Have you got knee pain cycling? It could be your cleats . . .

Badly aligned cleats can be responsible for causing knee pain in cyclists – you need to make sure you are in the middle of your float.



Are your cleats causing knee pain?


One of the most common reasons for presentation to The Body Mechanic for either physiotherapy or bike fitting is knee pain. There are lots of different reasons why knee pain can come on. It may also be in different parts of the knee.

Pain in the front of the knee (anterior knee pain) is often related to saddle height and position. If this is not set correctly, there can be additional stress and loading in the patellofemoral joint, between your kneecap and the thigh bone.

Pain on the side of the knee (lateral knee pain) can be related to cleat set up. The things that are important here are; position of the cleats on the shoe and cleat float. Our bike fitting principles encourage adequate float of your cleats to allow the natural movement of your hips, knees and ankles. Certain cleat and shoe combinations will be better for this. This is much safer from an injury prevention perspective.

If your cleats are not fitted correctly and your cleat float is reduced, your lower limb will be restricted. This means you will use the muscles around your hip and knee in a less than optimal way. Often the pattern is to overuse the muscles on the outside of your thigh (vastus lateralis) and you can become tight through the band of tissue called your ITB (iliotibial band). This attaches on the outside of your knee and hence that is why you can get pain there as it irritates the structures on the side of the knee.


This video explains cleat float in more depth.



One great way to reduce knee pain is to use the foam roller. It can be used to release the muscles in your glutes and quads especially. Using a foam roller regularly is the key. If you can put aside 5-10 minutes a day for some foam rolling it will be far more effective than once a week for a longer time. The foam roller will loosen up the fascia (connective tissue) around the muscles making them more flexible. You can also use the foam roller for sustained pressures on tight parts of the muscles or “trigger points”.



If you are having knee pain and would like to know more about how we can help you with either your body or your bike – pleased give us a call on 9955 5842.

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