Although it’s usually considered a low-impact activity, cycling still creates resistance and stress on the knees. Unfortunately, this often results in knee pain, a common occurrence among seasoned cyclists. So, what steps can cyclists take to avoid cycling-related knee pain?
Adjust the Saddle
An improper saddle height is a leading cause of knee pain. If the saddle is too low, an excessive amount of stress will placed on the front of the knees. If it’s too high, cyclists will be forced to stretch their legs to reach the pedals, thus stressing the supporting ligaments and tendons in the knees. MapMyRun explains that cyclists should raise their saddle so that their knees create a 27- to 37-degree angle when the pedal is at the lowest position.
Increase Intake of Omega-3s
Eating more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can protect against cycling-related knee pain. While omega-6s promote inflammation in the body, omega-3s have the opposite effect by reducing inflammation. According to the Arthritis Foundation, cold-water fish like trout, salmon and mackerel are excellent sources of omega-3s. When consumed, these valuable nutrients reduce inflammation in the knees that could otherwise cause pain and limited mobility.
Avoid Cycling When Experiencing Pain
Cyclists should stay off their bike when experiencing knee pain. Continuing to cycle will only worsen the condition by further degrading the knees and supporting structures. By resting and avoiding any activities that engage the knees, cyclists will recover from their knee pain more quickly.
Found in the lower thighs, underdeveloped quadriceps muscles is a common source of cycling-related knee. Cyclists with weak quads are more likely to experience knee pain because of the increased stress placed on their knees. Therefore, cyclists should perform quad stretches on a regular basis to improve their leg strength and flexibility.
Another type of exercise that’s effective at strengthening the legs and taking some of the burden off the knees are calf raises. As described by Bodybuilding.com, calf raises involve raising the heels off the floor and shifting the body weight towards the tip of the toes. Calf raises can also be performed using a machine though this only stabilizes the body without offering any tangible benefits.
Knee pain often begins as nothing more than a light soreness. If left unchecked, it can quickly spiral into a debilitating pain. Cyclists can protect themselves from knee pain, however, by following tips listed here.