Cycling can be a healthy activity because it comes with a number of benefits. For example, it increases cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength & flexibility, joint mobility, improves posture and decreases body fat level. Cycling is considered a knee-sparing activity because there is no direct contact with the ground. However, the repetitive motion of the knee during pedalling can lead to a variety of overuse injuries. Do you wanna know How to prevent knee injuries in sports? As cyclists involve the continuous and repetitive movements of the knee, injuries are common during cycling
How common knee injuries are in cycling?
Here a question comes to hear what type of cyclists sustain overuse injuries? Basically, cyclists with every ability level are at the risk of knee injuries: riding too soon, too far, and too hard is the usual recipe for knee problems.
Among cyclists, the knee is the most common site of overuse injury. The studies have shown that 40% to 60% of riders experience knee pain. Similar to cyclists, mountain bike riders may also suffer from overuse injuries. A study involving 265 off-road cyclists showed that 30% of cyclists had recently experienced knee pain associated with mountain bike riding; however, 37% reported low-back pain while riding.
We have discussed the most common knee injuries that cyclists may face during cycling. As well as this, the given preventive measures will help cyclists avoid the risk of knee injuries in cycling. So, let’s begin;
Common knee injuries in cycling?
The following are the common knee injuries in cycling:
1. Anterior collateral ligament, ACL Injury
Anterior knee pain or anterior collateral ligament, ACL injury occurs when the kneecap does not move properly and starts rubbing against the lower part of the thigh bone. Poor patellofemoral joint alignment is the leading cause of anterior knee pain or injury.
The common symptoms of anterior knee pain or injury may include dull and aching pain behind the patella (kneecap), pain below the kneecap, and pain on the sides of the kneecap. Another most common symptom is the grinding or grating sensation when the knee is flexed.
2. Lateral collateral ligament, LCL Injury
The lateral collateral ligament, LCL, is a group of connective tissues located outside the knees. These tissues help connect the lower leg bones to the thigh bone. The lateral collateral ligament helps stop bending your knees outward abnormally.
Lateral collateral ligament injury occurs when an extra pressure or an injury pushes the knee joint from the inside, resulting in stress on the outer part of the knee joint. The common symptoms may include knee swelling, pain or tenderness, and locking or catching sensation.
3. Posterior collateral ligament, PCL injury
The posterior cruciate ligament, PCL, runs along the back of the knees, helping connect the top of the lower leg bone with the thighbone. This ligament helps keep the bone in place, allowing the knee to move smoothly.
A sprain or tear in the posterior cruciate ligament is referred to as a PCL injury. Repetitive motions of the knee and a direct fall can cause PCL injury in cycling. The most common symptoms may include pain, swelling, stiffness, and difficulty walking.
4. Patellar quadricep tendinitis
The quadriceps tendons help connect the quadriceps muscles to the patella (kneecap). It works to straighten the knees, helping in walking, jumping, bending, and climbing. The inflammation of the quadriceps tendons is known as quadriceps tendinitis.
Quadricep tendinitis usually results from repetitive actions like kneeling and jumping. The repetitive pedalling during cycling can also cause quadricep renditions. The common symptoms may include stiffness (especially in the morning), tenderness, swelling, weakness, and poor mobility.
5. Iliotibial band syndrome, ITBS
Iliotibial band syndrome occurs when the iliotibial band gets inflamed or irritated when rubbing against your knee bones or hip. It rubs against the bones when it gets too tight or tense. Iliotibial band syndrome can occur in one or both of the legs. When it occurs in both legs, the condition is called bilateral iliotibial band syndrome.
High tibial internal rotation, ITB tightness, increased hip abduction, too high saddle position, the inward-pointing of toes on the pedals, and rapid increase in mileage are all common causes of ITBS. Pain and swelling are the common symptoms of ITBS.
How to prevent knee injuries in sports?
Do you wanna know How to prevent knee injuries in sports? As cyclists involve the continuous and repetitive movements of the knee, injuries are common during cycling. However, experts and professional trainers suggest some preventive measures, helping reduce the chances of injuries during cycling:
1. Increase your cadence
Many cyclists experience knee pain when girding instead of spinning, especially when putting down a lot of power or climbing up. Tracking your RPM with a cadence sensor is best to prevent such problems. It is advisable to keep your cadence between 80 and 100 RPM.
Strength training helps address many problems on the bike. Strong hamstrings, core, and glutes will help keep you stable in the saddle while pedalling hard. It will help prevent injuries when working a strength regime beyond your riding.
3. Build up mileage gradually
When cyclists suddenly increase their mileage extremely, it can cause many problems, including knee pain. It is advisable not to increase your mileage when you have a big ride or a long bike trip. Ramping things slowly will help you adjust things easily, including your position, before the pain becomes a serious issue.
4. prepare your cycle before cycling
You have a good posture and wear all the safety equipment, but your cycle is not ready for cycling; no matter how much your body is prepared, the chances of injuries will be still high. Get a professional bike fit or cycling fit to have an injury-free cycling experience.
5. Stretching and rolling
Stretching and rolling exercises help keep your muscles and joints flexible, helping reduce the chances of overuse or repetitive injuries.
How do knee supports help prevent injury?
Cycling knee supports help keep your knees aligned and stress-free, helping avoid the chances of repetitive or overuse injuries. These also help provide comfort and compressions to enhance your athletic performances, such as cycling.
Experts also suggest wearing cycling knee supports or knee sleeves to help manage knee pain or other problems. These knee supports or sleeves help provide enough support and compressions to the injured areas, helping speed up the recovery process following a knee injury or surgery.
The given ideas of the most common cycling knee injuries and their preventions will help you prevent knee injuries during cycling. As well as this, you can also get the idea of how the knee support works to keep your knees safe during cycling.
At 360 relief, we provide you with the best cycling knee supports, with a range of colours and sizes, to offer you an injury-free cycling experience. It is advisable to consult your professional trainers or healthcare professionals to choose the right knee supports to have maximum benefits.
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