Sore knees from hopping

I’ve been riding for about 4 months now. When I first rode trails, my knees would get pretty sore. I’ve since learned to relax more and put less weight on my legs. Things have gotten better.

But now I’m practicing hopping, and my knees are getting sore again. This time the soreness is on the back of my knees. In my “knee pits”. It seems to go away after a few days.

I think it feels more like a sore muscle than an injury.
Did anyone else every get this? Do you think it’s more serious than just a sore muscle?

After Gymnastics, Martial arts, and Triathlon, I thought I’d had just about ever stress injury you can have, but not that one. I even got a stress injury in my elbow from playing guitar and had stop playing for a few months and then had to learn how to hold the guitar a different way.

There is a Posterior Cruiciate Ligament behind the Knee, but not much in the way of muscles. I suggest stop hopping practice for a few days to a week and wait for the soreness to go away (I suggest waiting until all soreness is gone) and Ice that area down a few times a day. A bag of frozen peas works great for this. If you are watching TV or something do 20mins on and 20mins off. The more you ice the faster it gets better if it is just an over-use strain. The PCL is primarily used to stabilize the knee which is exactly what you are doing when you hop.

I’m not a ‘hopper’ but I’m sure some hoppers will come by with some technique advice.

I also want to add that if you don’t already you might want to consider adding some stretching for your Quads, Hamstrings and Calves. Muscle imbalance could be contributing to this injury/soreness.

when i started learning to unicycle, i played uni-hockey for hours … my knees were always extremely sore. now i do some hard on the knees stuff, but it doesnt hurt anymore. i think you will just get used to it

I’m not sure what uni you are using, but dropping the pressure on the tire might help relieve some of the shock you get. I hop on unis with nice, wide 2.5 tires with low pressure, and it gives you a pretty cushy jump. That will also help to save some of the parts on your uni that may bend after time, like cranks.

I agree that the body often adapts, gets stronger, but not always. I’m pretty new here, but I know a couple of people here are big on muscle imbalance as the cause of some chronic pain from riding Uni.

I had the same attitude when I was young, and it works because everything is still growing and flexible. But the OP is 33 and at that age a little more caution is in order. IMHO

Old injuries have a way of coming back to haunt you in your older years. For instance I have chronic pain in my right shoulder caused by scar tissue from gymnastics I did as a teen. I also have ‘bad knees’ because of years of martial arts. I quit martial arts 2 years ago because of knee pain, and knowing someone who went through knee replacement surgery I never want to go through that. His knees went bad from years of sailing and all that running around in a crouch and kneeling on deck, not from any traumatic injury. His knees were worn out at 45 years old.

Not to frighten the OP, sounds like a typical grade I injury. No hopping for a couple of days, some ice and take it a little easier when his knees feel better and the OP should be good to go.

With all that said I’m not a doctor, blah, blah, blah… I’m just a guy with a shite load of experience with injuries.

Wanna hear about: ‘blunt traumatic injury to the larynx’ when I got hit in the throat with a surfboard? Or the time I hit my head so hard on the sand bodysurfing that I was paralyzed from the waist down and had to be saved by my friends because I was drowning in waist deep water? Or maybe about a ‘syndesmotic screw’ in my ankle? Or ‘Sesamoid fracture in the foot’? How about blunt penile trauma? (These last three were from martial arts)

A couple of these: Syndesmotic ankle sprain, and Sesamoid foot fracture, were made worse because I didn’t go see a Dr soon enough, and/or tried to ‘play’ through the pain. I could have saved myself surgery in one case and a year off from martial arts in the other.

Anyway that is where my more cautious approach to chronic pain/injuries comes from. Just my .02

Here are two articles on chronic PCL pain:

I found these two articles by googling for: Chronic PCL Pain

I know exactly the sensation you’re feeling. I wouldn’t call it “pain”, more like a hyperextension. I get it behind my left knee when I’m working on my hops. I think it’s related to my limited stretching before I start practicing. Usually I can feel it aftter my first few hops - especially if I go hard too quickly.

After a few days (I ride about 3 times a week) it’s gone but next time I try hopping I’m likely do it again. It’s been like that for about 4 to 6 weeks, as long as I’ve really been working on hopping up curbs and jumping off obstacles.

If anyone has stretches or other ideas that might help, I’m all ears.

That’s quite a list of hectic injuries, and you’re still walking around :slight_smile: and here I’m feeling sorry for myself about beating my right hand into the ground last night on a bail which is still sore… :slight_smile:

Not to hijack this thread, but lets look back in the crystal ball…

I could add being knocked out twice in sparring matches, a broken nose from a wild jump spinning back kick (from my instructor no less). More than a couple of concussions and a broken arm from skateboarding. The time I got so hypothermic swimming laps in a cold pool during cold weather (the pool heater was broken) that I swam into the wall and had to be helped to the locker room and put in the hot tub. I don’t remember hitting the wall or being helped to the locker room. Ever had a pulled stomach muscle? You don’t want one. More than a couple of cracked ribs, including a crack in the back ribs (it also bruised some internal organ, I forget which one now). Broken hand doing a board break in martial arts. My whole thumbnail was torn off once while sparring. I grabbed a guys uniform to throw him and he twisted out and my thumbnail stayed behind with his uniform.

