Is Cycling Bad for Your Knees
One of the finest exercises for your knees to maintain their health and strength is cycling. It is an enjoyable kind of workout that can be done anywhere. If you have a knee injury, you can use a stationary bike inside at home or in the gym. In a park, you may even ride on the streets. This essay will concentrate on factors to take into account while planning to ride a bike while experiencing knee discomfort.
Types of knee pain and common causes
1. Anterior Knee Pain
The anterior knee pain is a type of pain that affects the front side of the knees. It is a joint knee pain that results from strain in your leg's quadriceps and can also result from stretchy on the iliotibial band muscle in the outer part of your thigh, pulls on the patella. The patella, also known as the kneecap, plays an important role in gliding over your knee joints. Therefore, you start experiencing problems when the tendon of the patella is a stack or begins stacked to click.
The leading cause of anterior knee pain when cycling is a poor bike position. In most cases, it occurs when you ride your bike with the saddle of your bike set at its exact place. You can prevent this knee problem by raising the saddle of your bike at a place that bends your knees to an angle of about 45 degrees when you are peddling. This is the recommended knee bend angle that will give you a perfect ride minimizing the knee pains. You can control the thigh muscle stains further by maintaining a rotation of the cadence at 60 rotations/minute. You can use Kinesio tape to push your patella back to its exact position to treat the anterior pains.
2. Posterior Knee Pain
This type of knee pain, also known as tendon pains, affects the knees' backside. The leading cause of the posterior pains is when your hamstring overextended during your ride. In most cases, you will find yourself overextending your hamstring when struggling to reach a pedal rotation of 60rpm by pedaling too fast. You will most likely experience this type of knee pain when the saddle of your bike is raised too high. You can control the tendon pains by lowering the saddle of your bike to the recommended position that bends your knees at an angle of about 45 degrees when cycling. This will help you avoid the inflicting stretch of your thigh muscles, resulting in the pains.
If you are experiencing posterior pain, you can use a combination of form rolling to help stretch your knee. In addition, you can also extend your hamstring and calves by removing the heel from the pedal and hanging it for about ten seconds. If the pain persists, you can seek help from a physiotherapist or medication from the pain management team.
3. Medial and Lateral Knee Pain
Medial pain is a type of pain that affects the inner part of the knee that is close to your other knee, whereas lateral pain affects the outer part of the knee. These two types of pain are always interchange when cycling based on the angle the pedal force is applied. These two types of knee pain can also result from your guard strain. The leading cause of the medial and lateral pains of the knee is the gear problems. If your bike's gears are not shifted correctly, you strain your guard, which can cause these pains. In addition, it can also by clients not adjusted straight.
You can prevent medial and lateral pains by adjusting the cleats of your bike to make them straight. This will make the ball of the foot be straight at its correct position in which the pressure exerted when you are pedaling will be applied. However, when you are already experiencing the pains, you can practice exercises that can help you strengthen your core muscles. Such activities include touching down with a single leg, extending your legs, bridge ball Swiss, and lunges. You can also use your glutes and abs, which will prevent the muscles of your legs from being overworked. If there is no positive response, you can seek help from a physiotherapist.
Possible Causes of Knee Pain While Cycling
1. Riding too much too soon
This is when you ride too fast or too hard and overtake the bike. Most cyclists are usually prone to ride their bikes too short to reach high speeds. This can lead to knee pain because it puts more energy into the cadence of the spin, thus making you ride the bike too hard. This problem is more frequent when you are riding on rough terrain. To solve this problem, you can start riding at a speed within your level and then slowly build up to the speed you want. In addition, you may want to consider a road bike track that has an acoustic suspension system to absorb shock.
2. Low cadence riding
Riding at a low cadence involves making a small number of pedals in a minute. To make the pedals turn, a force must be applied to the pedals. This force is applied through the knees. Therefore, when you ride at a low cadence, every time you turn the pedals, a lot of pressure is placed on the knees. Therefore, when you continue to ride at a low cadence for a longer period of time, the pressure exerted on the knee can develop into pain.
3. Poor bike fit
If you are using a bike that is not well adapted to you, it can cause stress and pain to your knees and extremities. In this case, you may be able to find the right bike gear for you; the bike's cleats may also be too big or too small for you. These factors can make it more difficult for you to grasp the seat while riding a bicycle. As a result, cycling may lead to different types of knee pain.
4. Poor riding posture
This is another cause of knee pain and involves failing to maintain good posture during a ride. When you do not control your riding position, poor riding posture can lead to more serious injuries and muscle soreness. To avoid these injuries, always make sure you maintain a good riding position while enjoying your ride.
5. Major changes in riding habits
When you change your cycling habits, you may experience knee pain. This is a common problem faced, especially by new riders. These modifications may include riding the bike longer than before and riding faster, making the pedals too hard. These changes can lead to joint pain and even inflammation when the muscles can't handle the changes.
Bike riding is a low-impact workout that is also a lot of fun. Additionally, it is a practice that aids individuals in avoiding and managing a variety of health issues, including heart attack, arthritis, obesity, stroke, etc. Even though knee discomfort is a typical occurrence for many bikers and discourages individuals from riding their bikes, this may not be the case as a number of variables can lead to knee difficulties when bicycling. This has led to biking becoming a common form of exercise today.