During the winter more and more recreational cyclists are taking to spin class. The more intense your training load the higher the likelihood for injury. Knee injuries are the most common amongst both recreational and competitive cyclists. The pain is often located on the lateral side (outside) of the knee joint. The pain is usually more pronounced when going uphill or when putting more pressure on the cranks.
Below are few things we will look at when assessing a cyclist. Whether you are injured or just training at a high level, have you noticed any of these changes? On your next ride be more body aware and take note of how your body feels during and after the ride.
1. What is your training load? Was there a sudden increase in distance and cycling load?
2. What is your knee and foot position like? We like our clients to bring their bikes in. This way we can actually see what is going on while you ride. Is their reduced control on one side? A different foot position? Malalignment or asymmetries from side to side?
3. Have you had a bike fit by a professionl? Do you know how to best set up your bike at spin class. Simple enough! Ian does full bike fits at our clinic.
4. Could there be an issue further up the chain: are you loading through your arms evenly? Are you sitting to one side? Occasionally the knee pain can cause changes up the chain but a quick correction should tell us whether that is the case.
5. Are you cranking hard with your hamstrings on the up stroke? The hamstring should play a minimal role in power production. The hamstrings major role is to help get the foot out of the way.
6. Once we have determined the cause of the pain it is important to not only address the issue but to begin a gradual return to full load. Squats, lunges and/or step ups may be used to help build tissue tolerance and more optimal mechanics.
7. Other things to think about: are you cross training? Are you stretching your quads and hip flexors? Do you sit at work?
Ian at my clinic does bike fits and I love working with cyclists. Let us know how we can help.
Thanks for reading