With the Tour de France in full swing we thought it would be fitting to address a common cycling injury for this weeks blog; patellar tendinosis.
Patellar Tendonitis / Patellar Tendonosis
The patellar tendon is located below the patella (or “knee-cap”) and is an extension of our quadriceps muscle (the muscle on the front of your thigh). It is placed under tension when the quadriceps muscle is active, like when we push the pedal downward during cycling. Patellar tendinosis is a condition that involves degeneration and a re-organization of tendon tissue, usually secondary to excessive demand being placed on the area. But why do some cyclists get patellar tendinosis while others do not?
Cycling Knee Pain
The reality is, there are a large number of factors that can be related to patellar tendinosis in cyclists…too many to mention in this article. Yet one finding that has been consistent in the literature is that those athletes who experience pain show a different movement pattern than those not in pain. Those in pain tend to let their knee drift toward the midline (the bike) as opposed to keeping their leg (knee) straight.
Cycling Technique and Knee Pain
Unfortunately, it has not been established (and perhaps cannot be established) whether this technique occurs as a result of injury or if it precipitates injury. Regardless, we recommend that you make every effort to use a straight cycling pattern (and don’t let your knee drift toward the midline). If you’re having difficulty, it can be due to several reasons. Poor range of motion in the ankle or an ill-fitted bicycle may prevent proper technique from being possible. In either case, we recommend that you consult with a suitable professional who can offer you assistance.
Knee Pain Treatment
Our chiropractic and physiotherapy clinic in Burlington assists cyclists with their injuries quite regularly. Although we have a number of different treatment options and approaches, active release technique has always been popular with our cyclist patients. Graston technique is becoming more and more popular with this population as well. For more information, please explore our site or give us a call at 905.220.7858. email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Bailey MP, Frederick JM, Messenger N. Kinematics of cycling in relation to anterior knee pain and patellar tendonitis. Journal of Sports Science 2003; 21: 649-657.
Dettori NJ, Norvell D. Non-traumatic bicycle injuries – a review of the literature. Sports Medicine 2006; 36(1): 7-18.