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  1. #1
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    Squats to fix knee pain?

    Quick timeline:

    -Summer 2016 shoulder dislocation, no longer have flexibility to hold squat bar to back (always done squats/deadlifts for the last ~10 years or so)
    -Home gym with just a squat rack and bench so I don't have much in the way of ways to strengthen my legs
    -Q1 2018 knee pain shows up when I get a new CX bike and a fit on my road bike
    -X-rays, physical therapy, etc, still have pain but it's getting better slowly

    Then yesterday it occurs to me out of the blue that maybe my knees aren't healing because my legs are weak and my joints are taking more abuse in daily life as a result. Do squats and literally overnight my knees feel better than they have in months. I'm hoping they stay this way.

    Anyone else have this experience?

  2. #2
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    yes squats are wonderful for knee pain, as is hitting your head against a wall when you have a headache.
    Oh my, a troll who doesn't know the difference between your and you're. What will they think of next?

  3. #3
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    If it works, keep doing it. But go for lighter weights and higher reps say, 15-20.
    You can add weight/reduce reps once the pain disappears.

    Do not bend your knees past 90 degrees. It puts the knee cap under pressure, pulling it against the bone. The long term result is wear on the underside of the knee cap.

  4. #4
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    self-diagnosis can be dangerous. see a sports doctor and a physical therapist and work out a program would be my suggestion.

  5. #5
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    I'm concerned that the universe is imploding or worse... because, I read factory feel's comments... and (gulp) I agree.

    Seriously, I've never heard of using squats to improve an injury. They seem great when you have no injuries. Now, seated leg extensions, maybe. But, I think Trek_5200's advice is spot on here. Talk to someone with some letters after their name.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisisthebeave View Post

    Then yesterday it occurs to me out of the blue that maybe my knees aren't healing because my legs are weak and my joints are taking more abuse in daily life as a result. Do squats and literally overnight my knees feel better than they have in months. I'm hoping they stay this way.
    Your legs did not get stronger overnight. In fact if you did squats the day before they go weaker.

  7. #7
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    There are many different reasons for joint pain. I am sure they each have their own suitable approaches / exercises to therapy. As 5200 says, self diagnosis is not the best plan. Having said that, if you don't have the shoulder mobility for squats, look into a trap bar for dead lifts.

  8. #8
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    Squatting in general as a part of a strength and conditioning program is a GREAT way to develop and maintain the body and thus prevent injuries when you're on the field. Having said that, if your knee is injured, then you'd want to be careful with squatting. If you have access or can afford to have access to a sport ortho or sport physical therapists, then go ask them for advice. But not every have access to such resource and so asking strangers online will have to do eh. But speaking from my own personal experience, and from the experience I've seen advised to college track and field athletes, generally when you get some sort of leg injury, rehab will require you to do LIGHT weight with HIGH REPETITIONS (20 reps easily). This will stimulate blood flow to the injured area which will speed up the healing process. And the light weight will provide stimulus for muscle growth, or at least mitigate muscle atrophy. I remember once time I sprained my ankle pretty bad, it got swollen bad. Immediately the next day, the sport rehab guy at our college put me on this machine where me made me work my ankle (in spite of great discomfort I was feeling), and after a few sessions, I could see my ankle improved fast, swelling was down noticeably. What you don't want to do is.. do nothing. Doing nothing would only speed up scar tissue formation in an injured area.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisisthebeave View Post
    Do squats and literally overnight my knees feel better than they have in months. I'm hoping they stay this way.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Your legs did not get stronger overnight. In fact if you did squats the day before they go weaker.
    It may be a case which the motion of doing squat may have popped something back into place.

  10. #10
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    Based on what my PT told me after 1/2 my meniscus was removed, another PT who I just happened to know, a lifetime of mild-to-moderately achy knees, and a wife who is an avid runner (and hence, plenty of muscle/joint issues)...

    - Don't take the internet's advice on any of this. See a sports doc.

    - It may not be joint pain per-se but rather some muscle imbalance that's causing pain. IT bands are notorious for this. The squats may only have served to stretch some muscles that were too tight and causing a kneecap or something to be misaligned.

    - 2 PTs and a doctor have told me to avoid leg extensions, or at least don't fully extend your leg. The shearing forces are pretty tough on knees.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisisthebeave View Post
    -Q1 2018 knee pain shows up when I get a new CX bike and a fit on my road bike
    -X-rays, physical therapy, etc, still have pain but it's getting better slowly
    If pain started when you rode a new bike and new fit on existing bike, there's your culprit.

    As for your description of pain, it's too general. Unless you can pinpoint the location within half inch square, it's not helpful. The cause of knee pain can vary a lot depending on the location.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvber View Post
    If pain started when you rode a new bike and new fit on existing bike, there's your culprit.
    No doubt. I was getting very bad IT band pain till I switched from Time (really floaty) to Dura-Ace (blue cleats 2 degree float) pedals. Apparently, my knee structure can't deal with lots of float.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    Your legs did not get stronger overnight. In fact if you did squats the day before they go weaker.
    I get that. I think maybe it made something tighter or align differently than before though.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvber View Post
    It may be a case which the motion of doing squat may have popped something back into place.
    I heard a pop on my first set. My knees click and pop if they are in the same position for a while but this was different.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisisthebeave View Post
    I heard a pop on my first set. My knees click and pop if they are in the same position for a while but this was different.
    It happens to many people. It may not be your knee issue but here's a video on realigning knee joint.


