Health blog

Why am I developing pain at the back of my knee every time I go cycling?

December 13th, 2021
Back of Knee Pain Cycling

You’re riding along on your bicycle with your knees pumping. Gradually, you begin to feel pain creep into the back of your knee. Or maybe the pain you feel at the back of your knee comes on suddenly during your cycling sessions. Either way, you’re experiencing a type of pain that nearly 28% of recreational cyclists develop: knee pain. 

Don’t let pain at the back of your knee take away the joy you experience when cycling. A physical therapist can help you pinpoint the source of your pain. They can also create a treatment plan for you that’s specifically designed to address your knee pain. 

3 common causes of back of knee pain while cycling

The proper meshing of bike and rider is a complex and nuanced thing. An issue with the bike can throw off this balance and trigger pain at the back of the knee during cycling sessions. So can an issue that the rider has. Some of the issues that commonly lead to posterior knee pain in cyclists are: 

  1. Poor seat positioning — Problems with the seat or saddle of your bike can be the root of your posterior knee pain. One such problem is a saddle that’s set too high. This position forces riders to extend their legs more with each turn of the pedals. As a result, they put more stress on their hamstrings, which can trigger knee pain. A saddle that’s set too far back can lead to the same hamstring issue. 
  1. Tight leg muscles — Cyclists should spend plenty of time stretching and warming up their hamstrings and calf muscles. If they don’t, the result may be posterior knee pain while cycling. Your hamstrings and calf muscles both attach right behind your knee. Stiffness in these muscles can increase the stress on your knees and trigger pain.
  1. Weak glutes — Another set of muscles that can be behind your knee pain is your glutes. The glutes help provide the power that helps you pedal. When they’re weak, they can’t do so. This results in more stress being put on the hamstrings and calf muscles, which can lead to posterior knee pain. 

How can physical therapists help address back of knee pain from cycling?

There are multiple ways that physical therapists can help cyclists address their posterior knee pain, including: 

  • Helping them develop comprehensive and personalized warmup and stretching programs. 
  • Working to boost the strength of their core and glute muscles. 
  • Using manual therapy techniques to help boost knee flexibility and range of motion. 

Rehab Access can help address pain at the back of your knee from cycling

Posterior knee pain marring your cycling sessions? Our Rehab Access Physical Therapy team is ready and willing to help you address your pain. We can do a free screening on your knee to pinpoint the cause(s) of your pain. Then, our physiotherapists can construct an individualized treatment plan designed to reduce your pain and prevent its return. 

Contact our team today for more information about our knee pain treatment services or to schedule your initial appointment.