What can cyclists do to prevent injuries?

Our Partner, Victory Endurance gives us a series of tips to avoid the typical injuries in the cilclismo.

We all have in mind the image of cyclists pedaling with their legs out of alignment, internally rotating their knees or spreading them out. This causes incorrect distribution of forces, unnecessary stress on the knee and hip joint structures, and increased friction on the articular cartilage.

For this reason, we must analyze our extremities with the help of a specialist in biomechanics of cycling, which can serve, among other things, to confirm a "genu varum", a bowing of the leg structures as a parenthesis or, on the contrary, "worthless" knees. ”, internal rotation of the hip or an opening of the knees outwards when pedaling, all of them produce an incorrect distribution of the propulsive forces towards the pedals.

The variety in the arrangement and shape of the legs is conditioned by genetics and determines the famous "q" angle of the knee, widely cited in all biomechanical references due to its impact on the linearity of the axes between the femur and tibia. This angle is formed by the line running between the top of the hip and the center of the patella and the line running from the patellar tendon insertion at the level of the tibia to the center of the patella (see illustration).

Said angle is about 15º on average and when it is greater than 20º it is said to be the cause of a misalignment of the "patella tracking". The track is the path through which the patella runs between the femoral condyles when flexing and extending without causing friction in the articular cartilage.

It is known that any type of alteration of the patellar alignment can cause a degenerative disease of the cartilage even in young patients.

According to studies, more than 85% of cyclists have a "varus of the forefoot" or better known as a "pronation" movement that is characterized by tilting the foot inward on the pedal, which makes us exert more force on the inner part of the metatarsus. .

Less than 10% do the opposite, a supination of the forefoot or 'valgus', forcing the outside of the foot more. And only around 5% of cyclists have a neutral foot position distributing plantar pressures evenly.

Likewise, pronation can affect both feet or be unilateral and in cyclists it is often associated with having the knees braced or in brackets.

To determine if it is a normal or pathological alteration, the angle between the axes of the femur and the tibia must be measured, assessing the so-called "q" angle since its alteration can cause knee pain, being relatively easy for a biomechanics specialist to correct. those alterations.

I recommend to all cycling fans that they have a biomechanical analysis to determine, among other aspects, the correct pedaling position according to their particular characteristics and measurements. You have to try to customize the bike adapting it to the user as much as possible, correctly position the cleats and depending on the tracking of the patella of each of the legs, assess the need to use wedges in the forefoot.

These very low-cost wedges in relation to the benefits they achieve, are placed under the foot pad between the shoe and the automatic pedal, which improves their "interface", helping to stabilize the foot. By using them, comfort is gained, loads are better distributed along the leg, the risk of the most frequent injuries in cycling is prevented and even performance is improved.

In the case of cyclists, there are alarming figures that indicate that more than 90% of cyclists are poorly positioned on their bicycles, and that pedaling in the long run can be harmful. Putting yourself in the hands of an expert in cycling biomechanics means gaining comfort , improves performance and reduces the chances of injury; again I am talking about investing in health.

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