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by factory feel View Post
    yes squats are wonderful for knee pain, as is hitting your head against a wall when you have a headache.
    You don't think strengthening the supporting muscles of an injured joint would help take strain off the joint itself? Isn't that what physical therapy usually entails?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldZaskar View Post
    I'm concerned that the universe is imploding or worse... because, I read factory feel's comments... and (gulp) I agree.

    Seriously, I've never heard of using squats to improve an injury. They seem great when you have no injuries. Now, seated leg extensions, maybe. But, I think Trek_5200's advice is spot on here. Talk to someone with some letters after their name.
    I agree. Doing squats with an injured knee is going to make it worse. Saddle and cleat adjustments are the first thing to try. Seeking help from a bike fitter is recommended.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisisthebeave View Post
    You don't think strengthening the supporting muscles of an injured joint would help take strain off the joint itself? Isn't that what physical therapy usually entails?
    It completely depends on what caused the injury to the joint, and since none of us are a clinician that has examined him, we can't say. But even if a lack of muscle tone in the supporting muscles caused the injury to the joint, healing that injury is an entirely different thing from keeping an injury from happening again once you're healed.

  19. #19
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    For me with a bucket handle tear of my meniscus actually continuing to ride and strengthening my legs has helped immeasurably over the years. I even did squats at the gym and developed a fair amount of strength. In my mid to late 20s. In my best days at the gym I was back squatting over 300lb. Strengthening the muscles surrounding my knees definitely helped me but I'm not everyone and everyone is not me. Your mileage may vary.

    The physiotherapist I saw earlier this year basically said point blank to me though that unless my knee was locking regularly, which it isn't then surgery wont be helpful and removing large parts of my meniscus to treat the injury would be unhelpful in my case either. Sometimes you just have to make the best out of what you're given.

    To be fair I only really tend to get tendinitis these days which can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and rest. Generally a night off my knees and some diclofenac and I'm good to ride the next day.
    Last edited by 1500SLR; 2 Weeks Ago at 08:27 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisisthebeave View Post
    Knee pain shows up when I get a new CX bike and a fit on my road bike.
    I think there is a clue here ... but I can't quite put a finger on it.

  21. #21
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    Every time my knee hurts, I remind myself that it saved my life. 1 1/2 years ago I had knee surgery. When I woke up, I told the nurse that I did not feel well. The next day I had quadruple bypass surgery. For two decades numerous gastroenterologists told me that the burning in my chest was acid reflux disease and gave me medication for it. Finally I can exercise without discomfort.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
    I think there is a clue here ... but I can't quite put a finger on it.
    I mean, besides going to a fitter and having them tell me where I should be and going to physical therapy, what do I do about it? I already sold my old bike and the rail on my original saddle is bent so I can't see that being healthy to ride long term (riding slightly higher on one side). Just trying to dial it in now.

    If I injured myself in the transition, what do I do now?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisisthebeave View Post
    I mean, besides going to a fitter and having them tell me where I should be and going to physical therapy, what do I do about it? I already sold my old bike and the rail on my original saddle is bent so I can't see that being healthy to ride long term (riding slightly higher on one side). Just trying to dial it in now.

    If I injured myself in the transition, what do I do now?
    Have you brought this issue to the attention of the fitter?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisisthebeave View Post
    Quick timeline:

    -
    Then yesterday it occurs to me out of the blue that maybe my knees aren't healing because my legs are weak and my joints are taking more abuse in daily life as a result. Do squats and literally overnight my knees feel better than they have in months. I'm hoping they stay this way.

    Anyone else have this experience?
    Yes. I've had a similar experience. The squats strengthened your legs in a way that cycling doesn't. What people fail to realize is that cycling is not a good workout. Except for the cardiovascular conditioning, it is almost entirely injurious to the body, because it causes atrophy of all the major muscle groups that aren't involved with pedaling. And aside from the quads and hamstrings, that's virtually every muscle in the body.

    For fitness, cycling should be a very small part of an exercise regimen that includes body-core exercises, upper body weightlifting, squats, deadlifts, and running. Cycling time should be kept to no more than an hour, 3 times a week. And if possible, it would be good to get off the bike and walk for a bit for every 20 minutes of riding.

    My advice is to think of cycling as junk food, or 'desert', and it should not be done to excess. Excessive time on the bike will actually weaken the skeletal structure by depleting calcium from the bones. It's a 'fun' activity that should be enjoyed in small quantities.

  25. #25
    dcb
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    Quote Originally Posted by dir-t View Post

    - Don't take the internet's advice on any of this. See a sports doc.
    x's 100. I'm sure people mean well, but go see an expert in person.

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