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Top 5 Mountain Biking Injuries

Knee Pain

Select an injury location on the mountain biker

What is Knee Pain?

It may sound strange but Runner's Knee is the most common knee injury in cyclists. Runner's Knee is the common term for Ilio Tibial Band Friction Syndrome (ITBFS). Runner's Knee is a painful overuse knee injury that affects the outer part of the knee. It is fairly common in cyclists due to the repetitive nature of cycling.

During cycling, where there is repeated bending and straightening of the knee joint, the IlioTibial Band can 'impinge' upon the prominent outerside of the knee and the resultant friction can lead to inflammation of the tissues.

What can you do to prevent Knee Pain?

The most important consideration to prevent knee injury during cycling is the set up of the bike. The frame should be the correct size, with 1"-2" of clearance between the crotch and top tube of the frame. In mountain bikes, this is not normally an issue as the top tube is lower. If the saddle is too high or too low then the stresses on the knee can lead to injury. The knee shouldn't be over extended when the pedal reaches the bottom of its revolution. Another bad habit is to point your toes inwards when cycling as it increases the risk of developing IlioTibial Band Friction Syndrome.

What should you do if you suffer Knee Pain?

Physiotherapy treatment is effective for most cases of IlioTibial Band Friction Syndrome. It aims to reduce the amount of inflammation using Ice Therapy (never apply ice directly to the skin) and can be assisted by anti-inflammatory medication prescribed by a doctor. Anti Inflammatory Gel may be more appropriate where anti-inflammatory tablets are not well tolerated. For those who want to continue to cycle a Knee Strap can relieve symptoms and provide support.


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