How to avoid knee pain whilst cycling

Living in London we are privy to some of the best cycling routes so it is no surprise to see our local roads and pathways busy with bikes.

But despite it being a low impact form of exercise, the repetitive nature of cycling can cause problems.

Knee pain  can be common whether cycling for leisure, racing or commuting. But with a few tweaks and more awareness – it can be avoided.

 How can you avoid knee pain whilst cycling?

Consider the following three areas: 1: Anatomy; 2: Bike set up; 3: Over training.

 1] Anatomy factors can mean:

•    Leg length discrepancy

•    Internal  tibial rotation

•    Muscle weakness or imbalance –especially in the quads , hamstrings and gluteal muscles

•    Muscle tightness –especially in the hip flexor muscles and ITB

•    Spinal stiffness

•    Foot posture problems

A bio-mechanical assessment by a physiotherapist or chiropractor can establish if you have any of these issues and advise on exercises and / or treatment to help correct.


 2] Bike set-up – typical factors can be:

•    Wrong seat height –Too high /too low

•    Seat tilt

•    Foot clip or cleat position

•    Frame size

These issues can cause extra load on the knee, leading to excessive wearing of the joint and pain. A reputable bike shop will set up your bike correctly to your size.

 3] Training errors / overtraining

•    Sudden increases in training as the weather improves or at the start of the competitive season

•    Changes in terrain , especially hill climbs

•    Lack of preparation – no warm up/cool down

•    Little or no out of season training

•    Lack of varied training such as strength , conditioning and flexibility

Ideally, think about your training / cycling routine and consider adding some variability in your exercise.

Most of all, don’t let aches and pains hold you back. There is plenty of help and advice that can keep you pedalling comfortably. Enjoy your cycling!

Are you suffering knee pain?

If you are feeling pain arising from the kneecap and its surrounding tissues it may be caused by incorrect movement of the kneecap. Earlier treatment is recommended.

For an appointment with one of our team telephone 020 8943 2424

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