Cycling is an excellent sport for people of all ages and fitness levels. It offers you the opportunity to get fit while minimising the impact on your joints. If you've recently started cycling and you're suffering from knee pain after every ride, read on. Your knee pain could be the result of a problem that you need to identify and treat, but it may also be due to incorrect preparation and movement when riding. Before you head to a sports physio clinic, you can try the following tips to see if you can cure your knee pain yourself.
Don't Forget to Stretch and Warm Up
As with any exercise, stretching and warming up can be a good way to reduce your chances of injury and get your body ready for the task ahead. A quick internet search will bring up videos of stretches and warm-up routines for cyclists. You'll be able to choose one that suits the time you have available. Even a short stretch and warm up can make a difference, meaning you don't finish your ride in pain.
Build up at the Correct Pace
Whether you're new to cycling or you're returning to it after a long break, always take it easy. You don't need to complete long distances instantly. Instead, start off with a manageable distance and speed then increase at a pace of 25% per week. A progressive increase gives your body time to adjust to exercising and allows your knees to get stronger gradually.
Get Your Saddle Position Right
A saddle that isn't in the correct position for your body can result in stress and injury. Your saddle may just be a few millimetres out, but it can be enough to cause you pain. As a general rule, front knee pain can result from a saddle that is too low, while back knee pain can be due to a saddle that is too high. Make sure that your leg is straight with no more than a soft knee bend of 150 degrees when you reach the bottom of your pedal stroke. If you are not achieving this with your current seat position, adjust your saddle accordingly. If you're struggling to get your positioning right, consider visiting a professional bike fitter to have your bike adjusted to your exact requirements.
If after making these adjustments you see no improvement in your knee pain, do not ignore the problem. Pain is an indication that something isn't right. You may need to speak to a doctor or a sports physiotherapist to address the problem. Continuing to cycle through pain could result in an injury that takes a long time to recover from.