Knee and knee joint injuries including injuries to the ACL often result in knee stiffness that requires some type of non-impact exercise that focuses on the knee joint in order to help restore the usefulness of the knee. This leads many people to wonder is cycling good for a knee injury?
Walk into any physiotherapy clinic or fitness center in the world and you will find some type of exercise bike, so you know that cycling is definitely helpful in aiding the recovery of some types of injuries, but is cycling good for a knee injury? In order to answer that question you first need to understand what the goals are for helping someone over a come a knee injury.
Goals of Knee Injury Recovery
Here are the goals that physiotherapists set in order to help your recover from a knee injury:
- Restore the stability of the knee joint
- Strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee to help prevent reoccurance of the injury
- Improve range of motion to the knee
- Eliminate pain or at least decrease the pain around the knee and knee joint
Why Is Cycling Good for A Knee Injury
There are a number of different reasons why your physiotherapists will encourage you to use an exercise bike or regular bike to help in your recovery from knee injuries. Cycling is good for helping heal a knee injury due to the fact that cycling is extremely knee friendly for the following reasons.
- Cycling is non-weight bearing allowing the knee to continue to heal while returning the knee is proper function.
- Cycling is a low impact exercise that prevents the knee joint from taking a pounding while still being able to get it moving and exercising.
- Cycling involves a range of motion that is close to your knees natural movement during your day to day living.
- Cycling requires a controlled movement that won’t allow you to over extend your healing knee.
What You Need to Know About Cycling in Order to Improve that Knee Injury
In order for cycling to help you recover from a knee injury there are some things to need to keep in mind.
- You need to keep make sure that your seat is set at the right height.- Because different people have different length legs, the saddle or seat of your bike needs to be set at the correct height or pedaling the bike can cause strain and eventually injury to your hips when the seat is too high or can result in pressure on your knee should the seat be set too low.
- ACL injuries can often require you to use a recumbent bike rather than a upright bike due to the fact that when pedaling a recumbent bike less force is applied to the ACL joint.
In the end the answer to the question Is cycling good for a knee injury? The answer is yes, once the major portion of the injury has begun to heal and you’ve reached a point where exercise to strengthen the knee and improve the range of motion is called for. However, you do need to speak with a physiotherapist to find out which type of bike is right for and the amount cycling you should do to aid in the healing process.