How to Fix Common Causes of Cycling Knee Pain and Get Back on the Road


Updated 4/25/22

If you have been searching for ‘a sharp pain in my knee,” remedies you can always find a doctor to see for knee injury but the good news is that many options are available to help you in coping with knee pain. Here are several tips.

Treat the Cause

When you suffer from prolonged knee pain, the first step is to identify the underlying cause. There are many potential causes of knee pain, including cartilage damage, muscle strain, and ligament injuries. Identifying the underlying cause will make it easier to treat your symptoms.

Try Heat and Cold

Both heat and cold can provide temporary relief from knee pain. Ice will decrease swelling if a knee injury causes pain, making your joints feel stiff and limiting your range of motion. Heating pads will increase blood flow, helping relieve stiffness and relax muscles for more effortless movement.

Take Time for RandR

Resting your knees when they need it can help relieve some of their stress. Taking time away from activities like running or hiking that put excess pressure on your knees reduces stress on your joints and allows them to heal faster.

When it comes to staying active, it is all too common to suffer from some aches and pains here and there. Many athletes know that while it is normal to feel sore once in a while, pain that doesn’t go away after rest and recuperation needs to be checked out by a professional. Because of the risks involved with high contact sports, many athletes are drawn to another sport, such as cycling, as they age.

But this doesn’t always fix the issue. Chronic pain is a major problem in the United States, with knee pain being the second most common type of chronic pain.

While cycling can offer a low-impact option for cardio, it can also exacerbate chronic knee pain in some individuals. Because cycling is quite a popular sport, here are some common causes of cycling knee injuries to keep an eye out for.

Pain in the front of the knee

Pain or sensitivity on the front of the knee means that the kneecap is being affected, most likely by the force the glutes are putting on them when riding. When a person is going fast or really pumping to get uphill, the glutes can deliver too much force across the kneecap’s joint. A way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to adjust the bike seat or saddle to be higher.


Pain on the outside of the knee

This type of pain is commonly caused by iliotibial band syndrome. This is when the IT band, which runs along the hip through the thigh and to the tibia, is inflamed. Bike pedal cleats that are placed too far away from each other can cause this problem.

Pain on the inside of the knee

Just like pain on the outside of the knee, pain on the inside could mean that you have a problem with your feet alignment while riding. This can cause a lot of tension within the collateral ligaments in the knee, and can easily be fixed by changing your shoes and aligning the bike’s cleats to be closer together.

As you can see, many common causes of cycling knee pain can be fixed by better alignment of the bike saddle, handlebars, and pedals. When it comes to cycling, enjoying time on your bike shouldn’t be painful. While pain can be frustrating, with these tips in mind it doesn’t have to be long-term!

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