As much as it sucks, stop riding for a week or two since its not too serious yet. If you keep riding, it WILL get worse. I had a knee injury on both knees that took me off the unicycle for over a year, and I wish I had just taken a couple weeks to heal when I first felt any pain.
I learned a lot from physical therapy, but basically you need rest at this point. Stretching all you leg muscles helps as does strengthening exercises like the ones Saskatchewanian suggested. Another really helpful one that helps with muscle imbalances is getting a big physical therapy elastic band, and looping it around something like a table leg. Then put one foot inside the band and extend your leg out while facing forward. Next, turn 90 degrees and extend your leg out to the side, then turn another 90 and extend backwards, finally turn another 90 and extend the leg across your body. 20 reps, 2 sets a day was good for me but I dont think your problem is that serious yet. I also swam 3-4 times a week while I couldnt ride and that helped too.
Rest up now and you won’t have to deal with real problems that require physical therapy or doctors visits etc. It’s not fun.
what caused your injury? and what initially sent you to the doctor? did you have something major tear or something?
i took 7 days off completely. today I rode for 1 hour, and did several drops off the skinny, and small SI hops. I still don’t want to tuck sif yet, because that still hurts a tiny bit. but it has improved a lot.
todays riding also didn’t bother it at all. Right now it’s completely pain free except for when i squat. walking on foot doesn’t hurt it, and today i did the drops, rode about 1 mile on the 20" and wheelwalked a bit, and none of that caused pain. so i’m going to refrain from huge sif hopping for a while, and anything that involves tucking, until the pain is 100% gone.
do you think I should still continue doing the small things on the uni if they aren’t bothering me at all?
This is really good advice! The classical position for guitar is so much better and more comfortable even if you are not in pain from hunching over.
I’m surprised nobody else mentioned seat height yet until this far into the thread. The only time I’ve ever had minor knee pain is from riding with the seat too low. This seems to match the trend of the squatting and kneeling doing damage to your boatie friend’s knees. Maybe trials riders do their knees damage from riding a lot with the seat intentionally low.
Building your way up to long distances with daily riding rather than going all out unconditioned must help. Spinning fast as opposed to resisting hills will be less stressful on joints.
I’ve had one other sore knee from unicycling- I was one footing my giraffe and it catapulted me forwards and I landed awkwardly sideways on one leg and kinda blew out one knee and put me out of action for a few weeks. Always try to land evenly on both feet if you can.
Who says you don’t have that option? You are a cyclist are you not? You use pedals. The choice is there but you choose not to clip in for fear of falling. I choose not to clip in too but I imagine it would improve efficiency 95 percent of the time. It’s those few unexpected UPD moments when I’d rather not be clipped in. I dunno what you mean by hooking up your buttocks. I place mine on my seat.
Clipping in has been discussed. Only a couple of people have found it practical. I bike can really only fall two directions, side to side and over the handle bars. A uni can fall all kind of crazy ways, and you don’t have as easy use of your hands to steady yourself while you apply pressure to unclip.
If your seat, again especially on a bicycle, is at the right height, and you spin correctly your your glutes help do some of the work. Not a lot but some and on those 40 - 60 mile rides or even centuries (which I have never done) any help from any muscles helps. The angle of your hip joint and the angle of your back have to be correct for this to happen to it’s fullest extent. A race bike fitter explained it to me many, many years ago.
Unlikely, if you are pain free now. While no expert I would think that the time it takes to be completely pain free has some relation to how much damage was done. But knee and back pain are the two things not to ignore. Let them heal! Oh same goes for elbows. Really any joint. My brother had to stop playing cello for a year to let some thumb problem completely heal. Like me he had to look to classical technique to correct his form of holding the bow.
Just be nice to your body when your young cuz one day you don’t heal in 3 days anymore. If something hurts every time you do it. Stop. fix it. Let it heal. I wish I could tell you when to go to a dr and when one is not needed but there is no easy answer to that. I made that mistake twice. Once got me a screw in my lower leg http://www.wheelessonline.com/ortho/technique_of_snydesmotic_fixation. The other time was that sesamoid bone in my foot. Which causes me pain to this day if I try to push off too hard with that foot.
Luckily unicycling helps my back (except for the occasional hard landing on my feet). But after two days of not riding (like during this snowstorm) I feel my back starting to twinge again. Just enough to remind me to sit up straight and sit with my back against the back of the chair. After a year of stretches and doing marital arts VERY carefully, my back had plateaued out. Unicycling got me some pain free days altogether. Between my foot, my back and my knees, my martial arts days ended at 50. It just wasn’t worth the risk of more ‘checks’ being written on my back and knees.
It seems that unicycling really builds up the leg muscles and can make them unbalanced especially if you’re like me and you always hop with right foot forwards and you can only pedal one footed using your right leg than this is building up the right leg more which creates an imbalance in your spine and overall body posture.
yeah, i always hop with right foot backwards. couldn’t imagine learning to switch. i’m currently learning to hop ambidextrously, but i don’t think i can learn in the other pedal stance. or maybe i can, i dunno. i should try.
yesterday i just went ahead and did the norm, 3.5 hrs of unicycling, and had/have 0 pain now…the pain is also gone when i squat, but i’m going to still wait 1-2 more days before i begin sif again.
i plan on starting at 20 sif hops a day…and moving to a max of 50. the day before i had to stop, i had done like 120 sif hops…so that’s like 120 squats on top of the other 200 squats in the past 2 days.
really what caused the whole ordeal was making my last video. when i was making it I like couldn’t stop riding, one day in particular i rode for like 11 hrs straight, just hops and skinnies and filming…the knee pain started that day…followed by an immediate dose of anti inflammatory + more unicycling…
no more of that. i don’t think i’ll ever take pain medicine again for minor things. it just makes you unaware of what you’re doing…your body is like stop now! and you still continue…
yeah my knee pretty much was in pieces…the night before i stopped unicycling, i couldn’t even return from a squatted down position, even though my left leg was fine. i’d have to grab something with my hands and pull up because there was too much pain in my right knee
i’m lucky i didn’t tear something.
oh, and i just bought an exercise ball for 10$. there’s all kinds of legs exercises you can do on one that i’m going to start doing every other day. also upper body stuff.