Vastus Medialus pain, anyone else?

It started hurting a little last year during the Black Bear Rampage, now it’s popping up a little more often, mostly the left leg, a little on the right, hurts the most when resisting on the downhills.

I’m stretching, trying to give my legs breaks,not riding hard every day, but unless I ride flats it’s really tough to ride trails without straining it.

Anyways, I guess it’s the old age thing, so more slack time, more spin time, more brake time, if only I could have my twenty something knees and back…

Not yet. Are you using those disc brakes enough?

I’m not a doctor nor a unicycling nurse but I had great pains in my knees after riding for an hour or so. Once I lowered the seat the pain has not re-appeared.

rest is the second best thing for it but the first best is riding!

I had something like that when starting out but never anymore. I don’t ride nearly as often as ‘every day’ so perhaps I’m getting enough rest between rides.

The vastus medialis on my left leg is definitely the muscle I feel/notice the most during and after rides. I started unicycling in March, and I guess it was underused before then.

Where is the vastus medialis? I have some trouble with my right knee sometimes, but if I stand up while riding the pain goes away.

Check out the link I posted.

The Vastus Medialus is the tear drop shapped muscle you can feel/see just above you knee on the inside, it helps with leg extension. Pain in the VM is often associated with walking/hiking/running/biking up and down hills.

Mine hurts more when I use resistance pedaling on downhills, likely due to overuse. I am doing some specialized stretching. It is suggested that lings are good for VM problems…

Solution that works for me… mine are small so there’s less to hurt. :wink:

Don’t want to steal the thread by any means, but I don’t feel like this merits it’s own thread.

My problem is that I always get excruciating pain not in the vastus medialis but in that gap area that’s in roughly the same location but immediately opposite of the knee. In fact I got a stabbing pain about halfway through the one ride I was able to get in at Douthat. Luckily I was able to stretch a bit and take some of the pressure off that day but the last time it truly acted up I thought I was done, done with unicycling. It was that bad. Took about two weeks for the constant pain to stop. If it comes as a sudden stab I have a quicker recovery. If it starts hurting several hours after a ride I know I’m toast.

I sure would love to know how to avoid that one… I’ve had a minor flareup of that early this week. Just a dull pain now as opposed to the sharp pain before. If it happens again I figure I’ll just end up at a knee specialist.

Your issue is the muscle colored in red, mine whatever it is that is colored in blue.

Take a look at this picture:

Is your pain directly above the knee cap or on the outside of the knee?

I must have extra chunks, I don’t see something definitive to compare to in that picture.

It’s slightly above the kneecap on the outside edge. When it gets really bad it feels like a loose, narrow tendon about the width of a finger that slides back and forth when the femur pushes up on it from behind; even pops as it slides over the femur. To guess I’d say it’s not that quad tendon that connects right down the middle, it’s just on the outside of it down in that recess.

I’ve heard it may be the iliotibial band but I always second guess because I thought that would be more toward the outside of the knee.

Increase brake usage…

Don’t just ride the brake. Power through the brake to change which muscles are taking the strain. If you are still applying back pressure on the downhills the knees get shock loading during pedaling similar to walking downhill.

A higher speed while in high gear also smoothes out the pedal loading on downhill riding. I find it hard to get in a rhythm in direct drive on descents.

Oh yeah, when it’s possible, that’s a good way to ride, I call it “gliding” the brake. But for technical downhills it really isn’t possible to coast and let the brake be your primary source of control, which is where my leg pain becomes an issue.

When climbing, for the most part I can get up out of the saddle and find a comfortable position.

Running a high seat helps keep the pain down as well, but that doesn’t work as well for technical downhills or for highly variable terrain.

Powering is not “coasting”

I do what I think you would call “technical downhills” in high gear with the brake on hard enough my hands will start to cramp while pushing the pedals harder than if it were a 3 or 4 % incline. Changes the knee loading so vastus medialus don’t start to hurt and allows a lower seat height. Control comes from powering through the brake (not coasting on the brake).

If it gets real steep, rough, or drops I’ll do the same using low gear.

Hey Joe, I think we’re talking about the same thing, and when I can I do pedal into the brake, but it’s just not possible to power through some of the stuff I’m riding without using backpressure to maintain control, so then the only alternative is to walk them, which I’m loath to do.

Right now I’m riding shorter distances, stopping when it hurts, trying to reduce the amount of steep climbs/descents, just until it stops hurting.

My guess is that I have a strain/tear, not bad enough to keep from riding, but enough to keep me from riding hard.

Terminological question:


Yeah, lings, I thought everyone did those :roll_eyes:

Sorry, typing from a virtual keyboard with auto correct turned off…