Could you be Pedaling Straight Toward a Knee Injury?
- Posted on: Apr 15 2017
Biking, for many people, is a favorite way of getting physical activity, or even of getting from place to place. With automated bike rental stations popping up in major cities across America, cycling is a type of sport that is enjoying newfound popularity among the masses. One of the reasons that biking is advantageous for physicality is that it can be gentler on the body than running or other sports. That does not mean that your kneed don’t take a beating. The more you ride, the closer you may be to a knee injury. Here, we will discuss a few ways that you can minimize this risk.
Adjust Seat Height
This is especially important if you are new to biking or if you use a different cycle each time you ride. Seat height has everything to do with how hard your knees and legs work as you peddle. Too low and the front of your knee is vulnerable; too high and the back of the knee may develop pain due to unnecessary tension on the muscles and joint.
Get into Gear
Bikes have gears for a reason, so changes in terrain do not force you to peddle more heavily than you have to. Learn how to use gears to avoid strain on the knees. Pedaling along in the wrong gear sets you up to know only for knee injury or pain, but other sports injuries, as well. There are several guides available to assist you in developing shifting skills. Remember, increase tension for downhill slopes, and decrease it when pedaling uphill or against the wind.
What you wear on your feet, as well as how you position your feet on pedals makes a difference to your injury risk. First, wear close-toed shoes (tennis shoes are ideal) that will allow your foot to flex as needed, and that do not have “parts” that can get caught (no heels!). When riding, the pedals of your bike should be parallel to the pavement.
Cycling provides some benefits and is an integral aspect of many rehabilitation protocols. The idea that biking could lead to a knee injury does not mean you should forego this pastime; just take the necessary precautions.
Are you struggling with knee pain? Contact Urgent Orthopedic Specialists at 432-520-3020 to schedule your appointment today, or stop in our walk-in clinic.
Posted in: Joint Pain & Replacement