Cyclist’s Knee

By Elizabeth Keane, ATC

What is Cyclist’s Knee?

Cyclist’s knee, or IT band friction syndrome, can be debilitating. IT band syndrome is commonly seen in cyclists who have genu varum, or excessive pronation or flat feet. Irritation develops at the insertion point of the muscle. Also, friction occurs, over the lateral femoral condyle on the outside of the knee. Furthermore, think of your IT band as a guitar string. When a guitar string is tight and you strum your finger over the string repetitively, eventually your finger is going to get red and sore. In the same way, when your IT band continuously “plucks” over the lateral femoral condyle every time you bend and straighten your knee when cycling it will also get sore.

Treatment for Cyclist’s Knee

Treatment for this type of injury includes IT band stretching, massage and taking an anti-inflammatory to reduce inflammation. In addition, other management procedures may include getting a bike fit to make sure that the settings on your bike are correct for you and your level of experience.

iliotibial band ITB stretch with belt for cyclist's knee

Iliotibial band ITB stretch with belt

It is also really important to maintain good VMO strength and tracking of the knee cap.  Please read this article on VMO Strengthening.  The VMO is one of the muscles of the quad group of the knee.  The outside or lateral structures tend to be stronger than the VMO which is on the inside of the thigh.  If the IT band is tight, it can cause tracking problems of the knee cap.

Related Articles:

Cycling is a great cardio workout with low impact force on the knee.

Cyclist’s Knee JOI Rehab

JOI and JOI Rehab

JOI Physicians continue to offer online new patient appointments. This is another option to make it more convenient to make new patient appointments with less phone hold times. Follow the link below to select your JOI MD and schedule online.

You can still call 904-JOI-2000 to make new patient JOI Physician Appointments if that is your preference.

To make appointments with JOI Rehab, please call 904-858-7045.

By: Elizabeth Keane, ATC

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