Why Cyclists Suffer Knee Pain and Simple Exercises YOU Can Do to Prevent It



London: If you’re looking for a new exercise to get your teeth into, cycling may seem the obvious choice especially if you’ve counted out running because you’re worried about your knees. It requires no pricey gym membership and, if your commute isn’t too long, you can squeeze it in on the way to and from work.

No wonder more than two million Britons cycle every single day and for many, it’s a new-found hobby, often taken up well into adulthood.

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After all, there’s all that expensive gear to buy this isn’t just a pastime for kids! But as a personal trainer, I see the following scenario all too often: it’s all happy riding until about six months into a cycling regime. Then knee pain strikes. In severe cases, I’ve had men and women come to me struggling to walk long distances.

Many are reliant on strong painkillers to get them through their next bike ride. They want to know, why has this happened to them? After all, unlike running, cycling is supposed to be a ‘low-impact’ exercise, and ideal if joint pain is a problem.

The truth is, they are all suffering from a common but little-known condition called cyclist’s knee. It is an agonizing condition that affects about 65 percent of keen cyclists. As anyone who’s ever got on a bike will no doubt know, the motion of pedaling while cycling uses the thigh muscle – or quadriceps – more than any other.

In reality, the quadriceps, also known as the quads, isn’t a single muscle but a group of four. Cyclist’s knee occurs when one of them, the vastus lateralis, becomes overworked and enlarged. This large muscle sits on the outside of the upper thigh.

Ever noticed the huge bulging muscle on the outer thigh of elite cyclists? That’s an over-developed vastus lateralis. And along with the rectus femoris, and the vast intermedius, which runs down the front of the thigh, it is responsible for almost half of your pedaling power. These muscles are pushed to their limit every time you press down the pedal – particularly when cycling uphill.

The problem is, the fourth – and equally important – quad muscle, the vastus medialis oblique (VMO), doesn’t get worked during pedaling. So while the others grow, this stays disproportionately small, becoming weak and sensitive. This imbalance can start to pull the kneecap out of place, ultimately causing cartilage inside the joint to wear away – otherwise known as arthritis. read more at dailymail

Knee Pain