There are few others, but pretty minor stuff broken fingers, toes, almost drowned a couple of times, partial tear of the miniscus, etc.

It’s not as bad as it sounds. I’m 51 now and I have been doing things I can get hurt at since I was about 10. Most of it’s pretty minor stuff ad I have been lucky. Never got hurt road racing bicycles, few crashes but noting more than sore and road rash. Never got hurt racing go karts though I rolled mine a couple of times. Never got hurt riding street motorcycles though I did get thrown over a guardrail but landed downhill in soft dirt. Never got hurt flying hang-gliders but did crash twice while landing. Slight concussion on one of those landings, bad enough to stop flying for the day. Without a helmet it would be a different story.

Only the blunt penile trauma, the ‘paralysis’, and the bruised internal organ ended up with me being admitted to the hospital.

I’m leaving out the non-sporting stuff like dog bites, heart attacks and gunpowder explosions.

AND I scraped my knee last night during an UPD.

I do apologize for taking this off-topic but it was kinda fun to think back on these things. Some I had forgotten about till I started thinking back.

OK back on topic… My knees get sore if I pedal with my seat set too low.

Exactly!! I can tell it’s coming back after just a few hops. And then it feels worse later (maybe the next day), and lasts for a few days.

4umfreak, as you learn what helps and hurts your knee condition, be sure to let me know! And I’ll keep you posted too.
My left knee is the hurting one. I hop with my left foot forward, and I side hop in the left direction. I’m curious if you hop this way too.

I’ve been spending about an hour almost every weekday evening practicing skills in the driveway, and on weekends I try to ride muni.

I plan on riding muni tomorrow. I could be real conservative and just skip the ride, or I could go and just avoid hopping (not too hard, I’m just learning hopping and don’t apply it on the trails yet).
I’ll skip today’s practice, and if things feel ok on Saturday, I’ll find out if non-hopping muni irritates it.

It IS frightening sometime. But I was just as frightening a few months ago when I rode muni for the first time and got sore knees for a week. Many rides later, that problem seems to be history.

could it be from your calves? As I was laying in bed last night, my calves pretty sore from riding and getting smacked by a pedal, I noticed pain behind my knee (very top of calve muscle/tendon). I think you use your calves a lot hopping, are they sore? Maybe try stretching em out a couple of times a day.

Just a thought, I’m certainly not even close to thinking I’m a doctor…

My calves don’t feel sore at all. I would think I’d use both my calves pretty equally when hopping, and only my left knee “pit” it bothering me. (Though a lot less than this morning).
I don’t think that’s it, but then again, maybe I’m doing something weird like only hopping with my left leg? But my Wii Fit says I’m pretty balanced. :roll_eyes:

I never really was into any sports where I’d stretch beforehand. Perhaps it’s time to start doing that.

I know nothing about stretching. If anyone has any specific stretches to do before unicycling, feel free to post them. Otherwise, I guess I’ll just look for a “how to stretch” website.

well, you know… your at that age where things start to hurt :slight_smile:

at least thats what my doctor used to say to me…

And now what does he say? “Your at the age where things continue to hurt”, I suppose. :frowning:

I dunno, I stopped going :slight_smile:

It feels as if the soreness starts from trying to keep the knees from bending farther than they already are when landing hops etc.
…And yes, I hop left foot forward as well, but no side hops at all.

Good advice. All they ever do with me is say, “Take this Motrin and stay off of your feet for a couple of weeks.” What a waste of time and money. Like I’m going to sit around. My knees quit hurting after several months. I should add that my knee problems were not from jumping. Mine was all climbing/descending related. Still, after my muscles adjusted the pain stopped.

I thought I’d give an update for anyone else who might experience similar knee pain.

I got some knee supports to wear when I ride. I stopped practicing hopping, but continued to ride muni. It took about a month and a half but the soreness and sensation of anything being wrong behind my left knee slowly faded away.

I’ve started practicing hops again and my knees have felt a bit achy, but just in general… no problems behind my knee. Yesterday I forgot my knee supports when I went for a good muni ride. I even hopped a bit. No problems.

The trivia of Uni related soreness and injuries are helped by the context of the “non-sporting stuff”:smiley:

But it’s good to have this discussion so us aging types can understand what’s just normal wear and tear.

Sore Knees - Update

I’ve actually been taking it easy lately after I felt the same bad, behind-the-knee sensations doing ‘normal’ things like running up stairs, or with my kids. I’ve been out on the uni every couple weeks but nothing aggressive as I really want this to clear up. I’ve even considered taking up a little light jogging :astonished: to develop some additional strength.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m on the upswing but not completely recovered …yet.