Taping on Tour - Cycling & Knee Pain
By Kinesio UK | 10 July 2019
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Cyclists from all over the world are currently taking part in the 2019 Tour de France, pushing their bodies to the limit over the next few weeks for the chance to make cycling history.

With the modern Tour de France consisting of 21 day long stages over a 23-day period, covering around 3480 miles and averaging a speed of around 40kmh - it's common for injuries to occur along the way. According to PCS (ProCyclingStats), there have been 133 injuries so far this season (Jan to end of June). The list includes a wide range of injuries but the most common are broken collarbones, fractured wrists, broken fingers and knee issues.

Many cyclists ? from beginners to professionals ? will experience knee pain when cycling at some point. During one hour of cycling a rider may average up to 5000 pedal revolutions, so it's inevitable that this repetitive motion can increase the risk of knee pain and injury. Knee pain can manifest itself in a variety of ways and for different reasons. We're taking a look today at the main types and some of the common causes:

Anterior Knee Pain

Anterior knee pain is at the front of the knee, on and around the kneecap. The most common reason for this type of pain is a combination of overuse and/or poor fitting (saddle height and position). The latter, if not set properly, can cause additional stress and loading on the patellofemoral joint.

Posterior Knee Pain

Pain behind the knee is less common. First, check the height of the saddle - it may be too high and too far back, so the pain is occurring due to overextension and the muscles are getting tight. The knee can't deal with flexation at this degree and it becomes overloaded. A saddle that is too high can also cause pain in the lower back.

Medial Knee Pain

A tight IT band or quads can be the culprit, but your feet could also be the issue when you have pain on the inner (or medial sides) of your knees. Cleats positioned too close to the insides of your shoes increase the distance between your feet and this can stress the inside collateral ligaments. If your cleats tilt inwards, your knee will be forced to follow the ankle and track inwards and vice versa.

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Iliotibial Band Syndrome

ITBS is an inflammation of the large band of connective tissue (the IT Band) that runs along the length of the thigh. It begins on the outside of the hip and continues down to the top of the shin. The main function of the IT band is to stabilize the knee, assist with inward rotation and help with hip abduction. An increase in friction, leads to a painful inflammation of the tendon. There can be a lot of causes for ITBS and sometimes more than one, so looking for changes to routine or visiting a therapist may help to identify the problem:

  1. Incorrect saddle height
  2. Cleat adjustments, or cleat change fitted poorly
  3. Foot bio-mechanics
  4. Poor flexibility around hip and pelvis
  5. Poor glute strength
  6. Riding a different bike to normal
  7. Training volume/intensity increase

Kinesio Taping the knee can help to provide support, reduce swelling and assist with easing associated pain. There are a number of taping applications that can be used and a trained Kinesio therapist can assess and show you the best way to tape for your condition. We've provided some images below. You can also purchase Kinesio Pre-cut for the knee at www.kinesiotaping.co.uk and through Amazon and Ebay.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome
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