So my knees have been hurting for months now

How the heck would massage therapy help my knees?

i used to ride quite a bit, so i'll throw my two cents in. i am assuming that your problem may be caused by your bike because you mention it, and that you want to continue riding despite the problems you've had.

bike fit is not confined only to height of frame, seat angle, etc. think of a line drawn from your hip, through your kee and down through your ankle. if your knee strays to the inside or outside of that line, strain is put on your medial and collateral ligaments, and to a lesser extent, the other ligaments. add the load of pedaling resistance to that misalignment, and you have a prescription for knee pain.

since you can't adjust the distance your foot is from the crank (while on the pedal or in toe clips)something else has to give. if you don't wear to clips, get them. they keep your feet from sliding all over the pedals and make your pedaling more efficient. if your wear to clips, make sure that you wear them loose enough that your heel has some play. this allows your knee to stay in alignment during your pedal cycle. if you have clipless pedals, make sure they are the kind that allow your heel some lateral movement.

while you are riding, concentrate on a smooth, round pedal stroke. toe clips or clipless pedals with help with this. there's more information than you could ever want on pedaling form. also, when you are riding, use smaller gears until the pain goes away and your pedal form gets smooth. if you reduce your pedaling load/stress on your knees, you're taking care of the other part of the knee pain equation. hope this helps.

Dashooter911 - How the heck would massage therapy help my knees?

Jason E has pinned and stretched the correct.

Since you didn't go into specific areas of the knee where the pain occurs( kneecap, sides of the knee,etc), anything I say will be a guess, but every biker I've worked on tends to have a certain set of problems.

Since bikers try to keep their knees tucked medially to improve aerodynamics, the iliotibial (IT) band and associated soft tissues (fascia in particular) tend to get stressed. When your leg alternately bends and straightens, the IT band moves back and forth across the side of the femoral condyle and the tibial tuberosity. Normally not a problem, but when the fascia of the lateral quadriceps/ hip complex is fascially glued to the IT band, the band gets grinded back and forth over those bones.

Normally, muscles slide alongside one another, but when they're fascially bound, they pull and tug at each other. It's the shearing action of those adhesions that you feel.

That's common in all people, not just bikers. It's especially prevalent where rectus femoris(middle quadricep) contacts vastus lateralis(outside quadricep).

Another factor that effects bikers is rectus femoris( the muscle that runs down the front of your leg) glueing down and forcing the kneecap to track in a direction that pulls it out of the slot that it rides in between the femoral condyles.

Believe me, if you've never had myofasial release done, you have no idea how effective it is. If you see one 2-3 times with no more than 3 weeks between visits, even chronic conditions can be impacted immensely.

A good massage therapist( and not just a glorified oil spreader/ ass rubber) will know how to do myofascial release. You're not going to find one of these at Massage Envy, and probably not at a spa, either.

Massaging the muscles won't hurt. Ever go to physical therapy? They typically will rub down the areas that have pain before warming up as well.

UPDATE: For the past few days Ive been doing a lot of free weight squats. The pain is beginning to subside. I can now put my legs in a 90 degree position to the floor and not be in pain. Yesterday I did squats at the gym with the olympic bar on my back and did deadlifts too. A few weeks ago that would have killed my knees but they really don't hurt that much today. It seems like there actually is hope, thanks for the help everyone.