Twenty years of knee crap. Never could afford a doctor.
It only bugs me towards the end of the day after heavy use. Unicycling brings it on a bit.
I have learned to just ignore this. It always seems fine the next day. Heavy squatting and dead lift weight lifting seem to have helped a little. The point is that ignoring it does no noticeable damage. Perhaps a bit of affection for leg pain is part of the joy in our sport.
On the other hand, I have a joint pain in my left shoulder that means I can lift more over head with my right arm. Trying to "work through ", this pain trash’s the shoulder and takes weeks to recover.
So the good news is there may be nothing seriously wrong with your knee.Try it and see . The bad news is you may join the club of crabby old people who tell long stories about how their knee “is not that bad…”

Ease Up

A 24" Muni with 165 crancks will be a lot easier on your knee.


:smiley: Yes they would indeed. My legs are so short that I wouldn’t be able to reach 165 cranks at all. I can barely reach 150s.

Well this is the thing. This type of joint pain, my type of age. It may go on forever. Will I stop riding? Absolutely not. I’m just waiting for 3 days to decide whether it’s chronic or acute damage and will take it from there.

i had knee pain and i went to a specialist and he said that riding a unicycle is good for you. it helps loosen your muscles or something.

3 days won’t tell you if its going to hurt for the rest of your life.

Do squats hurt?

No. But it might tell you if it’s not.