CYCLING A BOON FOR KNEES OR A MYTH ???.

Cycle is a poor man’s transport, hobby of rich man and medical activity for the old. In most of the cases, a child life starts with a cycle, two wheeled & tri – wheeled irrespective of his/her status of being from a rich, middle or poor family , hence, it may be mentioned that the cycling activity starts in the beginning of childhood and it becomes a sport at 10-12 years of age.

As cycling is increasing the problems are also increasing some say cycling is a boon for knees as it strengthens them but some says that cycling has give me the knee pain which we call as anterior knee pain .

While there is some validity to the belief that cycling does less damage to the cartilage in the knee because of the low level of impact involved, it doesn't mean that the sport doesn't present an opportunity for knee injuries.

Patellofemoral syndrome and Patellar tendonitis are two common cycling-related injuries caused by overuse, weak muscles and improper bike fit. Both can make cycling nearly impossible.

1.     Overpowering of the vastus lateralis - VMO, or vastus medialis oblique, is a quadriceps muscle that runs along the inside  of the thigh down towards the knee. In cycling, the vastus lateralis  often becomes overdeveloped, resulting in a muscular imbalance. The overpowering of the vastus lateralis can make the kneecap track too much towards the outside of the femur during pedaling, which in turn wears away the cartilage and causes pain. 
o        The Fix: Stretch the lateral side of the leg with IT band and quadriceps stretches. Once you have gained flexibility, strengthen the VMO.                                              
Over use - The patella can also begin to track incorrectly because of overuse. When fatigue sets in,the body compensates however it must to do what's being asked. Aside from training more than your body is used to, pushing big gears can be a culprit.
The Fix -Increase your cadence to pedal over 80 revolutions per minute (rpm). Spinning in an easier gear puts less stress on knee joint. It will also keep the quads from becoming fatigued, which will help to keep the kneecap tracking correctly.
3. Patellar tendonitis - It is caused by inflammation of the tendon that supports the kneecap. Increasing your mileage too quickly and poor bike fit are your two most likely causes. An anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen and ice should be used to help reduce the inflammation. Saddle position and cleat adjustment are the two primary areas of concern when treating knee pain from cycling.

·         The Fix: The most common cause of patellar tendonitis is a seat that is too low or a seat that is too far forward could also be the culprit. The aggressive angle of the knee in relation to the pedal can put undue stress on the knee joint. By sliding your saddle back, you change this angle. Small adjustments can make a world of difference. Lastly, the position of shoe cleats plays a significant role in the stress placed on the patellar tendon.

     4.Swelling  in knee  If inflammation has been caused by overuse, rest is a key requirement. As long as you are irritating your injury through the repetitive motion of cycling, you aren't likely to get better.

The Fix: When you do start feeling better, increase your mileage slowly. The 10-percent rule is a good one to follow. Also keep in mind that training on hills forces you to put out more power and usually forces cyclists to pedal at lower cadences (depending on the grade). Stay away from long, steep climbs until you've built yourself back up to your normal mileage. Once you're there, increase your miles by no more than 10 percent per week.
"Cycling is good for people in all ways: their health, their well-being, and it does no damage to the environment. It can, however, be dangerous, and this has to be addressed.