I've been doing regular exercise on my stationary exercise bike for about 5 weeks now (usually 3-4 days per week, 25-35 mins). Recently, when I am on it my knees make a slight grinding sound occasionally. They usually only do it for a couple of pedal-steps then stop. They don't hurt, but they feel slightly odd when it happens. The only other exercise I do is walking a couple of days a week and the Total body strength for beginners routine I found on this site, also about twice a week.
Is this something I should be worried about? Is there anything I can do to prevent it? My mum's knees grind a lot (for example when she goes up stairs) and I don't want to end up like that! I sometimes cycle with the ball of my foot on the pedal, and sometimes with the middle of my foot on the pedal - could either of these positions make a difference?
Patellofemoral syndrome is characterized by a grinding knee. I have heard that taking Glucosamine and chondroitin and MSM can help build up cartillage, but please check wtih a doctor.
Patellofemoral syndrome is usually from some kind of muscle imbalance in the quadriceps - make sure you're using a full range of motion when doing squats to strengthen all of the muscles.
Could also be arthritis-related, or just the tendons 'sticking' on bits of the bone until you've warmed up. If there's any associated ache, pain or discomfort it's worth getting it looked at by a professional though, knees are normally sturdy but if something does go wrong once they can be remarkably fragile and prone to re-injury.
Do the pedals have straps or are they clipless? It's better to have your foot "locked" in, so that way you can pull up as well as push down for each pedal stroke. That will help engage the hamstrings to help prevent imbalances.
Any cyclists here? They should confirm this.
BTW, glucosamine and such usually just have a placebo effect. From what I've read anyway.
I went to the doctors for this and it is because my quads are weak. She said that I need to start trying to exercising them and getting them stronger and the problem will go away. If you don't do anything about it, its really painful going up and downstairs. (I actually fell up the stairs cause of the weight put on my knees) Squats are a fairly easy exercise, hope that helps :)
Thanks for your replies everyone :) I'm going to the doctors soon anyway, so I might ask about it while I am there. Meanwhile I'll do a few more squats, and try to find the clips for my pedals, and hopefully that will help!
My right knee does it every time i walk up the stairs, it did it for a while, then for the past year it stopped, then it started up again recently, with not much change in diet and exercise o_O