Avoid the Pitfalls of the Pedals
For ages, people of all ages have gained a lot from hopping on their favorite bicycle. As kids, many of us spent hours on a tricycle, a banana seat, or a ten-speed. Whatever your preference regarding style, there are some things that you need to about bicycling for recreation, exercise, or fundamentals like getting from one place to another. Cycling is a somewhat gentle sport unless you lean toward the extreme mountain-biking side of the fence. Still, there is a potential for injury to the knees. Let’s look into some ways this risk can be diminished.
Minding your Heights
Every person needs a particular seat-height. What is functional for a 5-foot person would be completely wrong for someone who stands 6-foot 5-inches. If a long-legged person tries to ride with the seat too low, he risks strain on the knee joint that could cause pain at the front of the knee. If the shorter-legged person attempted to ride with a too-high seat, she would be at risk of excessive tension and pain at the back of the knee. The right seat-height will allow full extension of the leg (straightness) when the pedal is at 6 o’clock.
Easing the Grind
There is no reason to grind through pedaling when you have gears to pave a smoother, less strenuous path. Neglecting to upshift and downshift as needed puts unnecessary strain on the knee joints, and it can also lead to other injuries. A basic guide to bike gears is to shift to a lower tension before riding uphill. When faced with a downhill slope, increased tension is more appropriate. The proper use of gears is more complex than this, but not difficult to learn with a little help from a cycling expert.
Focus on your Feet
You may recognize the value of proper footwear for bike-riding, and yet you may sometimes find yourself in a predicament. Many people ride bikes wearing flip-flops, sandals, and even heels! Some who ride their bike to the office may feel perfectly safe wearing loafers or other close-toed dress shoes. Tennis shoes or cycling shoes trump them all. There are far fewer “parts” that could become stuck in a pedal or other structure, and far more stability and flexibility.
The benefits of biking outweigh the risks, especially when you take adequate precautions.
Do you have questions about knee pain? We can help. Call Hartzband Center for Hip & Knee Replacement in Paramus.
Category: Knee Injury and Treatment