Evidence-Based Health Care For Optimal Health & Functioning

Why use a bicycle for knee rehab?

Bicycling for knee rehabilitation is often used because the patellofemoral joint* reaction forces are 5x less than when compared to walking or running. This reduced force is due to the lack of weight loading in the knee when in a seated position. Dont take this for granted, however. Even though you are not in a weight-bearing position, it is still very possible to overstrain the inner and outer knee structures of the muscles surrounding the knee with a simple change of foot angle leading to toeing-in or toeing-out excessively.

Another variable that can lead to other knee pain/problems would be seat height and greater pedal resistance. If the seat is too high, it will place higher forces on your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)**. If the seat happens to be too low it will increase patellofemoral compression. Increased pedal resistance will create increased force at the joint so proper seat height is crucial for higher resistance training or rehabilitation on a bicycle.

*Patellofemoral joint – where the patella (knee-cap) and femur (thigh bone) meet.

**Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) – the ligament in the knee-joint attached to the top of the tibia (shin bone) to the bottom of the femur (thigh bone) which prevents backward movement of the femur on the tibia or forward movement of the tibia on the femur as well as knee hyper-extension.

Posted on July 12th, 2012 [active lifestyle, Activity, Chiropractic, Cycling, Exercise, Fitness, Golf, Health and Wellness, Injury, Pain, Running, Sports, Uncategorized]