As a cyclist, there is nothing more frustrating and disrupting than being interrupted to training and activity. Among cyclists, knee pain can be a common issue that deters cyclists from training plans and participating in normal cycling activity.
A study estimates 33% of riders will deal with some degree of chronic knee pain at some point in their cycling career. Cycling is a repetitive sport that requires our knees to move through a range of motion between the hip, which is attached to the saddle, and the foot, which is fixed to the pedal.
So have you been experiencing any symptoms of cycling knee pain?
If so, don’t worry! Here’s a guide to help you trace what are the common causes of knee pain when cycling.
Most cycling-related knee injuries and pain come from overdoing it. As you ride longer or harder than your body is conditioned to do, it strains your connective tissues, leading to inflammation and pain of the knee joint.
It is important to have a solid foundation of fitness and build on it gradually to ideally progress in any sport. Keep in mind not to overload training on one go, as your body will break down when you don’t follow a well-conceived training plan or go from the couch to an intense ride. Avoid big changes and aim for a weekly volume by training consistently towards goals or gradual training rides to ensure the knee is well-conditioned.
2.Improper bike fit
Besides that, bike fit is important to different individuals to maximize performance. You can always opt to visit a professional bike fitter to set up your bike to reduce the stress on the knee joint, but before that try a little self-diagnosis,
When your knee hurts right on the kneecap known as the patella, it’s generally due to your quad muscle and when you are pumping, they could deliver too much shear force across the joint. Hence, check if your saddle is the right height, ideally it should be a 20 to 25-degree knee bend when clipped in. If you have got pain in the back of the knee or lateral, try a slightly lowered saddle and more knee bent.
Image via : I love bicycling
If you are satisfied with your bike fit and have been performing well, you can use your current setup and the symptoms you are experiencing as a guide to make small adjustments that might help with the pain.
The minor adjustment includes adjusting your bike seats to a height where the knees only bend slightly, riding in lower gears to reduce strain on the knees, and positioning your knees straight rather than leaning inward or outward.
Image via : Bicycling
However, if the pain persists, consider taking a temporary break from cycling activity. It will allow your knee to rest and recover and prevent it from further damage.
During your recovery time, focus on mitigating stress and improving healthy habits in other areas such as nutrition, sleep, or strength training to strengthen the knee.
If the pain pro-longs and prevents you from peddling, you may need to seek professional guidance such as a physiotherapist or a general practitioner.
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