• Donavan Pillai

Cycling & Knee Pain

Overuse injuries from cycling are common, and research indicates that anterior knee pain and patellofemoral pain syndrome are among the most common leg overuse injuries in cyclists.

Important evaluation considerations are:

· Bicycle fit.

· Recent change in equipment,

· Training distance and intensity

· Individual anatomic factors

Symptoms may include:

· A diffuse ache around patella,

· Climbing stairs

· Pain when sitting for long periods.

· Feeling of the knee giving way

Biomechanical abnormalities of the patellofemoral complex (the kneecap, the femur, and their associated muscle and connective tissues), in conjunction with strenuous training, are believed to be responsible for most cases of chronic knee pain in cyclists.

Training factors that are linked with patellofemoral pain include hill training, cycling with high gears at a low cadence, and a sudden increase in training volume.

The first task is to decrease the pain and swelling around your affected knee. Once symptoms have subsided, the main goal is to improve joint mobility, muscle strength and power, and -ultimately - the function of the patellofemoral joint. Hill training should be approached cautiously and progressively.

Cycling techniques which decrease patellofemoral joint-reaction forces should be emphasised.

Surgical options should be considered only if conservative steps have failed. The long-term outcomes of surgical interventions to correct patellofemoral pain in cyclists have been very poorly studied in a scientific setting.

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